"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.” - Albert Einstein
Subject Leader: Anna Hornby
Link Governor: Claire Caldwell
At Christ Church, RE lessons are a time when children can learn, question, debate and step outside their comfort zone within the foundations of our deep-rooted Christian Ethos.Our religious education curriculum can be broken down into two strands:
- Learning about religion
- Learning from religion
We realise the importance of children not only having a good understanding of the six main world religions (Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam and Buddhism), but also developing their ability to reflect on their own lives and beliefs as a response to their learning in RE. A child who will excel in RE at our school is a child who engages in each lesson with enthusiasm fueled by natural curiosity.
What Children Learn
We ensure that each of our RE lessons is accessible to all children, regardless of academic ability. We use multi-sensory approaches to learning - some of our favourites are:
- Using Lego to re-enact Buddhist stories in Year 5
- Salt dough representations of Jesus’ miracles in Year 3
- Beautiful Rangoli patterns in Year 1
RE is taught by the class teacher throughout our school and is planned using the Religious Education planning documents provided by the Diocese of Southwark. In each of our lessons, our teachers have thought carefully about the way that children can be supported so that every learner can achieve the objective for that lesson, as well as how the children can be challenged to explore beyond the lesson objective. We strive to ensure that our independent tasks during lessons are ‘low-threshold, high ceiling’ tasks, as well as sometimes differentiating tasks where necessary so that all learners feel supported.
Our curriculum is organised to ensure that new knowledge and skills ‘builds on’ from previous topics, allowing for regular recall of prior learning. Each year group studies a different RE topic each half term. Being a Church of England school, with a strong Christian ethos, roughly two thirds of our topics are Christian topics, however, we also cover Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Sihkism and Buddhism.
In April 2022, the school was awarded the Gold Quality Mark for embedding excellent, creative and innovative RE practice throughout the school and for recognition as outstanding in the wider community.
This is some of the feedback from the assessor:
"Pupils from Christ Church CE Primary, when asked what word best describes RE in their school chose- 'exciting', 'enjoyable', 'creative', 'different', 'good' and 'amazing'. One explained that it is 'different because other subjects are all about facts, where RE involves choices'. Another said 'good because other people are respected'. One pupil in Year 3 shared that is it 'amazing because you learn more'."
"RE at Christ Church CE Primary meets the different learning needs and preferences of its pupils and will readily change and adapt to ensure all are fully engaged. It leads the way on curriculum development, enables exceptional progress and pupils who can proudly explain how they have shaped their own learning."
In the Nursery, the children explore a range of Bible stories and parables in order to explore the Christian faith. The children will also explore any special festivals that may be taking place for their peers e.g. Diwali. The children will discuss their own celebrations and those of others seeking out similarities and differences.
- Autumn The children start the year by exploring the Christian creation story before moving onto exploring why Christmas is special to Christians. They finish the term off with a Nativity play. The children will also explore any special festivals that may be taking place for their peers.
- Spring After Christmas, the children reflect together on why Jesus is special to Christians before thinking about Easter and why it is special to Christians. The children will also explore any special festivals that may be taking place for their peers.
- Summer The last term in Reception is focused on our special world and how we can take care of it. We also think about how Christians believe Jesus rescued people and learn some stories from the Bible which particularly show this.
- Autumn The children start the year by exploring the symbols and beliefs that are fundamental to Hinduism, as well as discussing our school name before finishing the first term with their Nativity play and discussing which characters are the most important in the Christmas story.
- Spring After Christmas, the children reflect together on the importance of the Lord’s prayer before learning about the story of Noah and exploring together why Easter is one of the most important festivals for Christians.
- Summer The last term in Year 1 is spent thinking about why it is important to listen to and remember the stories Jesus told, as well as gaining an introduction to Judaism through exploring different Jewish festivals.
- Autumn The children start their RE learning in Year 2 by exploring what it means to be a Hindu, with an introduction to Hinduism. They then move on to exploring God’s rules for living by discussing the 10 Commandments, as well as considering the answer to the big question “Where is the light of Christmas?” through a Christian lense.
- Spring Year 2 is kicked off with the exploration of why Christians make and keep promises before God, before moving on to thinking about why saints are important in Christianity and how the symbols of Easter help us understand and retell the Christian story.
- Summer Finally, the children consider together the responsibility God has given us in taking care of nature before finishing with a topic considering what it is like to live as a Jew, building on the children’s learning about Jewish festivals in Year 1.
- Autumn In Year 3, the children start by considering whether belief in God affected the actions of different people in the Old Testament, before moving on to debate the question of whether fame and Christianity are compatible. They then finish this term thinking about how Advent and Epiphany show us what Christmas is really about.
- Spring Starts by thinking about what the miracles of Jesus teach us, as well as briefly looking at Christian monastic communities and thinking about who the most important person in the Easter story really is.
- Summer The children start the Summer term by delving into discovering what Sikhs believe and gaining an introduction to the Sikh faith before finishing the year thinking about the question ‘How has the Christian message survived the last 2000 years?’
- Autumn In Year 4, the children start by exploring the ‘I Am’ statements of Jesus before exploring Jesus’ two greatest commandments and considering whether peace is the most important message at Christmas.
- Spring In the Spring term, the children then recap and develop their learning from Key Stage 1 on Judaism by thinking about what it means to be a Jew, as well as exploring what the Beatitudes mean to Christians and how Holy Communion builds a Christian community.
- Summer The summer term of RE in Year 4 considers what the Bible’s big story reveals about having faith in God, as well as building on their Year 3 topic of Sikhism with the topic ‘What does it mean to be a Sikh?’
- Autumn The children start off their learning in Upper Key Stage 2 with an introduction to Buddhism, before learning about Bishops in the Anglican Church, and building up to Christmas by discovering how Art and Music symbolise this Christian festival.
- Spring In the Spring term, the children have an introduction into learning about the religion of Islam, as well as considering what we can learn from wisdom, and discovering what happens in churches during Lent and Easter.
- Summer In the Summer term, the children have the chance to discover how worship and Liturgy enable Christians to express their faith, before finishing with a topic exploring different faiths represented in New Malden.
- Autumn In their final year at Christ Church, the children start by recapping and developing their learning from Year 5, thinking about what it means to be a Buddhist. They then spend time considering remembrance, as well as thinking about how a Christian would ‘advertise’ Christmas.
- Spring In the Spring term, the children will build on their Year 4 Islam topic by exploring the question ‘How and why do Muslims uphold their faith by giving commitment to Allah?’ The children then move on to two Christian topics in the Spring term, thinking about whether every Christian should go on a pilgrimage and exploring how the Christian festival of Easter offers hope to believers.
- Summer In the summer term, the children explore how they can help change the lives of others through their topic of “Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy” before rounding off their time at our school with a transition unit titled ‘Who decides?’.