RE at HMS
At Hanborough Manor Primary School, we believe that the teaching of RE should nurture pupils’ curiosity and inspire a fascination about religions and people of faith that will enable them to develop empathy and a true spiritual understanding of what it is like to be part of, and share in, a faith and its practices. At the heart of our RE curriculum is experiential learning. Every year, the children will visit a place of worship and have a visitor of faith come in and share their experiences with the children. They explore religious traditions and artefacts to further develop their understanding and curiosity. RE is taught in a cross curricular way giving the children opportunities to explore each religion through relevant subjects such as drama, art and music.
As recommended by The Oxfordshire Agreed Syllabus for RE, Key Stages 1 and 2 study Christianity plus one other religion in each year group, which means both religions have multiple enquiries (or 6-week units) per year. This ensures that the children revisit prior learning for both religions throughout the year to build on their previous enquiries. Christmas and Easter enquiries are built on year-on-year throughout the child’s primary school journey.
The children start from their own experience to ensure understanding of the concept being studied and then move into investigating that question in depth from the point of view of the chosen religion. Over a series of carefully planned lessons involving investigation and discussion throughout, subject knowledge is embedded. These lessons not only support the children with embedding their RE knowledge, but also contribute to their oracy and critical thinking skills. Exposure to and analysis of religious texts also enhance the children’s reading, comprehension and inference skills. In every lesson pupils have the opportunity to describe, discuss and debate the Big and Key Questions. This enables them to use and understand the key vocabulary for each religion.
Knowledge is structured using the Big Question and a key question for each lesson. At the end of each unit pupils use what they have learned and draw upon prior learning to answer the Big question.
When studying Christianity, the children visit the local churches and speak to local clergy and members of the community to support the exploration of the Big Question. In collective worship members of the local clergy lead and share Christian beliefs, stories and prayer to further develop the children’s understanding of what it means to believe and practice a faith.