Here at Dormers Wells Junior and Infant School, Religious Education (RE) is an integral part of our curriculum, which reflects the rich diversity in beliefs and cultures within our community.
Through the curriculum, children explore and celebrate their beliefs, deepen their understanding about religious practices while developing tolerance, respect and a sense of belonging. We facilitate children’s spiritual and moral development through learning about different faiths in the world. Dormers aspires to develop pupils’ reflective and critical thinking skills as well as deepen their understanding of religions and worldviews. Children will learn to deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, therefore becoming globally aware citizens and humanitarians.
In the EYFS, RE is taught through stories and the sharing of personal experiences of faiths. Children get the opportunity to listen and respond to key religious stories, including concepts of creation and festivals. Festivals are celebrated incorporating events that relate to our wider community here at Dormers and personal thoughts are openly discussed. Religious learning is made cross-curricular, where children can express their thoughts through the performing arts and class discussions. Our children are encouraged to share their personal experiences and learn from each other as well as deepen their understanding of being part of wider community.
RE progresses as the children move up to KS1, where they bring their prior learning and delve deeper into religious concepts of identity and belonging. They learn the similarities and differences between people as well as develop understanding that behaviour can correlate with belief. A wide range of religious concepts are introduced in KS1 within the main world faiths. Oracy is a fundamental part of lessons providing children with opportunities to raise and answer questions that arise through their curiosity. At this stage, R.E is the ideal vessel for children discussing, comparing and sharing their personal experiences. They explore the origins of each faith. Through an investigative approach, the children are encouraged to be curious learners, develop questions and seek answers in order to enhance a basic knowledge and understanding of the world faiths.
KS2 RE in our school is based around a ‘Big Question’ and challenging concepts which fosters pupils’ critical thinking skills. These ‘Big Questions’ allow our pupils to reflect and challenge their thinking around significant religious concepts. Learners will explore modern faith in different ways, including through class discussions, trips, sources, and artefacts, providing them with RE specific terminology and first-hand experiences. The progressive curriculum supports prior learning and allows children to deepen their understanding and knowledge of the world faiths and humanitarianism. Through the study of different faiths, children can make connections with their prior learning and compare religious viewpoints, as well as express their own set of religious and/or non-religious beliefs. Through the curriculum the children develop a sense of belonging and an understanding of the world we live in. Our curriculum not only focusses solely on religious study, but connections are also made with our DORMERS values and ethics in our school. The children are able to hold mature religious and non-religious conversations that express their personal values, showing progression in becoming good global citizens.
Dormers Wells Primary School is a Right Respecting School we follow the UN Conventions Rights for children where we teach children about rights, through rights and for rights. We believe children who have understanding of their rights also understand how others and how they should be treated. Also, we aim to create a safe environment and atmosphere for our children. Rights Respecting gives children a voice to express themselves and challenge any injustices. They feel empowered to access information and make informed decisions about their learning, health and wellbeing. As a school, we want to equip our children to advocate for rights where they can promote equality, fairness and safety.
Article 2 – The Convention applies to every child without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or other status, whatever they think or say, whatever their family background.
Article 14 – Every child has the right to think and believe what they choose and also to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights