Our school welcomes families of all faiths and families with no faith, and this is reflected in the learning conducted in our RE lessons. Children study religious education and world views in our school using the Hertfordshire syllabus. We have adapted the syllabus to ensure progression, to provide a pathway for children to learn about religions and worldviews through clear, sequential steps. Herts for Learning explains the syllabus on their website: https://www.hertsforlearning.co.uk/resources/hertfordshire-agreed-syllabus-religious-education-2017-2022-digital-download
“The … agreed syllabus sets out the statutory requirements for Hertfordshire Community Schools and Foundation and Voluntary Schools without a religious character. It offers clarity and revision to the aims, time allocation, breadth of study and expected learning outcomes for Religious Education.”
Religious education in The Lea supports our children to ask, understand and consider deep questions through investigating eight key areas of religions and world views:
- beliefs and practices,
- sources of wisdom,
- symbols and action,
- prayer and worship,
- identity and belonging,
- ultimate questions,
- human responsibility and values, and
- justice and fairness.
As the children progress through the school, our aim is that they become religiously and theologically literate in order to connect their understanding and knowledge of six main religions and other widely held world views. Most importantly, we work to develop a demonstration of respect and compassion towards a range of diverse beliefs and viewpoints. Pupils say, “[It is]… important to respect different beliefs,” and “I like RE lessons because the work is fun.”
Trips and visitors to school from the range of beliefs studied, are being planned to run throughout the year to support and enhance the children’s learning and provide a real world context for concepts which are discussed during our lessons. We are pleased to be supported to deliver lessons on Christianity by Jump!. Jump! are a group of local Christians and church leaders who explain areas of the Christian religion to the children from the perspective of a believer. Last term, Reverend James Christie Brown, from All Saints Church in Harpenden, met with a class over zoom to discuss to answer questions from our Year 1 class about the role of a vicar.
This year (2021), we celebrated Inter-Faith week in school between the 15th and 19th of November. The children shared in circle times to celebrate symbols and actions which are important to them because of the set of beliefs by which they live their lives. Revered James Christie Brown visited us in school and worked with our younger children in the school, modelling tolerance and respect towards peers with different beliefs while also being proud of personally held beliefs. Classes across the school enjoyed a period of time in stillness and reflection to consider pride in their beliefs and tolerance to those of other faiths and worked collaboratively to create artwork following the theme of the Jo Cox Foundation: “We have far more in common with each other than that which divides us.”
An example of questions investigated during a unit in Key Stage One
Destination questions/learning outcome/what is being taught?
- What do I believe? (UQ)
- What do many Christians believe about how the world was made? (UQ)
- Why is Jesus so important to Christians? (UQ)
- What might heaven be like? (UQ)
- Why is the Bible holy and sacred for Christians? (SW) (JF)
- What events do people celebrate? (BP)
- How do Christians show that they are thankful for what they have? (IB)
- How do different religions celebrate the fruitfulness of the earth?(BP)
- Why does Christmas matter to Christians? (BP)
- What symbols are used in the Christian church? (SA)
- How is light used in the festival of Hannukkah? (BP)
- What things are important to you and your family? (IB)
An example of questions investigated during a unit in Key Stage Two
- What does it mean to take your religion or worldview seriously? (IB)
- What does it mean to live as a Christian/ Jew/ Buddhist in Britain today? (BP)
- What might be the most difficult aspect of being a Buddhist/ Jew/ Christian/ Humanist in Britain today? (IB)
- Pupils explore and compare the lives of key leaders from Buddhist, Christian or Jewish contemporary life, describing the challenges they have faced and commitments by which they live (IB)
- What qualities do authority figures/ religious leaders need to have? (IB)
- Pupils identify the impact of the voice of religious leader and faith representatives on their followers and their own lives (IB)
- What is the meaning and significance of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’? (SoW)
- How do prayers such as the (Jewish) Shema, (Christian) ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ and Buddhist mantras enhance worship?
- The School Run: A range of resources designed to inform parents who are supporting their children with their RE learning.
- RE:Quest: A space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith.
- Bitesize: This website offers knowledge and understanding of world religions, their traditions and views.
- Humanists: This webpage is designed for parents to provide information on Humanism education.
- The Grid: Information about Herts SACRE.
- Parish of Harpenden: Website of All Saints Church in Harpenden.
- Jump! Website of Jump!