The RE Curriculum

The religious programme, ‘Come and See’ is the core RE scheme at St Bernadette’s.  Links are made with the children’s own experiences and the curriculum is adapted to make it real and meaningful to our children. We teach Religious Education through the process of Explore, Reveal, Respond. This follows the pattern of: the human search for meaning, God’s initiative in Revelation and the response in faith.

It is important to us that our children see themselves as part of a wider community. To ensure we have real and lasting experiences we have a planned programme of visits to places of worship so that children can learn about the many similarities between major world religions.  Therefore two other religions are taught from EYFS to Year 6 following the programme of study in ‘Come and See’. These are Judaism, which is taught in the Autumn and Hinduism  / Islam which is taught either in the Spring or Summer.

Staff Reflections

One very important aspect of each topic is the whole staff reflection when the staff come together to reflect on the new topic at their own level before they start work with the children

At the end of each reflection a short period of time is spent looking at the resources for the new topic and any possible cross-curricular links.

 

Other Faiths 

In his life on earth Jesus showed a respect for those within and outside his own faith community.

Children today live in a fast changing global world, where communication and travel opens children to diversity and challenge. It is important that we prepare them for this.

The Church calls us to be committed to respecting people from other religions and to recognise that God is at work in them. The Church teaches that, whilst living out our Christian faith, we are called to dialogue and be ready to learn from those of other faiths, many of whom may, be our neighbours.

Pupils are encourages not simply to learn facts about other religions but to also reflect upon them and gain insights from them.

We spend one week each academic year focusing on Judaism and one week looking at one of the other three major religions (three year cycle) Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism.

 

Protected Characteristics 

On 19 April 2021, Ofsted updated their guidance on Inspecting teaching of the protected characteristics in schools. The document laid out what inspectors will look for when gathering evidence on how schools promote equality and pupils’ understanding of the protected characteristics.

The guidance said this:

Schools are not required to teach about all the protected characteristics in every year group; that is a matter for the school to decide, and how it plans its curriculum. However, the curriculum should be planned and delivered so that children develop age-appropriate knowledge and understanding during their time at the school. In secondary schools, this includes age-appropriate knowledge of the protected characteristics of sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

There are a range of ways schools can choose to teach about these issues in an age-appropriate way. Primary schools could, for example, teach pupils about the different types of family groups that exist within society.  As stated in the DfE’s statutory guidance, teaching on these matters should be integrated appropriately into the curriculum, rather than addressed separately or in one-off lessons.

In the accompanying guidance, Equality and diversity impact assessment: inspecting protected characteristics, Ofsted addressed concerns that some schools may feel conflicted in their teaching due to the religious beliefs at the core of the schools’ ethos. It said:

[We note] that: “All schools, including faith schools, will be able to teach the new subjects in accordance with their school values and ethos while also having due regard to the guidance and being consistent with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.” (DFE Statutory guidance). Our guidance does not go beyond the statutory guidance or stipulate how schools must go about teaching this content. …Inspectors will expect to see that pupils ‘develop age-appropriate knowledge and understanding during their time at the school’.

LIFE TO THE FULL & THE PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS: Currently 

In Life to the Full (our RSE Curriculum programme) , we take a holistic approach to the teaching of all RSHE subject matters including teaching on the Protected Characteristics. This means that there is a continuous, age-appropriate approach to the teaching of the subject from 4 to 18.
  • In KS1, we look at family structures (particularly KS1, Module 2,  Unit 2: Special People) and provide guidance for schools on talking about different family structures.
  • In Lower KS2, we explore similarities and differences (LKS2 Module 1, Unit 2: We Don’t Have To Be The Same) and deepen children’s exploration of family and others in LKS2 Mod2 Unit 2: Family, Friend and Others.
  • In Upper KS2, we explore difference once again through the Paradise Street series, including discussion around ‘two mums and two dads’ etc.