TEACH NURTURE CELEBRATE
Our Curriculum aims and design have been developed in line with the needs of St James CE Primary School community, promoting the Christian Values we hold dear. Our curriculum is ambitious and well-planned to ensure all pupils gain ample knowledge and skills to succeed in their next stage of education and life after primary school.
The aims are also based heavily on our school vision of Teach, Nurture and Celebrate in order that children should experience ‘Life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10). All stakeholders were involved in creating the vision and aims, including: pupils, parents, PTFA, and staff members at all levels.
SMSC is embedded throughout our curriculum design. The aspect of Spirituality is a particular focus for us.
The St James Curriculum was chosen and adapted to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to meet Key Stage requirements and allow for smooth transition to the next phase of education. We re-designed our curriculum to enable children to experience a more enquiry-based approach. This allows children to develop key skills and seek vital knowledge through exploring big questions and concepts.
At St. James our curriculum is:
- Rich in powerful knowledge, skills and vocabulary, which are specified, taught, assessed and remembered by pupils
- Well-planned and sequenced so that key concepts are built on year by year in a clear and logical progression.
- Rooted in the strongest available evidence about how pupils learn and retain knowledge in the long term.
- A well designed, cumulative curriculum structure, starting with EYFS provision, ensuring prior knowledge is always a pre-cursor to study.
- Reflective of core British values which are embedded within the curriculum ensuring children are taught tolerance, respect and individual liberties through the conscious curriculum choices made.
At St. James CE Primary School, we teach the Herefordshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education to all pupils from Early Years to Year 6, as part of the normal school curriculum. We believe children children’s ability to reflect on what it means to have a faith and develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding is key. We help children to learn from religions as well as about religions.
Aims of Religious Education Curriculum
Religious education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions asked by people. At St James’ CE Primary School we develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of the major world faiths, and we address the fundamental questions in life, for example, the meaning of life and the existence of a divine spirit. We enable children to develop a sound knowledge of Christianity and also of other world religions, especially those that are the main faiths of children within our school. Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We help the children learn from religions as well as about religions.
The aims of religious education are to help children:
- Religious education contributes dynamically to children and young people’s education in schools by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
- In RE pupils learn about religions and beliefs in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
- Pupils learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response and to agree or disagree respectfully.
- Teaching therefore should equip pupils with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and beliefs, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.
- RE should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society, with its diverse religions and beliefs.
Pupils should gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence. They should learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.
The implemented curriculum
We have used the best research and trial and investigation to find a Religious Education curriculum that works for us. At St James we use the Herefordshire Agreed Syllabus which provides us with a well sequenced and progressive spiral curriculum map containing the key concepts children need to explore and understand.
The key concepts covered throughout the RE curriculum are –
- Making connections
- Evaluate, reflect on and enquire into key concepts and questions studied, responding thoughtfully and creatively, giving good reasons for their responses.
- Challenge the ideas studied, and allow the ideas studied to challenge their own thinking, articulating beliefs, values and commitments clearly in response.
- Discern possible connections between the ideas studied and their own ways of understanding the world, expressing their critical responses and personal reflections with increasing clarity and understanding.
- Making sense of beliefs
- Identify, describe, explain and analyse beliefs and concepts in the context of living religions, using appropriate vocabulary.
- Explain how and why these beliefs are understood in different ways, by individuals and within communities.
- Recognise how and why sources of authority (e.g. texts, teachings, traditions, leaders) are used, expressed and interpreted in different ways, developing skills of interpretation.
- Understanding the impact
- Examine and explain how and why people express their beliefs in diverse ways.
- Recognise and account for ways in which people put their beliefs into action in diverse ways, in their everyday lives, within their communities and in the wider world.
The impact of our curriculum
At St. James CE Primary School, we have a concise whole school shared definition of learning: ‘Learning is a change in long term memory.’ In order to identify the impact our curriculum is having on our pupils, teachers employ a range of assessment strategies both at the point of teaching and after.
Regular assessment of pupil needs and understanding plays a vital role here as does the provision of appropriate resources, the internet and our whiteboards offer a wealth of materials that can be matched to suit individual or group needs, enabling all pupils to develop their language skills.
At St James CE Primary children should be assessed against their progress in understanding and applying Religious Education knowledge and skills against the curriculum map. This will be self-evident from the work produced in a situation where no teacher support is given once a task has been assigned.