RE at Florence Melly
Religious Education Curriculum Rationale
At Florence Melly we are theologists! We want our children to love religious education. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be priests, anthropologists, lecturers or social workers! We want them to embody our core values. We all believe that: “if you can DREAM it, you can do it”. The RE curriculum has been carefully crafted so that our children develop their SMSC capital. We want our children to remember their RE lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the opportunities they are presented with! During our whole-school Holocaust Memorial themed week, some of our Year 3 children took a trip to the Menorah Synagogue in Manchester. They learnt all about the symbol of the Star of David and the Menorah candles. The children were shown some slides explaining about some parts of Judaism and shown a special area where the special Torah scrolls are kept. They had a close look at one of the scrolls: it takes 18 months to write out by hand using ink and a quill. There are so many activities that go on in the synagogue. Just before we finished our visit, our hosts shared some of their special Sabbath bread and grape juice with us. Everybody had a great time. Bringing RE alive is important at Florence Melly Community Primary School.
The religious education curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas.
We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the religious education National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, before half-term, Year 4 and Class 3S were invited to St Aidan’s Church by Reverend Jean Flood to learn about the Stations of the Cross and the Easter story. The children participated enthusiastically with many becoming characters from the story; dressing up and acting out scenes. The children got a real sense of the meaning of Easter, in a fun and practical way. Afterwards, they all got to make and take home a special mini package; which included symbols from the story. We are committed to putting religious education on the map here at Florence Melly Community Primary.
We want our children to use the vibrancy of our great city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the religious education curriculum. For example, children from Years 4 and 5 went on an enrichment trip to Liverpool Central Mosque. The children were invited into the Mosque by Abu Usama, who was the Imam. Abu was really chatty and friendly and showed everyone around the Mosque. It was quite busy at first because Ramadan prayers had just finished. The children learnt Arabic words for the prayer area and the prayer arch. Most of the time there was spent discussing how we feel when people look different to us and we how should try and accept differences and learn about them. What a great way to celebrate our whole-school tolerance week!
We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. For example, It’s not everyday you get to meet the Archbishop of York! Archbishop Sentamu gave a talk at Alsop High School on Friday 8th March and some of our pupils were lucky enough to attend with our Headteacher. He used a simple piece of drama to highlight the importance of teamwork. “If we are to work together we need to face each other, we need to walk together so that everyone benefits and no-one is left behind.” He also said: “It is better to be in a team than to work alone.” He added, “If we work in teams Together, Everyone, Achieves, More.” He then answered a wide range of questions. He spoke to the children and told them how his most exciting days are those he spends in schools with young people. He told the students that they were amazing young people with so many talents. He asked students to shout out: “I am beautiful, I am intelligent.” He stressed that each and every person has the possibility to achieve their best and young people should never believe anything negative about themselves. We firmly believe that it is not just about what happens in the classroom, it is about the added value we offer to really inspire our children.
In October 2018, a complete audit of the religious education curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the religious education curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. At Florence Melly Community Primary School we follow SACRE, the agreed syllabus for Liverpool. Children are taught to understand and respect the importance of religious beliefs in the world around them. The syllabus aims to allow pupils to explore themes and concepts within religion drawing on beliefs from a range of different faiths and world views. We aim to ensure that the RE curriculum is challenging, dynamic and relevant to pupils of all ages. – that is why an enquiry approach was implemented, encouraging higher-order thinking and allowing our children to explore in a way that is meaningful to them.
Religious education subject specific characteristics, which we expect the children to demonstrate, have been developed and shared with all stakeholders. These characteristics underpin all work in RE and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:
- An outstanding level of religious understanding and knowledge.
- A thorough engagement with a range of ultimate questions about the meaning and significance of existence.
- The ability to ask significant and highly reflective questions about religion and demonstrate an excellent understanding of issues related to the nature, truth and value of religion.
- A strong understanding of how the beliefs, values, practices and ways of life within any religion cohere together.
- Exceptional independence; the ability to think for themselves and take the initiative in, for example, asking questions, carrying out investigations, evaluating ideas and working constructively with others.
- Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity, which are shown in their responses to their learning in RE.
- The ability to link the study of religion and belief to personal reflections on meaning and purpose.
- A wide knowledge and deep understanding across a wide range of religions and beliefs.
We empower our staff to organise their own year group curriculums under the guidance of our subject leaders. Teachers are best placed to make these judgements. Staff develop year group specific long-term curriculum maps which identify when the different subjects and topics will be taught across the academic year. The vast majority of subjects are taught discretely but staff make meaningful links across subjects. They link prior knowledge to new learning to deepen children’s learning. For example, our RE curriculum and SMSC curriculum are interlinked. Later this year the school will be celebrating a whole-school themed ‘World Religions’ week where the children will participate in a festival of activities based around the six main world religions. Our children are taught the right, connected knowledge.
Our short-term plans are produced on a weekly and daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each lesson, identifying engaging activities and resources which will be used to achieve them.
We encourage staff to teach a weekly religious education lesson. This was a notable change after the religious education audit. This helps to ensure sufficient time is allocated to religious education and that the subject matter can be revisited frequently. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make.
We use both formative and summative assessment information in every religious education lesson. Staff use this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in religious education are progressive and build year on year.
Our staff use religious education formative assessment grids to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These formative assessment grids then inform summative assessment judgements for each topic.
Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in religious education. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. The last religious education monitoring took place on the 13th May 2019. Monitoring in religious education includes: book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice.
All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.
At Florence Melly Community Primary School, we are THEOLOGISTS!
Please use the links below which set out the vibrant RE curriculum on offer to our pupils.
|RE Curriculum Map||Characteristics of a Theologist||RE Curriculum Milestones|
Religious Education (RE) must be taught by all state-funded schools in England. However, it has an unusual position on the curriculum: it is part of the basic curriculum but not the National Curriculum, and is one of two subjects (along with sex and relationship education) where parents have a legal right to withdraw their children from class.
At Florence Melly Community Primary School we follow SACRE, the agreed syllabus for Liverpool. Children are taught to understand and respect the importance of religious beliefs in the world around them. We aim to ensure that the RE curriculum is challenging, dynamic and relevant to pupils of all ages.
You can access the Liverpool Revised Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education by clicking this link: Liverpool’s S.A.C.R.E. – Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education