RE at Altmore
At Altmore we believe that children need a platform to air their voice in regard to their beliefs, religious opinions, world views and differing cultures, traditions and practices. By providing opportunities to not only support, shape and encourage their independent thinking and confidence in their history and culture but to also engage in the need for them to acquire core knowledge and understanding the differences of others religious beliefs and practices. This then benefits our children to appreciate and contribute to a cohesive and compassionate society.
Our aim is to allow children the opportunity to think outside the box and to be able to use their own line of systematic enquiry into human questions which religion and world views address, so that they can develop a set of holistic comprehensive skills needed to really appreciate and evaluate varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own. Together with these abilities we believe children will build their confidence in their own abilities to ask questions and empower them to develop their own unique views and ideas over time.
We celebrate all festivals that reflect our children’s diverse religious beliefs and cultures. In addition, we ensure our children are exposed to other festivals celebrated nationally and around the world so that our children have a raised awareness of different faiths and beliefs practised around the world. This is part of implementing our British Values which is at the heart of our practises.
All festivals are acknowledged and celebrated in school assemblies and classroom activities such as making and creating festive cards, lanterns, stained-glass, diva lights, Easter baskets and other religious and cultural creative activities across curricular.
Festive lunches are provided for the children to experience diverse foods that reflect some of the traditional dishes that are found in our children’s homes. This provides opportunities for our children to be experiencing a variety of tastes and wonders found around the world.
During Harvest our children are involved in donating and collecting tins of food and non-perishable food items for our local food banks and charity associations. This allows our children the opportunity to contribute to the wider community and gives them a sense of achievement and accomplishment to improving the lives of others in our society.
Our belief is that teaching RE plays a crucial part in enabling our children to develop into well-balanced, inquisitive and tolerant adults in the diverse and modern society we live in.
Newham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education is the foundation of the RE curriculum that teachers plan their lessons around. It is a creative, enquiry based curriculum sequenced to ensure progression is key from the starting point in EYFS through to KS1. We ensure children at Altmore develop an excellent comprehension of different religions including Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Buddhism and other religions that are represented in our school community.
Our RE Syllabus provides equality for all as it is varied and inclusive for all children to access and benefit from. Our belief is that our expectations are set high for all children and this aims to diminish any significant differences.
Teachers at Altmore plan sequences of lessons in RE based on the inclusive curriculum objectives specific to each year group. Teachers plan and adapt their resources, teaching styles and methods to provide relevant and meaningful opportunities to equip children with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to thrive as citizens within our community and beyond nationally.
Teachers in Nursery plan and prepare opportunities to for children to be able to explore who they are and what is important to them such as their family, friends, and those around them and the environment and settings they visit. Through art, music and creative learning they discover new festivals and cultures and how these are celebrated differently. They have opportunities to make simple comparisons with their own faiths and cultures during story times, circle time and during snack times. They explore ideas of life before birth and life after death by listening to stories of the caterpillar’s life journeys and have the opportunities to discuss their thought and ideas on these topics and are supported to develop their thinking skills both abstract and imaginative. Through carefully planned provisions children are supported to develop emotionally, spiritually and morally to develop a sense of place and make sense of the world and people around them. Through role-play, they find out about themselves, their families and their role in the community and learn about similarities and differences between themselves and others, among families, communities and traditions.
Teachers in Reception plan effectively through long term, medium term and short term planning so that RE can contribute to children’s development of Characteristics of Effective Learning. Drawing on children’s prior learning and comprehension of the world around them teachers provide amble opportunities to make links between cultures, festivals, traditions and their own spiritual comprehension of their own faiths and beliefs.
Through providing opportunities to explore artefacts, objects, events that are linked to their RE learning children are able to talk about their own special objects and artefacts that they have at home or religious settings or family events and make sense of these. During role-play children are given opportunities to play out life experiences, experiences that they are intrigued about that is related to the world around them both abstract and imaginary.
Teachers plan long term, medium term and short term using the Agreed syllabus. Children are exposed to a variety of religions which reflect our school community and our wider society, each one starting off with a ‘Big question!’ The children are then provided opportunities to explore various concepts and ideas which are new to them, yet there are opportunities for them to learn to be inquisitive and debate ideas and concepts which is a key skill in setting them up for their modern adult life in Britain today. Teachers provide key vocabulary and differentiated resources to suit the needs of all children. Children are supported to find their own identity and their sense of belonging. Then they are encouraged to make careful comparison to that of their friends and other groups using the key skills. Teachers use religious texts to support children’s learning and comprehension about the creation of the world, opportunities are provided for children to make significant similarities and differences to their own faith
In RE assessment is continuous. From the beginning of every lesson, teachers and teaching assistants will be assessing what their pupils are, or are not understanding and use this to scaffold each aspect of the lesson.
Virtual places of worship: KS1
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2. Religion unplugged