The Religious Education Curriculum at St Thomas'
Knowledge rich and academic
At St Thomas’ we believe that excellent RE teaching can be the key to enabling every child to flourish. RE contributes to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the children. These aspects of development can be found in many of the school curriculum areas and are implicit in the ethos of the school.
Our progressive curriculum builds upon prior knowledge, Christian concepts and skills taught throughout the year groups. Our ‘questful’, rigorous well-sequenced RE curriculum provides many purposeful opportunities for speaking, reading and writing, and ensures that all children can enjoy and access the learning, while also seeking to challenge children to achieve their full potential. Knowledge about the wider world is learned within the context of significant figures from religion.
Reading and vocabulary
Because we believe that reading is the key to all learning , every RE lesson contains an element of reading. The reading can be incorporated into any aspect of the lesson.
Bible stories and references are read that directly link to the unit being taught. Children are given opportunities to consider the content and importance of the text. They will be asked questions about the content and be able to offer their ideas and opinions.
Children are introduced to key vocabulary during each lesson. This is introduced alongside key questions within each unit. These are key words that the children encounter, learn and use in context within the lessons. Children are challenged to learn the meaning of these words and to apply them correctly through discussion and as part of recorded work.
As a Church of England school, our Christian vision and values are central to all we do. Our mission statement, Jesus said, “Come live your life the way God wants you to”, motivates us to look to Jesus as our guiding light. He inspires us to live out our Christian values and to strive for Excellence in all that we do; celebrating life in all its fullness. Our Religious Education curriculum enables us to promote Christian values within our school. We learn about compassion, thankfulness, friendship, peace, responsibility and forgiveness through the example of Jesus and teachings in the Bible.
Within our RE curriculum, texts are purposefully chosen in order to expose the children to a wide range of religious texts and beliefs. This allows children to develop an understanding and appreciation of people who have different beliefs to themselves and offers a platform for valuable discussion within lessons alongside the acquisition of knowledge.
Experiences and life skills
Teachers use key texts or experiences to lead children to discover the impact of religious beliefs on people’s lives and in what ways particular Christian teachings are lived out. How are the beliefs that arise from the text making a difference in people’s lives? How are the beliefs that arise from the text making a difference in the world?
How do the text and its impact connect to the pupil’s own experiences? Activities are planned that make a link and give pupils an opportunity to respond, ask questions, share ideas and see the relevance in their own lives.
Teachers ask ‘Big Questions’ which challenge pupils to think more deeply, increasing their knowledge and understanding.
By offering our pupils positive encounters with the Christian faith we maintain that we are equipping them to be the person God wants them to be. We value our pupils as individuals and educate them according to their rights in law. We provide opportunities for them to fulfil their potential and in accordance with the Church of England vision for Education to experience ‘life in all its fullness’. We believe that excellent RE teaching can be the key to enabling every child to flourish. RE contributes to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupils. These aspects of development can be found in many of the school curriculum areas and are implicit in the ethos of the school.