Worship and Religious Education
Our identity as a Church of England School lies at the heart of our ethos and we enjoy close links with our school church, St. Thomas’ in Lydiate. Our commitment to sharing our Christian identity is embedded within our Vision and Values and the curriculum as a whole.
At St. Thomas’ we have six main Christian Values, which are:
Compassion, Thankfulness, Responsibility, Peace, Friendship and Respect
Each half term the whole school focuses on one of our values, which means the children really get to explore these values in greater depth.
Collective Worship forms our thoughts for the week and explores how this can contribute to our wider understanding of the world. We enjoy worship led by the headteacher, members of staff, Reverend Paul and other members of the Christian community. Children are also encouraged to plan, lead and evaluate worship throughout the school.
We follow the Questful RE syllabus as recommended by Liverpool Diocese. We use this alongside a national resource Understanding Christianity. We consider the importance of religious texts, the impact faith has on believer's lives and the connections we can make to the children's own experiences and lives.
The Religious Education Curriculum at St Thomas'
We are a Church of England (Aided) Primary School and as expressed in our wholly Christian mission statement; Jesus said, "Come follow me and live your life the way God wants you to." We aim to be a community in which the ethos and curriculum reflect the Christian principles on which the school was founded. RE was inspected by SIAMS in October 2018 and our provision was described as "Excellent" in all areas.
- St. Thomas' has an ethos based on a clear and explicit recognition of its Christian foundation. Our school is extremely successful in creating a caring and Christian environment in which children thrive and are happy.
Religious Education gives the children an opportunity to explore Christianity in depth. We believe it is also important to learn about Christianity around the world starting locally, thinking nationally and then globally. RE also provides our pupils with time to learn about other world faiths as they develop a sense of fairness and justice for all peoples whatever their background and wherever they live. Our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education reinforces the children's sense of awe and wonder and appreciation of others.
How is RE taught at St Thomas'?
Our whole school Bible frieze is displayed in the hall and across school. This is referred to during every unit. The core concepts are expressed in the Bible and lived out by Christian people each day. These big ideas reveal God’s salvation plan, the big story. The emphasis is on the children gaining knowledge about and understanding the Christian Concepts of:
God – Creation – Fall – People of God – Incarnation – Gospel – Salvation – Kingdom of God
Structure of lesson
Children are encouraged to retrieve previously gained knowledge and ask or answer relevant questions in relation to their thinking and level of understanding.
Children are introduced to key vocabulary during each lesson. This is identified alongside key questions on unit introduction sheets. These are words that the children should encounter, learn and use in the lessons. Children will be challenged to learn the meaning of these words and to apply them correctly and in context. Teachers may provide children with actions to match each of these words, to support the children in remembering them.
Read, / Explore the Text:
In every lesson, our children will read. The reading can be incorporated into any aspect of the lesson. We believe reading is the key to all learning, so have therefore made reading a priority in every 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.
It is important that you During lessons teachers point out where the text fits in the big story, using the big frieze.
Discover the impact:
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?
Make the Connection:
How do the text and its impact connect to the children’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 will pose ‘Big Questions’ which challenge pupils to think more deeply, increasing their knowledge and understanding.
What do we expect to achieve through our RE curriculum?
By the end of Key Stage 1 children will:
•Talk about God as creator of the world who loves us.
• Know that God is three in one, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
• Be able to retell both the nativity and Easter stories.
• Use religious words to talk about the celebrations of Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.
• Know that Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross and rose again.
• Know that Jesus had 12 special friends called disciples.
• Know that the Bible is our holy book and it contains God’s big story, the salvation plan.
• Be able to retell stories of Jesus’ miracles.
• Have visited a church and confidently talk about their experience and what they have learnt.
• Have had opportunity to ask reflective questions that wonder about Christian practice, values and beliefs.
• Be able to give examples of how Christians, put their beliefs into action.
• Know the names and significance of holy books from other faiths.
• Know the places where people of other faiths worship.
• Be developing a sense of their own values and the values of others.
• Have experienced taking part in the celebration of Harvest Festival.
By the end of Key Stage 2 children will:
• Know that God is three in one, Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the Trinity.
• Know that in the beginning God created everything and it was good. People spoilt the environment and their relationship with God. This is known as the Fall.
• Know that Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Saviour who came to rescue all people and restore their relationship with God.
• Know that Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross, rose again and is alive with us today.
• Know that Christians believe that Jesus will come again and Earth and Heaven will be transformed to be as God intended (the Kingdom of God).
• Christians try to put the teaching of Jesus, the good news, into practice in their everyday lives and build God’s Kingdom on earth as best they can.
• Know that Pentecost was the start of the church.
• Know that Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in their lives today.
• Know that Christianity is a worldwide multi-cultural faith.
• Know that prayer is an important part of the life of a believer and explain why.
• Know the names and stories of at least 3 people in the past and present times who have been called by God to do his work and speak his word.
• Describe the impact responding to God’s call has on a believer’s life.
• Use developing religious vocabulary to talk about the impact religion has on believers’ lives.
• Be able to make comparisons and identify the similarities and differences between the rules for living in Christianity and two other world faiths.
• Ask important questions about religion and belief that improves their learning.
• Experience a visit to a place of worship other than a church.