RE Curriculum Rationale
The RE Curriculum at The Academy of Woodlands takes an approach whereby the younger children in school gain a broader overview of key aspects of a variety of religions. This gives the children an introduction to the various religions that they will encounter in their communities, enabling them to begin to understand the belief systems, places of worship, symbols etc. they will be presented with in a contemporary society.
As the children progress through the KS1 and KS2 curriculum, their knowledge and understanding of the features of various religions will deepen, allowing them to compare and contrast different belief systems, places of worship, festivals, etc. This will enable the children to relate more to a variety of faith systems and therefore be more aware and understanding of them and their followers.
The RE curriculum is split into 2 sections, the first three years of the school after reception class, where the children are introduced to the key aspects of a variety of religions before deepening their understanding through more details study in the second 3 years of school.
The curriculum has been planned with an emphasis upon a range of religions, while still focusing upon Christianity as a basis for comparing and contrasting though the termly topics. This is achieved through each term having a key learning focus that will apply many faith systems, for example places of worship or important religious figures.
Throughout the RE curriculum, children will learn about different aspects of religious festivals set around Christmas and Easter, again taking a multi-faith approach whilst still being grounded in a basis of Christianity.
The religions that will be covered in the RE curriculum are as follows:
At the Foundation Stage we begin Autumn Term 1 by asking the questions of “What does it mean to belong?” and “What is important to me?”. Followed, in Autumn Term 2, by “Why do Christians celebrate Christmas?”.
Moving into the Spring Terms, we ask the questions “Why are some days special?” or “Why do people celebrate special days?”. This is in relation to: Christmas, New Year, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Mothering Sunday & The Easter Story, including Palm Sunday.
Then in Summer Terms, we explore Multi-Faith Ideas. So in the first Summer term we look at the question of “What can we learn from a story?” with reference to Noah's Ark & The Good Samaritan (Christianity), Passover Story (Judaism), Rama & Sita (Hinduism) & the Prophet Muhammad (Islam). In the Second Summer Term we look at the ideas of Family, Weddings, Love & Relationships.
In Year 1 we start the First Autumn Term with a multi-faith look at “What does it mean to belong?”. We then move on to the Second Autumn Term with a focus on Christianity. We explore the question of “Why do Christians give gifts at Christmas?” with a focus on giving and receiving gifts over the Christmas Period.
Moving into the New Year we keep our focus on Christianity and explore the question of “What does it mean to belong, in Christianity?” in the first Spring Term; which allows us to look into and educate about Baptism. Following on from this in the second Spring Term, we take a look into Easter and the happy and sad emotions surrounding it, whilst also exploring the question of “What can we learn from visiting a Church?”.
In the later part of the school year, in the Summer Terms, we explore Judaism. The first Summer Term looks at the question of “How do some people remind themselves of God when they are at home?”, and then in the second Summer Term we explore the question of “How do Jewish People express their beliefs in practice?”.
The Autumn Terms in Year 2 begin how Year 1 ended, with a look into Judaism. In the first Autumn Term we explore the question “What do people believe about God?”. Then in the second Autumn Term we focus on Christianity by looking at Christmas around the world, as well as about birth and new life.
Following on from Christmas, we look at Christianity in the Spring Terms too. With the first Spring Term focussing on “Why did Jesus tell stories?”, then leading onto the second Spring Term where we further what was studied in Year 1 by looking again at “What can we learn from visiting a Church?”. This gives us an Easter focus of being able to explore Trust.
Moving into the Summer Terms we take a focus on Hinduism. In both of the two Summer Terms we explore the question of “Why do Hindus believe that everything belongs to God?”.
In the first Autumn Term, of Year 3 we take a look at Judaism and the question of “What is the Torah and Why is it important to Jewish people?”. Then in the second Autumn Term, we look at Christianity. This is with a focus on the customs observed at home, whilst also looking at symbols and special objects in Religion with a focus on the question of “What do signs and symbols mean in Religion?”.
We move back onto the subject of Judaism in the first of the Spring Terms to look at the topic of Rites of Passage and Festivals. Then in the Easter term, the second Spring Term we take another look at Christianity and the Christian Moral Code, with a focus on facing our fears.
Moving into the first Summer Term we keep our eyes on Christianity and the question of “Why do some people think Jesus is inspirational?”. Then in the second Summer Term we look again at the topic of Judaism and visiting a place of worship.
The Autumn Terms of Year 4 we take a Multi-Faith approach into the questions of “Why is light important within Religion?” and “How and why do people celebrate Religious Festivals?”.
Then in the first Spring Term we take a look into Buddhism and the question of “What is Buddhism?”. Moving into the second Spring Term and taking us up to Easter we take a look at Christianity and the life and teachings of Jesus. With our Easter focus being facing suffering and pain, thinking about feelings.
In the first Summer Term, we look at Sikhism and the question of “What makes a Gurdwara special to Sikhs?” and then look at visiting a place of worship. Then to close the year in the second Summer Term we look at Christianity and the subject of Rites of Passage such as Baptism, Confirmation and Marriage.
At the beginning of Year 5 in the first of the Autumn Terms, we take a Multi-Faith look at the question of “Why are sacred texts important?”. Then into the second Autumn Term, on the approach to Christmas we look at Christianity and the question of “How do the beliefs of Christians influence their actions?” with a Christmas focus on journeys and Travelling.
Moving into the new year and the first of the Spring Terms, we look at Islam and the question of “Why is Muhammad important to Muslims?”. Then in the second Spring Term, we study Christianity and the Life of Jesus, looking at the different responses to Jesus such as his followers and his opposition; with our Easter Focus being loyalty and disloyalty.
Then in the Summer Terms, we focus on Islam. In the first Summer Term, we look at the question of “What is the Quran and why is it important to Muslims?” and then in the second Summer Term, we look at Worship and community, the question of “What is the role of a Mosque?”; and visiting a place of worship.
To start Year 6 in the first of the Autumn Terms, we look at worship and community from a Multi-Faith perspective. Then in the second of the Autumn Terms we look at the question of “What can we learn from Christian Religious buildings?” and visiting a place of worship. With the Christmas focus being simplicity, poverty, homelessness and rejection.
In the Spring Terms, we take a look at Islam for the first and Christianity for the second. In the first Spring Term, we explore the question of “How do Muslims express their beliefs through practices?”. And then in the second Spring Term, we look at the question of “Where did the Christian Bible come from?” with our Easter focus being about new beginnings.
Moving into the Summer Terms, we look first at Christianity and Judaism and Rites of Passage when it comes to death and funeral rites; as well as a look into beliefs about life after death. Then in the second Summer Term, we look at Christianity, Hinduism and Islam and the question of “How can beliefs and values server as a guide for moral decision-making?”.