Religious Education & Worship
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION & WORSHIP
St John’s School believes that every child should have the right to a curriculum that champions excellence; supporting pupils in achieving to the very best of their abilities. We understand the immense value of a religiously literate child so that pupils can explore what people believe, their religion and how this influences how they live. Our pupils will gain knowledge and understanding and have skills to handle questions raised by religion and belief so they can reflect on their own belief, spirituality and way of living. All of this is done in a safe and respectful environment.
R.E. is planned in line with non – statutory guidance for Religious Education and the Walsall SACRE. The agreed syllabus aims to ensure that all children:
Know about and understand a range of religions and world views, so that they can:
- Describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities;
- Identify, investigate and respond to questions posed by, and responses offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and world views;
- Appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and world views, so that they can:
- Explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities;
- Express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value.
- Appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.
Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and world views, so that they can:
- Find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively;
- Enquire into what enables different communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all;
- Articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain reasons why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.
Religious Education at St John’s is aimed to engage all pupils in an exciting manner through a variety of learning experiences so that learning is a positive experience that not only develops new learning, but contributes to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
R.E. is taught at St John’s in accordance with the Walsall SACRE and follows a combination of the Agreed Syllabus 2016 and Understanding Christianity for Key Stage 1 and 2. Our Foundation Stage follows a combination of Understanding Christianity and Understanding the World (Development Matters) following the strand ‘People and Communities’.
Religious Education follows a two-year rolling programme where children follow discrete units. These units build on previous knowledge gained in prior Key Stages. Knowledge is reviewed and built upon. Children have opportunities to celebrate key religious festivals and these are linked to learning and allow for a cross curricular approach. These are also supported by worship themes. Whole school R.E, days are planned each year and cover a variety of themes.
Children have the opportunity to visit different places of worship including St John’s Church in Walsall Wood where all year groups will visit for a myriad purposes such as; Christingle, faith and community, weddings, Easter and harvest. Visits also take place at Lichfield Cathedral, a variety of houses of worship through The Derby Faith Trail or individual local houses of worship. These experiences are valued by staff, children and parents alike. Family Services held at school and supported by the local church, often have R.E. or world issue themes and enhance the experience of children and the local community.
At St John’s we seek to ensure that all children in our school develop spiritually, emotionally, morally and academically so that they can express themselves confidently and feel free to question. They will develop a better understanding of faith and non- faith and begin to form ideas of self- understanding and where their place is in this world. This will enable them to both seek and cope with new opportunities and give them tools to interact with an ever changing and multicultural world. Through Religious Education and supported by worship, children will embrace the diverse world in which they live, celebrating the difference.
IN THIS SECTION
Derbyshire Faith Trail
At St John’s, we believe it is invaluable for children to experience places of worship and develop their knowledge and understanding of different faiths so Year 5/6 children have the opportunity to attend the Derbyshire Faith Trail. This immersive experience allowed children to experience places of worship and develop their knowledge and understanding of different faiths.
During the visit, all children visit a Sikh temple, a mosque and a Hindu Temple. The visit supports learning in the classroom, encouraging children to consider the views of other major world religions and their impact on society and enables them to express their own ideas and insights. Not only does the visit support the children’s learning in Religious Education but it also promotes the British Values ‘Respect and Tolerance’. This exciting educational visit has nurtured children’s understanding, respect and open-mindedness.
Shree Krishna Mandir
As part of the ‘What is it like to visit sacred places?’ topic, Years 3/4 visit the Shree Krishna Mandir. This educational visit provides the children with a meaningful experience, allowing their learning to come to life. During the visit, all children engage in meaningful and informed dialogue and are provoked to ask challenging questions. Throughout the topic and the Mandir experience, all children are able to to develop their knowledge and understanding of Hinduism, learning about teachings, practices and lifestyles. The visit also promotes the British Values as it reinforces messages of tolerance and respect for others.
A memorable experience for all!
The Big Frieze
The children at St John’s CE Primary School have created their own interpretation of the Big Frieze by the artist, Emma Yarlett. The Big Frieze shows the big story of the bible and supports understanding of the core concepts of the Understanding Christianity materials of the RE curriculum.
To create The Big Frieze, all children form nursery through to Year 6 worked in pairs to create a piece of artwork reflecting their understanding. The worship team and the art ambassadors then voted to select work for the display.
RE in Early Years
In EYFS, Religious Education (RE) is centred around our children’s knowledge and understanding of the wider world and community around them.
Our children enjoy their RE learning as they explore with their peers, collaborating and thinking creatively. They develop knowledge and skills for life, learning to reflect, con
sider and express their viewpoints as well as gaining a wider and more in depth understanding of the similarities and differences between beliefs, values and practices of religion.
Children enjoy a range of activities including exploring artefacts, tasting foods and learning stories related to a variety of festivals, for example Diwali. We also enjoy responding to the diverse religious and cultural backgrounds within our school community and have visitors share celebrations such as Chinese New Year and the Islamic festival of Eid-al-Fitr with the children.
As a school we enjoy Christingle in December. The children enjoy making the Christingles to take home in their classrooms and learn about their significance in our RE sessions.
Early Year's Diwali Celebrations
At St John’s, we understand the importance of learning about different faiths. This begins in Early Years and our Nursery and Reception year groups have the opportunity to develop their understanding of People, Culture and Communities throughout the year, one of the themes being Diwali. During this unit of work, children are provided with the opportunity to identify some of the similarities and differences between faiths. They celebrate the special event by making diva lamps, making rangoli patterns and taking part in Bhangra dancing sessions. At St John’s, we celebrate a variety of faiths, inviting parents in to share their faith with us. One parent joined the Early Years team during Diwali celebrations to share photographs, personal objects and cards. This experience has brought the celebrations to life for the children in Early Years.