The primary purpose of Religious Education is to come to know and understand God’s revelation, which is fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ and to give insight to the importance of faith in the wider world and its impact on moral thinking and collaboration with others.
At Our Lady & St Joseph’s School, our aim is to develop children's understanding of RE and scripture in a creative, broad, engaging and inspiring way. We aim to equip children with the knowledge and skills to construct arguments, answer challenging questions and explore different religious beliefs, values and traditions whilst making links to different sources of revelation.
As a Catholic school, Jesus Christ is at the heart of everything we teach and learn as we are all created in God’s image. Our ethos is shown through signs of Christ’s teaching in the school, the way we take care of each other as a family and through our service to society. We continue to have close links with our Parish Priest, Father Derek, and continue to strengthen our links with our local community.
RE is the foundation of the entire education process and permeates all areas of the curriculum and school life. The school’s direction stems from its motto ‘Shine with love, kindness and respect’.
At OLSJ, we follow the requirements of the Religious Education Curriculum Directory set out by the Bishops of England and Wales. 10% of teaching time is dedicated to the teaching of R.E. Lessons are faith-filled and stimulating where each child feels they belong. Children and staff participate in class or whole school worship each day and also attend school Masses. We strive to ensure that the Christian values are not only shown in R.E lessons, but in all other aspects of life.
At OLSJ, we follow the ‘Come and See’ Religious Education scheme from Reception through to Year 6. Our pupils are inspired by exceptional teaching and consistently high expectations across the school through this scheme of work. The process for delivering the topics in 'Come and See' has three stages - Explore, Reveal and Respond which enable the pupils with the development of knowledge, understanding, skills and the fostering of attitudes.
Each focus area is built around a ‘Big Question’ which children work towards learning about and answer at the end of the topic. Once they have completed their learning, the children complete a ‘Check It’ answering the Big Question. This allows for religious literacy to be developed to a high level as well as assessment opportunities.
The ‘Come and See’ programme provides:
- opportunities for celebration, prayer and reflection.
- children with the language of religious experience - a 'literacy' in religious activities, places, stories, symbols and rituals, people and objects.
- opportunities to explore the beliefs, values and way of life of the Catholic tradition.
- opportunities to make links between own experiences and with universal experiences.
- adults with the skills, knowledge and vocabulary involved to understand the underlying theological as well as educational principles.
- appropriate materials about other faiths.
- academic respectability as in other curricular areas – utilising appropriate stages from the National Curriculum.
At OLSJ, we also use the Word on Wednesday to further enhance the children’s learning opportunities. In EYFS and KS1 the children read the simplified scripture and complete activities based around the focus word that week. In KS2, children reflect on the scripture, relate it to themselves and then to the Church/words of Pope Francis. Each week focuses on the scripture for the coming Sunday and the word that week. RE lessons also focus on inspirational people/saints days during the Liturgical Year. Both of these expand the children’s religious knowledge and allow them to develop their religious literacy further.
We follow the Age-Related Standards from Reception to Year 6. All children have the attainment targets for their age group stuck at the front of their RE books which teachers use as an assessment tool to tick off when children achieve the attainment target. Children progress as they go to different year groups and achieve the age related standards. These are linked to the driver words which teachers use in OLIs and Success Criteria. These are age specific, e.g. ‘recognise/retell’ for Early Years/KS1 and progressing to more challenging skills such as ‘make reasoned judgments’ in UKS2. Please refer to the Age-Related Standards document for an outline of the key vocabulary for each year group.
The RE curriculum includes guest speakers who are specialists in their area and guest speakers from Catholic charities also visit. For example, CAFOD, The Catholic Children’s Society, Parish Priest etc. We also have an enthusiastic CAFOD club team who promote social justice and develop the spiritual life of our school.
The children progress in the implementation of our Collective Worship. They plan, lead and develop reflective skills, which establish them as well-rounded individuals once leaving OLSJ. The children use the ‘Gather, Mission, Response’ format to plan the Collective Worships which they present to their classmates in groups.
Pupils at OLSJ participate in Mass, feast days, Holy days collective worship which will in- volve religious actions and worship including the celebration of the sacraments.
At OLSJ, we strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in R.E is in line with or exceeding their potential, taking into consideration the varied starting points of children. We measure this carefully using a range of materials, but always considering age related expectations. At the end of each Come and See focus area, each child completes their ‘Check It’, answering the Big Question that was introduced at the beginning of their learning. As a school, we monitor the progress of our children in R.E through formative and summative assessments. The teachers use meaningful and relevant marking, giving appropriate, individual feedback to the children and providing them with areas for development. Assessment tasks serve as part of the evidence used to support the ‘best fit’ level of attainment achieved by each child. Children with SEND are given appropriate support with their learning in RE. For example, lessons are differentiated and Teaching Assistants support during lessons.
All pupils at OLSJ produce good quality work across religion, which they are proud of. Within their age expectations, children are able to define, describe and discuss areas of RE. They will confidently use skills such as retelling, describing, comparing, giving reasons, explaining the meaning of biblical stories and considering the impact of beliefs. The majority of children are working at age related expectations by the end of EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Our children, staff and community place Jesus at the centre of all that we do and say. We believe our children have a clear understanding of our core values and our mission as pupils in our school and as they move on in each stage of their life. Our aim is to prepare them for life in the wider community, demonstrating respect, tolerance and equality. We measure this not just by the work our children produce, but in the attitude and behaviours we see each and every day in all learners through daily interactions with staff, other adults and their peers.
Through our regular RE teaching, we aim to ensure all pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education as confident and enthusiastic learners who are witness to Christ in their words and actions. Pupils at OLSJ are happy, well-rounded individuals who can articulate how their Catholic education has impacted on their beliefs and values. Children at OLSJ show compassion, justice, love and forgiveness in their relationships with others as their faith plays a central role in the lives of all children and the decisions they make.