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RE at Wadhurst

Here at Wadhurst we believe that we are teaching the childen the skills to become fair, empathetic, inquisitive and show support and empathy to others. Our RE curriculum has been adapted in order to develop the children's understanding of world religions. Children are encouraged to ask questions and think critically in order to develop their substantive and disciplinary knowledge.

As a school we focus on a wide range of cultures and beliefs:

EYFS - Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hindusim, Buddhism and Sikhism

KS1 - Christianity, Islam and Judaism

LSK2 - Christianity, Islam and Hinduism

UKS2 - Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Humanism

We work on a two year cycle where we develop the children's knowledge through a 'spiral curriculum'. This means that children's knowledge of world religions are revisited and deepened each year as they progress through the school. We use two schemes to support our planning and teaching of RE; Understanding Christiniaty and the Emmanuel Project. Both of which you can find more information below.

Religious education (RE) should make a major contribution to the education of children and young people. At its best, it is intellectually challenging and personally enriching. It helps young people develop beliefs and values, and promotes the virtues of respect and empathy, which are important in our diverse society. It fosters civilised debate and reasoned argument, and helps pupils to understand the place of religion and belief in the modern world.” Ofsted

Understanding Christianity

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The Aim

  • To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living world faith, by exploring core theological concepts
  • To enable pupils to develop knowledge and skills in making sense of biblical texts and understanding their impact in the lives of Christians
  • To develop pupils’ abilities to connect, critically reflect upon, evaluate and apply their learning to their own growing understanding of religion and belief (particularly Christianity), of themselves, the world and human experience.

The Approach

The approach developed for Understanding Christianity is based on the use of core concepts of Christian belief, as expressed in the Bible and lived out in the lives of Christians today. The core concepts reflect a view that the Bible tells a ‘big story’ of salvation. The approach in RE is to revisit the core concepts throughout the different key stages, deepening pupils’ understanding and making the links to the overall ‘big story’ or ‘salvation narrative’.

This is not the only way to describe Christian thought and practice, and of course there is real diversity within Christianity itself, but it sets a good foundation for understanding the heart of the Christian faith.

The teaching and learning approach enables pupils to engage with a variety of Bible texts in order to explore how Christians understand the core concepts. It explores ways in which Christians might live in the light of these texts, within the Christian community and in their individual lives. It allows pupils to reflect on some of the questions and puzzles that arise from the Bible, and to consider any implications or connections with their own lives and ways of understanding the world.

These materials incorporate activities that explore Christian response(s) to the biblical text, as well as the pupils’ own responses, whether they are Christian, atheist, agnostic, or from a faith tradition other than Christianity.

The approach and resources offer a wealth of ideas and materials for a serious engagement with Christianity in RE, in a coherent and systematic way.

The Emmanuel Project

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The Emmanuel Project complements Understanding Christianity, providing units on other world faiths and Humanism. We follow the enquiry cycle which allows lessons to be planned following a clear structure where different areas of each faith can be covered. The enquiry cycle allows teachers to break down each unit into 6/7 structured lessons which follow this pattern:

Engage –  Engaging with the key concept in their own lives

Enquire – Enquire into the religion and how it relates to the key concept

Explore – Explore the faith through these three elements; Text, Community Practice and Living

Evaluate – Evaluate their learning on the key concept

Express – Express their understanding of the key concept

This approach enables children to build their 'religious literacy', something which is very important to us at Wadhurst. This religious literacy then helps them understand the nature of religion and belief in the world in which they live.

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