At Willow Bank Junior School, we intend for our children to gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and world views and to use the knowledge to engage in informed, balanced and respectful discussions about beliefs. The aim of Religious Education is to help children to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in Great Britain and around the world and to appreciate the way that religious beliefs shape lives and behaviours and develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues.
The exposure to a wide range of religions and the progression of learning means that children develop an understanding and awareness of beliefs, values and traditions of other individuals, societies, communities and cultures outside of their own. At Willow Bank Junior School, Religious Education plays an important role, along with all other curriculum areas, in promoting the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of our children.
We follow the Pan-Berkshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2018 – 2023 as the basis of our curriculum. We implement this through the use of the Discovery RE program which uses an enquiry model based around a key question. The key question for the enquiry is such that it demands an answer that weighs up ‘evidence’ (subject knowledge) and reaches a conclusion based on this. This necessitates children using their subject knowledge and applying it to the enquiry question, rather than this knowledge being an end in itself. Discovery RE focuses on critical thinking skills, on personal reflection into the child’s own thoughts and feelings, on growing subject knowledge and nurturing spiritual development.
Pupils at Willow Bank Junior School enjoy learning about and why people choose or choose not to follow a religion. Through their RE learning, the children are able to make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world. They are developing an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life and worship; they demonstrate a positive attitude and respectful behaviours both inside and outside of school in the wider community and beyond.
The impact of RE is measured by the outcomes in children’s books as well as throughout discussions in the lessons. We measure the impact of our RE curriculum through monitoring work, listening to the children’s attitudes about RE through pupil voice, by taking learning walks/ book looks and termly data analysis.