Elmhurst’s RE Curriculum Intent
At Elmhurst, we believe that RE is an important curriculum subject. Our enriching curriculum helps our children throughout all the key stages to develop their spiritual, moral, social, and cultural compass in our local community and the wider world, bringing a deep sense of community cohesion. Our curriculum provides a space for learning about people, cultures, and faiths. Most importantly, it helps them embrace, tolerate, understand and appreciate others’ beliefs and values.
At Elmhurst, we exceed the breadth of the National Curriculum, we adhere to the guidance of the Newham Agreed Syllabus (NAS), but we also adjust the plans to reflect the high standards we expect from our pupils. The Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) has approved the NAS curriculum, which is also flexible and allows us to go beyond the scope of their suggestions. Our adapted scheme of work allows our children to open their minds and leads to a deeper understanding and greater awareness of the world and global challenges. More importantly, it is open and objective; it does not seek to impose religious beliefs on young people nor compromise the integrity of their own religious position when looking at other different traditions. It endeavours to promote a positive attitude towards people, respecting their right to hold different beliefs from their own.
RE is taught weekly, and where possible, units are linked to key dates (e.g., Christmas units) and religious festivals (e.g., Diwali). This provides opportunities to celebrate festivals and religions with greater relevance and consistency. Work is recorded in RE books with a variety of outcomes, for example, written pieces, reflections, Venn diagrams, artwork, and photos. Our children are encouraged to describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity, which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals. Students are able to find out and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose, and truth. They can enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully. RE allows them to articulate beliefs, values (along with British Values), and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in not only their own lives but other people’s lives too. We do this by enriching our curriculum with Philosophy for Children (P4C) lessons, often with a non-religious story to focus on a theme, allowing for child-led discussions and debates, encouraging our children’s oracy skills.
All year groups visit at least 1 or 2 places of worship a year, and all year groups have visitors from different faiths who host talks and workshops with the children. The visitors are mainly from the borough so that children recognise the multi-faith, multicultural community that they are part of. As a school, we also feel it is essential to recognise and celebrate its range of religions and cultures through festival assemblies and multicultural evenings. Each year group takes a major festival to celebrate, and we open our assemblies to our parents, which helps them embrace the diverse community that we coexist in.
To enhance our curriculum, we invest time into the personal development of our teachers and coordinator; this helps our lessons stay up to date and allows teachers to incorporate current world issues into their lessons (such as the leaders unit in year 6). We work alongside Claire Clinton, our borough advisor for RE, who is also part of SACRE, and she hosts a range of training for our teachers, such as ECT training, P4C sessions (which children are also involved in), and termly RE network meetings (for coordinators). We also allow time for team teaching, and year groups work closely with the coordinator to adapt and develop lessons (units of work alongside SACRE) together. Doing this ensures that progression is met and children’s understanding and knowledge of different religions are being deepened each time (e.g., Easter, which is in Year 2 & 4). Furthermore, it allows for a balanced curriculum to ensure that our children have had exposure to all major religions and important festivals at the end of their primary schooling. We make sure that religions that aren’t as common within our community are beginning to be taught, such as Judaism and Buddhism, enabling our children to learn about the wider world and other communities outside our local borough.
Here are a few pictures from last academic year 2019-2020.
This includes taking part in religious assemblies that we perform to the school and our parents.
Every year Newham holds a ‘Place of Worship’ competition. Children have the opportunity to visit different religious buildings such as Churches, Hindu Temples, Buddhist Temples, Mosques, Gurdwaras and Synagogues. Children then share what they have learnt by creating different projects. These projects have included poetry, artwork, D&T and creating videos.
in 2019 we won an impressive 12 awards! Here are some of the winning project.
Over the past few years, we have invited our parents and governors to celebrate our RE work with us in the hall. Here are some photos of these celebration evenings from 2018 and 2019’s events: