Religious Education at Waverley Academy
At Waverley Academy we use a whole school approach to Religious Education which is supported by Discovery RE’s schemes of learning. This is an inclusive programme allowing all children to participate. Christianity is identified as the main religion/belief in Doncaster and is therefore embedded within our curriculum within each year group. There are many other religious communities in Doncaster and therefore as well as Christianity, our curriculum also includes Judaism, Islam and Sikhism. At Waverley Academy we want to make RE a safe enquiry space, that provides a learning experience that children look forward to. RE at Waverley Academy encourages deep questioning, enhances critical thinking and promotes evaluation skills.
Intent – Why are we teaching this?
At Waverley Academy we have five Core Values which support children to learn, thrive and lead successful lives. These Core Values include Tenacity, Empathy, Curiosity, Scholarship and Happiness. The teaching of RE reinforces these values by fostering respect and tolerance of others and ultimately prepares our children for life in the wider world. Our RE Curriculum gives emphasis to rights, responsibilities and citizenship. It supports children’s spiritual development and equips them to celebrate diversity.
Within Doncaster, Yorkshire, England and the wider world there is a diversity of religion and beliefs and our RE curriculum introduces children to different faiths, allowing them to understand and appreciate the similarities and differences between these. Discovery RE is used to support the teaching of RE at Waverley Academy and states, “Our belief is that, using an enquiry-based model well, children’s critical thinking skills can be developed, their motivation to learn increased, and their knowledge and understanding of, and empathy with people and their beliefs, religious or otherwise, will be enhanced. This approach takes very seriously the philosophy that children are free to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief. RE does not try to persuade but rather to inform and develop the skills with which evaluation can take place.”
The aim of our RE curriculum is to provide a progressive curriculum where learning objectives are developmental. Children revisit prior learning at the beginning of each unit of work to build on their previous enquiries and knowledge. Christmas and Easter enquires occur within each year group.
Implementation – How is this being taught in the classroom?
RE at Waverley is an enquiry based curriculum and each half term children are presented with a key question to be investigated and answered. This investigation is implemented by a 4-step approach which then enables children to weigh up evidence and reach a conclusion. Each unit has an engagement unit which starts from the children’s own experiences before moving on to investigate the same concept from the point of view of the religion being studied. This is followed by three lessons of investigation into the concept introduced to ensure subject knowledge is embedded. Children then complete an assessment activity to reflect on newly introduced subject knowledge and how this has supported them to think about the enquiry question. The final lesson allows for further reflection on their initial responses in the engagement unit and whether their current thoughts are now different or the same.
Impact – What is the effect?
Within each unit there are key assessment points which are differentiated to allow teachers to track children’s learning. Assessment evaluates children’s ‘knowledge, personal resonance and critical thinking skills within the RE unit being taught. The in-built assessment processes within each unit allow pupils to evidence their knowledge by completing a range of essays, so that they can demonstrate through reflection, the knowledge and skills they have learnt.
Please find below the long term overview for RE.
Please find below our long term plan for Whole Assemblies and how this links to our core values;