- SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural) and Personal Development, including weekly themes.>
- Religious Education>
At Connaught Junior School, we intend to provide opportunities for children to develop their knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. We explore issues within and between faiths to help children understand and respect different religions, beliefs, values and traditions within cultures and communities. Children work together, listen to each other’s ideas, and realise that their own experiences, attitudes and values may be different from those of others. Tolerance is taught through a greater understanding of the similarities and differences between different faiths and religions.
We help children to comprehend people who are beyond their own religion in order to understand one another better. With the teaching of RE, we are able to allow pupils to take their place within a diverse society and provide an opportunity to see the religion and non-religion in the world to make sense of their own place within it. This also enables pupils to be more accepting of others and to support them with being open-minded citizens. Our RE curriculum is accessible for all pupils and we have the same high ambition for every ability.
Pupils learn about Christianity (all year groups), Judaism (mainly in year 3), Sikhism (mainly in year 4), Islam (mainly in year 5), and Buddhism (mainly in year 6.) They are encouraged to make connections between differing aspects of religion and consider different forms of religious expression –beliefs, teachings, sacred texts, places of worship, practices and ways of life central to religion. Pupils may also begin to consider moral, ethical, global and philosophical issues, and where appropriate they may also encounter non-religious belief systems such as Humanism. Where possible, we make links to our Creative curriculum topics during RE lessons.
At Connaught Junior school, we provide a precise and purposeful curriculum for RE which builds on prior knowledge from previous year groups; in order to allow pupils to learn in a more meaningful way and to link ideas together.
Using the Surrey Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, we are updating our planning to include retrieval practice in our planning which incorporates specific topic vocabulary and knowledge; enabling pupils to return to previous concepts and to expand on them. We focus on core concepts that appear at the heart of religions and views of people, including non-religious cultures as well. Within this syllabus the following religions have been selected for study:
- World views and Humanism
Attitudes which are fundamental to RE are: curiosity and wonder, commitment, fairness, respect, self- understanding, open-mindedness, critical mindedness and enquiry. These work alongside the SMSC links and British Values implemented within school as a whole. We value the religious backgrounds of all members of the school community and hope that this will encourage individuals to share their own experiences with others freely. All religions and their communities are treated with respect and sensitivity and we value the links, which are, and can be made between home, school and a faith community. We are also extremely lucky to have Reverend Sistig from St Anne’s Church, Bagshot as a regular visitor (both online and in person when possible), who holds meaningful assemblies for the whole school.
The children at Connaught Junior School enjoy learning about other religions 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, developing an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life. As such, RE is invaluable in an ever-changing and shrinking world.
We measure the impact of our RE curriculum in the following ways:
- Children demonstrate a positive attitude towards people of any religion and show an understanding of cultural beliefs different to their own.
- They demonstrate respectful behaviour to all and this is transferable outside of school in the wider community and beyond.
- Images and videos of the children’s learning.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
- Marking of written work in books.
DIVERSITY and EQUALITY
Through themed weeks, weekly assemblies, PSHE and RE lessons, we celebrate differences and similarities throughout the year. Our core value of Caring ensures that all children, staff, families and visitors are welcome at our school. Our curriculum drivers permeate every area of the curriculum with equality and diversity especially highlighted in the drivers of Caring Community, British and Global Citizens and Identity and Uniqueness.
How did Jesus change lives? Parables and Miracles
Why are presents given at Christmas?
How do Christians prepare for Easter?
How do Christians celebrate milestones in life?
Who are the Jews?
· What does it mean to be a Jew?
Who is Jesus?
Why is Prayer important for Christians?
The Bible – What’s it all about.
· How can artists help us understand the Bible?
Christmas symbols: How can artists help us understand Christmas?
How do Christians prepare for Easter? How do we know what happened at Easter?
What does it mean to be a Hindu?
What can we learn from the use of Hindu Images?
Who Brought Christianity arrive to Britain?
· How did it all begin? (Creation stories)
How is the Christian faith expressed through Worship?
How does faith make a difference in people’s lives?
Why is Light an important sign at Christmas?
What happened during Jesus’s last week on earth? What can we find out? (The Events of Holy Week.)
What do Muslims believe?
What are the pillars of Islam?
What do Christians believe God is like?
Who is the Holy Spirit? (Pentecost)
Why did Jesus die?
What is faith and what difference does it make in our local communities?
What is the Buddhist way of life?
Living together in one world.
Attitudes in Religious Education
It is vital that Religious Education encourages pupils to develop positive attitudes to their learning and to the beliefs and values of others. The following four attitudes are essential for good learning in Religious Education:
− self-awareness − respect for all− open-mindedness − appreciation and wonder
Self-awareness in Religious Education includes pupils:
- ■ feeling confident about their own beliefs and identity and sharing them without fear of embarrassment or ridicule
- ■ developing a realistic and positive sense of their own religious, moral and spiritual ideas
- ■ recognising their own uniqueness as human beings and affirming their self-worth
- ■ becoming increasingly sensitive to the impact of their ideas and behaviour on other people.
Respect for all in Religious Education includes pupils:
- ■ developing skills of listening and a willingness to learn from others, even when others’ views are different from their own
- ■ being ready to value difference and diversity for the common good
- ■ appreciating that some beliefs are not inclusive and considering the issues that this raises for individuals and society
- ■ being prepared to recognise and acknowledge their own bias
- ■ being sensitive to the feelings and ideas of others.
Open-mindedness in Religious Education includes pupils:
- ■ being willing to learn and gain new understanding
- ■ engaging in argument or disagreeing reasonably and respectfully (without belittling or abusing others) about religious, moral and spiritual questions
- ■ being willing to go beyond surface impressions
- ■ distinguishing between opinions, viewpoints and beliefs in connection with issues of conviction and faith.
Appreciation and wonder in Religious Education includes pupils:
- ■ developing their imagination and curiosity
- ■ recognising that knowledge is bounded by mystery
- ■ appreciating the sense of wonder at the world in which they live
- ■ developing their capacity to respond to questions of meaning and purpose.
A Quote from a Year 6 child
"I think RE is taught well at Connaught because the teachers are open to different beliefs but equally want you to understand what others believe."
SMSC Through RE
PROMOTING SPIRITUAL, MORAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
Religious Education provides opportunities to contribute to spiritual development through:
■ discussing and reflecting on key questions of meaning and truth such as the origins of the universe, life after death, good and evil, beliefs about God and values such as justice, honesty and truth
■ learning about and reflecting on important concepts, experiences and beliefs that are at the heart of religious and other traditions and practices
■ considering how beliefs and concepts in religion may be expressed through the creative and expressive arts and related to the human and natural sciences, thereby contributing to personal and communal identity
■ considering how religions and other world views perceive the value of human beings, and their relationships with one another, with the natural world, and with God
■ valuing themselves as unique individuals
■ valuing relationships and developing a sense of belonging
■ developing their own views and ideas on religious and spiritual issues.
Religious Education provides opportunities to contribute to moral development through:
■ enhancing the values identified within the National Curriculum, particularly valuing diversity and engaging in issues of truth, justice and trust
■ exploring the influence of family, friends and media on moral choices and how society is influenced by beliefs, teachings, sacred texts and guidance from religious leaders
■ considering what is of ultimate value to pupils and believers through studying the key beliefs and teachings from religion and philosophy about values and ethical codes of practice
■ studying a range of ethical issues, including those that focus on justice, to promote racial and religious respect and personal integrity
■ considering the importance of rights and responsibilities and developing a sense of conscience.
Religious Education provides opportunities to contribute to social development through:
■ considering how religious and other beliefs lead to particular actions and concerns
■ investigating social issues from religious perspectives, recognising the diversity of viewpoints within and between religions as well as the common ground between religions
■ articulating pupils’ own and others’ ideas on a range of contemporary social issues.
Religious Education provides opportunities to contribute to cultural development through:
■ encountering people, literature, the creative and expressive arts and resources from differing cultures
■ considering the relationship between religion and cultures and how religions and beliefs contribute to cultural identity and practices
■ promoting racial and interfaith harmony and respect for all, combating prejudice and discrimination, contributing positively to community cohesion and promoting awareness of how interfaith co-operation can support the pursuit of the common good.
Productions at Connaught Junior School
Connaught Junior School proudly marks the main celebrations in the Christian calendar.
- At Christmas Year 3 perform their Christmas Production. The choir sing at the Carol Concert.
- At Easter time the Year 4s present an Easter assembly.
- At Harvest Time Year 5 give thanks for the harvest and all that we have.
- Year 6 celebrate the end of their journey at Connaught with a summer production and a graduation ceremony.
Our Local vicar regularly comes in to school to celebrate these key events with us. (This is currently suspended due to COVID restrictions.)