The purpose of Religious Education is to give children an understanding of widely held beliefs and practices and it should also encourage children to consider their own spirituality and beliefs. These are the beliefs that govern the thoughts and behaviours of many millions of people in the UK and around the world. At Bordon Infant School we teach the beliefs and practices of Christianity and Judaism. We do this so children will understand how these religions shape the lives and behaviours of their adherents and the effect they have on life in 21st century Britain more generally. While studying Religious Education, children may identify some aspects that correspond either with their own tradition or that of their wider family. They will also come to learn that other people may have different beliefs to their own or practice their faith in a different way and they will treat these differences respectfully.
At Bordon Infant School we follow the Living Difference curriculum and use the cycle of enquiry contained therein. This means that each R.E. unit consists of the following five parts:
In year R, much of the R.E. work is based around religious stories, either from the Bible or the Torah. Children are given the chance to talk about the stories and consider how they connect with their own experiences. For example, when learning about the birth of Jesus they will think about their own experience of babies and birthdays.
In KS1, children will study a number of concepts. Some will be based on a Christian belief, such as when year 2 learn about “Stories with a message” through some of Jesus’ parables. Others will be solely based in Judaism such as when year 1 learn about belonging to a synagogue. Some will have aspects of both, such as year 1’s unit on “Special Books” where both the Bible and the Torah are considered.
Repeatedly returning to Christianity and Judaism will help children to develop key vocabulary associated with these religions and an understanding for some of their key beliefs.
At the end of year 2, R.E. will have made a significant contribution to each child’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural education. They will have learned tolerance and mutual respect, enabling them to work, socialise and live alongside people who may differ from themselves. They will have learned some key stories associated with Judaism and Christianity and understand some beliefs and practices. They will also have thought more deeply about their own beliefs and how that should affect the way that they live.