Religious Education (RE)
Welcome to the school’s information page about Religious Education at Malcolm Sargent school.
I’m Alison Harrison, the subject leader for R.E.
We are very proud of the R.E curriculum we offer here at Malcolm Sargent; we adopt a theological approach to R.E. with each unit starting with a ‘big question’. This means that, regardless of each pupil’s personal beliefs, we are relating considerations such as ‘How does a Sikh show their commitment to God?’ to their own faiths - if they have one – or their own life experiences around commitment.
We ensure our curriculum allows children to learn about different religions but in a way that does not direct them to follow a particular path. Rather, the knowledge they build develops their understanding, and with that comes tolerance and empathy. We ensure that our Malcolm Sargent pupils are compassionate and engaging future citizens of our diverse world (all clearly aligned with British Values of mutual respect and tolerance). Using the national framework for RE the children learn about religion, and then learn from religion.
We have chosen to deliver our R.E curriculum using the ‘Discovery RE’ scheme. Similar to PSHE, characters (owls) are used to support the learning, and the approach is to engage (draw the children in using personal experiences) then enquire (find out), evaluate (look at what has been learnt) and finally express their own opinions (by answering the ongoing topic’s key question with own opinions). They learn more, do more and remember more.
As you will see from the summary of what is taught in the Long-Term plan, Christianity features multiple times in each year group. The other main religions are taught in great detail at least once, and most are covered twice (usually in both Key Stages). Humanism is also taught in Year 6. The children are encouraged to form their own opinions, and share these respectfully. Theological thinking, and consideration of spirituality, are encouraged for the older children. We look at why religion is so important and how it has given comfort and strength to so many in challenging times. Children also learn about Atheism, which is a belief system for many people too.
We have a wide selection of books and artefacts to bring each topic alive; for example, when learning about Islam, the children will handle prayer mats with compasses on them showing East/where Mecca is, they will try on shalwar kameez clothes if they want, and they will all see a Qu’ran, close up. (We are considerate of the rules regarding such artefacts, so treat holy books with the respect their religion asks. Likewise, the children draw geometric patterns as they study mosques, but do not draw Allah nor Mohammed, in respect for Islamic views.)
Visitors are welcomed, to show the children what their religion means to them. For example, we have welcomed a Stamford resident, who is Jewish, to show traditional Jewish foods and toys, as well as share photos of how his family celebrated various Jewish festivals. The children were delighted to see kippah hats that his sons had decorated with Spurs FC and Man City emblems!
We also had a visitor who talked to Y2 and then Y6 about Islam and shared an insight into her daily prayer ritual and her Hajj to Mecca. The children were fascinated and full of questions about what it was like in Saudi Arabia!
Buddhists visited Y4 too, and were memorable as they performed their chants to music. We have also had visits from various Christian clergy, and the Stamford Methodist church’s Second Helpings food bank organisers. Pupils from different years have visited the many local churches, with the children being particularly interested in how a font in one church was so different to a Baptist pool in a chapel.
In all year groups, R.E is taught weekly, or in a longer fortnightly lesson (equivalent to at least a 45 minute lesson per week) across the school year. Year groups also have at least one whole ‘wow’ day for R.E to immerse the children in their RE topic. For example, Y3 annually hold a Diwali day where Rangoli rice patterns are made, diva lamps created out of clay, and Mehndi patterns attempted with paint. Y4, in the build up to Christmas, had a Christingle making morning, and Y1 created Nativity cribs, as they began their study of Christmas. Christmas, and later, Easter, are the common themes studied by the whole school at the same time. However, there is a different focus in each year group, with a question to be considered at the end that is unique to that year group.
Please see, below, links to the R.E Long-Term plan document, which details the coverage in each year group, and also the expectations document for each year group.
If you have any queries about our R.E curriculum at Malcolm Sargent, or feel you have particular R.E knowledge/experience, and would like to volunteer your time to run an assembly, then please contact the school by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01780 756056.
Collective worship at Malcolm Sargent plays an important role in promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our children, in line with the government strategies which promote access, inclusion and individual learning and understanding of British Values. We fully support the view that ‘Every Child Matters’ by giving opportunities for exploration of religious and ethical teachings. Our daily assemblies enable each child to explore our shared human experiences, promote respect, sensitivity and cultural awareness as well as giving pupils the ability to think about, develop and reflect on their own beliefs and values.
Please see the separate section in Curriculum, entitled British values – Daily Reflection, for more information.