Our R.E Story
At Old Clee Academy, our intention is to create curiosity, open-mindedness and thoughtfulness within our theologians.
Religion and beliefs inform our values and are reflected in what we say and how we behave. RE is an important subject in itself, developing an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the religions and beliefs which form part of contemporary society. Religious education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong, and what it means to be human. It can develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, of other principal religions, other religious traditions and worldviews that offer answers to questions such as these. RE also contributes to pupils’ personal development and well-being and to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society. RE can also make important contributions to other parts of the school curriculum such as citizenship, personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE education), the humanities, education for sustainable development and others. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development, deepening the understanding of the significance of religion in the lives of others – individually, communally and cross-culturally
At Old Clee, our intent is to create curious, open minded and thoughtful young people, with an appreciation for the wider world, its people, religions and cultures. With this in mind, we have carefully approached the RE curriculum with a very open, understanding approach to the learning of major religions, beliefs and values, and how this also intertwines with the everyday lives of people.
Children across the academy will delve into how religions approach areas such as what it means to belong, how people express faith, what justice means and contemporary issues such as how religions teach us to care for our world. We work through thought provoking questions, intended to develop the ability of students to consider ideas from multiple perspectives, and to develop their ability to think in a more open, spiritual way. We approach these areas through dedicated RE lessons in which teachers and teams deliver activities based around their year group focus. As is always the case at Old Clee, we put the children first, and through our commitment to listening to our pupils, we deliver lessons with their preferences in mind. Practical approaches are implemented, with use of our fantastic selection of artefacts, visitors in, as well as planned days out to places of religious significance all something that we aim to use in order to enhance RE for our pupils and to ensure that the information that they receive is not only processed, but something that they will really remember and hold onto.
In order to give students the opportunity to become fully immersed in the learning that they will be undertaking as theologians, we structure the learning so that students in the academy have two hours every two weeks of R.E. In this time, pupils develop their knowledge, skills and understanding centred around RE and being a theologian. We use skills based continuous concepts, and our curriculum is based on the Lincolnshire agreed syllabus for Religious Education. This ensures students do not simply touch upon the areas of focus, but they develop a depth of knowledge which they can carry with them as they progress through the academy. Our curriculum follows four key pillars of learning, which are God, Being Human, Life Journey and Community. These key areas are woven through a multitude of religions and enable children to make informed comparisons between faiths, as well as provide spiralisation of learning through these pillars. As well as this, we structure our learning through two compulsory units which focus on a specific religion, as well as an additional unit in which we choose another religion for students to focus on. This allows us to be flexible with our approaches, and to organise and implement ways of learning which may not be possible were we to simply have 3 compulsory units. An example of this is our plans for our Year 6 students to liaise and work with Old Clee Church to organise and deliver a coffee morning as part of our goal of connecting more with the church and the wider community.
Taken from the KS1 Christianity Matrix
Thanks to the fantastic local links that we are fortunate enough to be close to, the opportunity to take students to key religious places, and to welcome visitors into the academy is also something teachers take fully into consideration when mapping out RE. In fact the academy have already welcomed in Father Nick of the local Old Clee Church many times, as well as visitors from Grimsby Mosque, and members of the local Buddhist community.
An example of knowledge progression within our RE Curriculum
The impact of our approach to RE is that our students carry with them a rich wealth of knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the many differences between religions, what makes them unique, and what it is that we can admire and learn from them. In addition to the knowledge behind this, students will have also greatly developed the associated skills with being a Theologian, such as understanding the practices and daily routines involved with various religions, or understanding the key teachings of various religions. The level of reflective learning that will take place throughout their Old Clee careers will ensure that they are extremely well equipped to cope with the demands that they will eventually face as they make the transition to KS2/3.
The very nature of our approach to RE ensures that progression through the subject spiralises, deepens and builds upon prior learning. Not only this, but our students are given regular opportunities to recall prior learning and ensure that learning is not lost. In addition to this, the academy approach to vocabulary and the importance with which we regard rich language throughout all subjects means that students are exposed to, and are encouraged to use this in all year groups and in a way which once more builds upon prior learning.
RE is an area that has the potential to inspire, excite and profoundly impact students in not just an academic way, but also in a spiritual manner. This kind of potential is something that we at Old Clee strive to fulfil, and this why our approach to RE is as it is. We want our children to be analytical thinkers, to be human beings with a spirituality that allows for great compassion and understanding. We want our children to understand and thrive in an environment which encourages thinking like a Theologian, and we want them to take this with them as they continue their journey in life.
Children benefit greatly from not only learning about various religions and information, but also talking and listening about it. Visitors also to help make learning real and tangible.