Our R.E Story
At Old Clee Academy, our intention is to create curiosity, open-mindedness and thoughtfulness about the community we live in and the wider world. .
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 our 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 the community we live in and a worldview that allows the children to be open-minded and tolerant. RE also contributes to pupils’ personal development and well-being and adds to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect, resilience, compassion and empathy in a diverse society.
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 –
God and belief - what it means to belong.
Being human - how people express faith.
Community - contemporary issues such as how religions teach us to care for our world,
- what religion looks like within a community?
Life journeys – how religion changes and develops over a lifetime.
We work through thought provoking questions, thinking deeply about how religion affects us and the community as a whole. We revisit questions to develop the ability to consider ideas from multiple perspectives, and to develop the 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, we have weekly RE lessons. In this time, pupils develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of RE through four key pillars of learning –
Believing – being a theologian
Living – being a human/social scientist
Thinking – being a philosopher
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. 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.
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 pose one of the ‘Big Questions’ for a world view approach to learning.
With this approach, not only do teachers plan through the matrices linked to the LAS in order to maintain clear progression and clear coverage, but they also use the continuous concepts to ensure that key skills are woven through the heart of the learning taking place. Creating local links, which allow opportunity to take students to key religious places, and to welcome visitors into the academy is also something we take into consideration when mapping out RE.
The impact of our approach to RE is that our students carry with them a rich wealth of knowledge, appreciation and understanding of what makes each religion unique, what it is that we can admire and learn from them – as well as identifying similarities. In addition to the knowledge behind this, students will have also greatly developed the associated skills of being a Theologian, a Human and Social Scientist, and a Philosopher – including 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 transitions within their education.
The very nature of our approach to RE ensures that then knowledge the students gain through the years builds and deepens. On top of this, our students are given regular opportunities to recall prior learning and ensure that learning is not lost through retrieval activities and recall. 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 that is 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 thought, compassion and understanding. We want our children to understand and thrive in an environment which encourages deep thinking, tolerance and compassion, which we want students to take with them as they continue their journey in life.