Orchard Lea Federation – Religious Education
At the Orchard Lea Federation, we follow the Hampshire agreed syllabus –Living Difference IV (2022). This ensures teachers are able to plan and deliver an RE curriculum that is in line with statutory requirements.
The syllabus guides us through the subject by introducing the children to a plethora of different religious viewpoints. In turn, this offers children an insight into ways of leading their lives in a purposeful way, both individually and collectively within the community. (see Living Difference IV).
At the Orchard Lea Federation, we aim to inspire children with a range and wealth of experiences and activities in order for them to think about their own beliefs and the beliefs of others. Our pupils will aspire to develop a secure, tolerant and caring understanding of the world in which they live. They will be able to collaborate well with others and have a broader knowledge of a range of beliefs and cultures.
RE at the Orchard Lea Federation is underpinned by our school values, learning powers and the moral compass of British democracy. Cross curricular links are made to support the teaching of RE such as Art, Music and PHSE, by which the children gain a greater understanding of concepts and help to evaluate their learning.
Indoctrination and conversion are not part of education or RE at the Orchard Lea Federation.
The recommended hours of teaching for RE are; Year R and Key Stage One = 36 hours per year; Key Stage Two = 45 hours per year. These hours are blocked each half term, with 6 RE units being taught across the year. Whilst these are the recommended timings set out by the Hampshire Agreed Syllabus IV, at Orchard Lea we believe it is important that our RE teaching is high quality and takes as long as is necessary for our pupils to develop a solid understanding of the religious concepts that they are being taught. When blocking units, staff teams will either plan to implement the RE unit across a number of part days consecutively, or over the course of 2/3 full days. This provides pupils with continuity and coherence in their learning. In addition to our planned RE units, annual RE days take place to focus on an aspect of religious education across the school so that pupils can share their understanding with each other collectively.
In EYFS, children engage with well-known concepts of the Christian Faith Traditions, as well have as a taster of Hindu Faith Traditions . The Golden concept of ‘special’ is a thread that runs through all of these lessons and the children begin to make simple links between their own experiences and those of these faiths. Pupils in KS1 continue to explore the Christian Faith Traditions and Hindu Faith Traditions; they are supported whilst making some simple comparisons between the two religions where appropriate. Throughout this key stage the Golden concept of ‘special’ is explored further; another three are added alongside – ‘belonging’, ‘community’ and ‘love’.
As children progress into KS2, they continue to learn about the Christian Faith Traditions which feature prominently throughout their time at Orchard Lea. In Years 3/4, the children explore Islamic Faith Traditions as well as the Judaic Faith Traditions, and in Years 5/6 the children learn about the Buddhist Faith Traditions also.
Teaching across the Junior school covers all four of the Golden thread concepts which are woven across all year groups so that the learning has a meaningful flow of ideas and notions . As our pupils move through Orchard Lea, they are given the opportunity to explore and engage with all four different concept groups. We have carefully considered the concepts that our children study to ensure that they are as relevant as possible to the children, building upon their own life experiences as appropriate.
We are proud of the variety of rich opportunities that the children experience through our RE teaching at Orchard Lea. We adopt a cross curricular approach to our teaching and our outcomes often make links with Art, Drama, English, and DT. We have an excellent relationship with our local Christian Church, Pastor Tapani, and are in the process of building links to other religious communities. We use trips and visitors where appropriate to enrich our RE teaching. These experiences are vital to bringing the children’s learning to life, inspiring them to become inquisitive about other people’s faiths and life experiences, and to aid them in developing respect for members of different world faiths.
We consider RE an integral part of the curriculum as it contributes to the children’s social, moral, cultural and spiritual development. Through their spiritual development, our pupils are given opportunities to reflect on their learning and make links, profoundly, creatively and healthily to themselves, other people, society and the environment, giving considerations to their own beliefs and values. Through moral development, the children learn to value diversity as they engage in issues of truth, justice and trust. We explore the influence of family, friends and the media on our moral choices and we consider how society is influenced by beliefs, teachings, sacred texts and guidance from religious leaders. Through social development, the children consider how religious beliefs may lead to particular actions or concerns as we investigate social issues from religious perspectives. Pupils are supported in recognising the diversity of viewpoints within and between religions. Through their cultural development, the children promote understanding from a religious perspective through encounters with different people, literature, art and resources from a range of cultures. Children consider the relationship between religion and culture and how religious beliefs contribute to our cultural identity. Learning promotes racial harmony, mutual respect and how this can lead to combatting prejudice and discrimination. Throughout all of this children will ultimately develop a greater sense of who they are and where they fit into their environment and the world as a whole.