At Cotham Gardens, our intention in Religious Education is to provide children with the opportunity for SMSC development. We believe RE is a vitally important component of children’s personal, social and spiritual development. Developing an understanding of their own and others’ worldviews underpins the growth of empathy and respect. Appreciating that we all see the world through the lens that has been formed by our experiences, upbringing, culture etc and that this influences our decision-making and our own way of seeing the world is so valuable.
We use Jigsaw RE across the school and this curriculum treats all the worldviews studied as equally valid and valuable, hence we refer to both ‘religious’ and ‘non-religious’ standpoints as ‘worldviews’ so as not to imply preference or differentiate unfairly. As a school, we feel that this opinion on ‘worldviews’ reflects our school values.
At Cotham Gardens, RE is taught weekly using the Jigsaw RE programme. This allows pupils to learn subjects in sufficient depth so that they remember what they have learnt, and the planning is sufficiently detailed and sequenced to allow all children to develop a secure long-term understanding, building on what they have learnt before. Jigsaw RE advocates an enquiry mode, with a 4-step approach as the basis for implementation. Every unit (enquiry) is based around a key question. The key question for the enquiry is such that it demands an answer that weighs up ‘evidence’ (subject knowledge) and reaches a conclusion based on this. This necessitates children using their subject knowledge and applying it to the enquiry question, rather than this knowledge being an end in itself. Jigsaw RE focuses on critical thinking skills, on personal reflection into the child’s own thoughts and feelings. On growing subject knowledge and nurturing spiritual development.
In EYFS all children study important times of year for our community, this includes but not exclusive to: Christmas, Easter, Ramadan and Eid, they have older children from the school in to share their own experiences and have opportunities to understand how these fits into their lives and the lives of others. The enquires within EYFS act as an introduction to some of the concepts underpinning worldviews e.g., belonging, special places, story, and touch on a range of worldviews
In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 all children study Christianity plus one or two other worldviews as is recommend by Jigsaw RE. This ensures children can revisit prior learning for worldviews throughout the year to build on previous enquiries. The lessons use a range of creative ideas as well as challenging higher-order thinking questions and discussion activities.
Our RE Curriculum is designed with the children of our school community in mind. The children at Cotham Gardens Primary enjoy learning about 'worldviews’ and why people choose or choose not to follow a religion. Through their R.E. learning, the children can make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world, developing an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life. As such, R.E. is invaluable in an ever changing and shrinking world.