“Religion and beliefs inform our values and are reflected in what we say and how we behave. 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.”
Department for Education
At our school, for a number of years we have been teaching Religious Education alongside a programme of philosophy. Far from being an unachievable or inaccessible subject for primary age pupils, philosophy offers pupils an engaging and exciting curriculum experience, where pupils can tackle big questions, see the relevance of religious ideas to their own beliefs about the world and develop learning and thinking skills.
After extensive trials, and working with other schools and the Philosophy Foundation, we have developed our own bespoke scheme of teaching RE and Philosophy as part of the locally agreed syllabus. Each unit of work is focused on a ‘big’ question, such as “What can we learn from religions about deciding what is right and wrong?” or “What does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain today?” and brings in knowledge of different religions to help understand our responses to these questions. The scheme is written to provide an accessible and relevant way in for the pupils to learn about religions and teaches pupils key knowledge of different faiths, but also allows them to tackle some big questions about life. The lessons also provide pupils the opportunity to show progression in their core philosophical ‘learning’ skills - which help develop them as learners for all their subjects.
Follow this link for the RE & Philosophy long term plan which includes the units of work for each year group.
Alongside RE content, we will also be teaching pupils different skills in listening, questioning, reasoning and explaining which are reinforced throughout the curriculum. Teachers are specially trained to use philosophy skills throughout the curriculum and we are continuing to develop this approach to teaching and learning across the school.
If you have any questions about the teaching of RE and Philosophy at our school, please contact Mr Whitney who will be more than happy to help.