Willenhall Community Primary School

RE & Philosophy

 

“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. Each unit of work is focused on a ‘big’ question, such as “Is equality fair?” or “Is peace possible?” 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.

The units of work for each year group in RE and Philosophy are as follows:

YrAutumn TermSpring TermSummer Term
1

Identity and Belonging
Christianity and Hinduism

Christmas - Giving
Christianity

Celebrations
Types of celebrations

Easter
Christianity

Prayer and Worship
Christianity

Journeys
Islam
2

Beliefs
Christianity

Christmas - Light
Christianity

Stories from the Bible
Christianity

The Easter Story
Christianity

Beliefs
Islam

3

Introduction to Philosophy
The Philosophy Tree scheme

Are religions a guide to life or a set of rules?
Christianity, 10 commandments

How do beliefs impact on people’s lives?
Islam, The Qur’an, Ramadan

What’s the best way to live?
Buddhism, Ethical Philosophy

4

Should we choose to be charitable?
Christianity in Action, Bible Stories

Is peace on Earth possible?
Christianity, Christmas

What makes a good teacher?
Mohammed, Jesus

Should we forgive betrayal?
Christianity, Easter

Are sacred stories true?
Christianity, Parables

Are all religions true?
Stories from other religions
5

Is equality fair?
Sikhism, Feminism

What is God?
Hinduism

Should we forgive people?
Christianity, Forgiveness, Easter

Can you express your beliefs through art?
Islam, Buddhism

What is death?
Jesus
6

How should you express your beliefs?
Islam, Eid

Can God be human?
Jesus, The Ascension

What is the impact of prejudice?
Judaism, WW2

Why does life change?
Rites of passage

 

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.

Willenhall Community Primary School
St James Lane, Coventry, CV3 3DB
tel:    (02476) 302 004
fax:   (02476) 307 509
web: www.WillenhallPrimary.org
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