Religious Education at Harriers Banbury Academy
Intent, Implementation and Impact
At Harriers Banbury Academy, we want our pupils to leave our school as respectful, open-minded and thoughtful pupils. The diverse population of our school reflects the diversity around us, so it is important to us that pupils are given the tools to understand and respond to the beliefs of others. We also want pupils to develop their own beliefs and opinions, so that they can enter the world able to challenge, reflect and refine their own world views throughout their lives. We need every child to leave our school with a passion for learning about religions which fuels their ability to engage positively with our community. Our curriculum includes three whole school threads which encompass everything we do in RE.
These threads are:
- The impact religion has on our own lives and the lives of others, celebrating religious diversity within our school.
- How RE has shaped history and culture.
- Develop an understanding of the world, their place within it and the wider community.
These threads intertwine throughout our entire curriculum to ensure that pupils are able to build and reflect on their personal beliefs while developing an increasingly complex understanding of the opinions of others. We reflect on the impact of RE on the world around us so that pupils can understand the key role of religious figures in our town.
We want our pupils to develop an increasingly broad understanding of key religions that make up our culture while building a depth of understanding with certain key religions. We discuss and reflect on the practices and beliefs of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism and Humanism. We aim for our pupils to use their developing knowledge of these religions to refine their own attitudes and beliefs and to learn how to engage respectfully with new opinions.
We have a broad Religious Education curriculum that builds on prior learning to progress pupil’s understanding of key knowledge and skills each year. At Harriers Banbury Acade,y, we take an enquiry approach where learning is structured around exploring and building an understanding in order to answer a big question. Within and alongside the curriculum we ensure that:
- Each term is themed around a different enquiry question for each key stage, we begin with an initial discussion and exploration, and then build knowledge across the term towards answering the question. These questions are then revisited within each key stage to build complexity in pupils’s answers.
- The curriculum incorporates Christianity into each year group’s learning, allowing the pupils to develop an increasingly in depth understanding of Christian beliefs. Alongside this, year groups explore a range of other religions to provide a breadth of understanding across Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and Humanism.
- In Early Years and Nursery, we explicitly teach pupils the skills required to engage in discussions about our world views and beliefs. We take elements from the nursery and early years’ curriculum to build essential skills such as ‘asking questions about differences’, ‘following rules’, ‘sharing information about their family’. Alongside these skills we begin to develop pupils’s awareness of beliefs by teaching and exploring religious celebrations throughout the year.
- Both Key Stage 1 and Early Years perform a nativity each Christmas, and classes complete activities to build their understanding of the underlying religious beliefs.
- Phase assemblies throughout the year teach pupils about different cultural festivals and religious events taking place, and we invite members of the community to speak to pupils about these events. In classes pupils will also complete activities such as baking, designing and art to engage them in learning about these events.
- During religious festivals, we ask for pupils in our classes to volunteer to speak about the celebrations they will take part in. This exposes the other pupils to these practices, gives them the opportunity to ask questions about these events, and to learn to listen respectfully to new ideas.
- Pupil voices are collected regularly to ensure pupils are engaged in their learning, and are retaining key information which they can discuss with increasing complexity.
The priority of our curriculum is to see pupils engaged with an exciting curriculum so that they enjoy learning about different religions and cultures. Through their engagement, we will see pupils develop an increasingly broad awareness of the diversity within our school and wider community. pupils will also become aware of the range of cultural celebrations taking place around them, and will understand the significance of these events to those taking part. All pupils will have an in depth understanding of Christian practices, beliefs and traditions, as well as an awareness of the same practices in the other religions we teach. They will also have the skills to ask questions, explore and refine their understanding as they continue their education in secondary school.
This increasing understand of a variety of cultures and beliefs will help pupils to develop a complex and refined world view. Our pupils will be able to develop their own beliefs and have the skills to express these clearly and respectfully. They will be proud of the culture they are a part of as we embrace and celebrate their differences. All pupils will also learn to listen respectfully and ask questions to help them understand and accept different opinions. Every child who leaves Harriers Banbury Academy will leave with the knowledge and skills to enter our diverse community as respectful, well-educated and open minded individuals