Religious Education at St James
At St James we follow the Dioceses of Leeds and York Syllabus. We follow their recommendation and use the Understanding Christianity resource to deliver Christianity units. Our RE work is broken down into three parts, understanding the text/religion, understanding the impact and then children making connections for themselves. Across school we learn about a range of different religions to develop our understanding of diversity, so each key stage studies Christianity and one other religion in depth. This helps develop our understanding of mutual respect and tolerance of other faiths and beliefs. As a school we have chosen to learn about Islam and Hinduism in greater depth to enhance our understanding of our local community.
Vision and Values Across the Curriculum
Our RE aim is to ensure our children can hold balanced and informed conversations about religion and belief, that is appropriate to their age and stage of learning.We want our children to understand that Christianity is a living faith around the world and to understand how it, and other world religions influence and impact on today's society and cultures. The values of respect and tolerance are a huge focus in RE lessons. Children understand that people have different faiths and beliefs and that we should respect everyone, regadless of what they believe.
Our RE Curriculum
Children use the puppets Tom and Tessa to help them learn about Christianity. Tom and Tessa have a special box, which they fill with artefacts for the children to learn from. Tom and Tessa often invite their puppet friends from other religions to school to help children understand the world around them.
Foundation Stage learn about special books and stories. They find out about the Christian special book, the Bible and listen to stories from the old and new testaments. With the help of Tom and Tessa, the children think about the messages of peace and respect within the stories of Noah’s Ark and The Good Samaritan. Children also find out about the Jewish special book, the Torah and the Islam special book, the Qur'an. Children learn about the rules different religions have when looking after and caring for their special books.
Children learn about Easter and Christmas, as well as other important religious fesitvals and celebrations, for example Eid. The children learn about why and how they are celebrated and what it means to those who celebrate.
Key Stage 1
KS1 look at the question ' What Good News do Christians believe Jesus brought?' They use texts from different Gospels to help them understand the 'Good News' Christians believe Jesus brought. Children learn that Christians believe that Jesus brought peace, forgiveness and friendship to everyone, even to those other people may not like. This helps children understand the importance of tolerance towards others and the importance of helping others. To support their work on helping others and friendliness, children also learn about about the important work happening at St George's crypt for homeless people. Children learn about RE in may different ways, for example: through drama, art, group discussions and written work.
Lower Key Stage 2
LSK2 look at the question 'What is it like to follow God?' They use the story of Noah to learn about covenants. Children go on to think about the covenants people make today and how they help people live their lives through trust and respect. They look at Christian weddings and other promises people make to each other. Then the children think about the importance of forgiveness when someone may break a promise. Children learn in a range of ways including group work, discussions and written work.
Upper Key Stage 2
Children in UKS2 look at the question ' What does it mean if God is Holy and Loving?' Children look at texts from both the old and new testaments to examine evidence about how Christians believe God is both Holy and Loving. This work shows children how Christians follow rules, the consequences they may face when breaking rules and acts of forgiveness. This work develops children’s religious literacy through exposing them to new words such as omnipotent, omniscient and eternal.
Children in UKS2 also study 'What did Jesus do to save human beings?' They look closely at the word sacrifice and what Christians believe it meant within the Easter story. They think about how Christians are thankful for God’s sacrifice and learn about how sacrifice is seen in the world today. A range of scenarios are used to develop their understanding of what the impact of peoples sacrifices may be on others and how thankful they may be.
The Dioceses of Leeds and York have altered the curriculum that will be delivered from September 2022, giving a more balanced weighting to the teaching of other religions. Christianity will be taught for 50% of the 2 year cycle and other religions will be taught for the remaining 50% of the 2 year cycle. The proposed new 2 year timetable has been added.