Religious Education Documents

 

Awareness, Mystery and Value 2019 - New RE syllabus for Somerset Schools

During the Summer term of 2019 Somerset SACRE will be formally launching a revised Religious Education Syllabus for implementation in the Autumn term 2019.

While schools have overwhelmingly welcomed the introduction of the new assessment objectives, we know that the retention of the old statutory units of study has created a problem for schools. Put simply, the old units of study are not fulfilling the assessment objectives. While we did undertake an audit of the units of study during the last review, we acknowledge that their use creates an imbalance in the achievement of the objectives: some areas of the assessment objectives are covered extensively, while others are barely touched. This undermines the principles of the syllabus.

Schools have also complained that the new exemplars follow the old units of study instead of explicitly meeting the requirement of the new assessment objectives.

The problem is not with any of the changes introduced at the syllabus review, but with what we did not change - the old units of study.

While this difficulty is present for all our schools, it is compounded for church schools by the introduction of Understanding Christianity, a resource of classroom materials to teach about Christianity. The requirement to follow both the assessment objectives and units of study; and to also use the Understanding Christianity resource, has proven unnecessarily difficult for schools. One of guiding principles for the syllabus review was not to burden schools with more work.

SACRE has therefore agreed that from summer 2019 we:

  1. Remove the old units of work from the syllabus completely.
  2. Ensure that future planning will be based around the statutory "Essential Core" beliefs of the assessment document. This means that the exemplars will be re-written and trialed to ensure they meet the assessment objectives.
  3. We will also produce non-statutory programmes of study which are based on the assessment objectives, which will inform non-statutory long term plans.
  4. The balance of religions that must be taught at each Key Stage will remain unchanged, along with the use of Attainment targets 1&2.

Once this is done we will produce and share examples of pupil work, which can be used by schools during moderation. We know that sharing with staff and pupils ‘what a good one looks like’ can be invaluable in having higher expectations.

Given the extensive use of the Understanding Christianity resource, we will produce a document which identifies the links with the AMV assessment objectives.

Schools are invited to participate in the trialing and development of the new exemplar lessons.


Under the provisions of the Education Reform Act parents have a right to withdraw their children from R.E. Parents should discuss this with the Headteacher.

The foundation stage describes the phase of a child’s education from the age of 3 to the end of reception at the age of 5 years. Religious education is statutory for all registered pupils on the school roll.

This syllabus is to be used in conjunction with the AMV 2019 assessment document that provides a summary of the religious beliefs to be covered. Taken collectively the units provide an important balance between AT1 and AT2. These units of work take the form of a key question followed by a series of supplementary questions which provide the structure and direction of the individual unit. Coverage of religions required at foundation and KS1 is Christianity plus one other religion from: Hinduism, Islam or Judaism. Non-religious views must also be represented. This document is statutory.

This syllabus is to be used in conjunction with the AMV 2019 assessment document that provides a summary of the religious beliefs to be covered. Taken collectively the units provide an important balance between AT1 and AT2. These units of work take the form of a key question followed by a series of supplementary questions which provide the structure and direction of the individual unit. Coverage of religions required at KS2 is Christianity plus three other religions: Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. Non-religious views must also be represented.

Attitudes such as respect, care and concern should be promoted through all areas of school life. In this way religious education contributes to the whole school ethos.

Skills are central to religious education, and should be reflected in learning opportunities. This syllabus places an important emphasis on the development of skills at all stages of learning. This section highlights the skills intrinsic to RE, followed by the contribution of RE to the broader skills in the primary and secondary curriculum. The level descriptions are rooted in skills and illustrate how pupils progress through the development of key skills.

There are many ways in which successful religious education can be included in the curriculum.   But take care! Creative approaches to the curriculum can easily obscure children’s progress in the subject disciplines. Whichever method of ‘delivery’ is chosen, teachers will need to ask themselves, ‘Can I identify the specific RE activities?’ And ‘Will I be able to give the pupils feedback on how well they have progressed in their RE learning?’

The school curriculum should aim to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.