As a Church of England School, our vision and values are at the heart of everything we do. The vision and values were agreed following a series of consultations involving stakeholders from the school, including pupils, parents, staff, governors and Church representatives.
Through our core values within a distinctively Christian context, our vision is that Thorner Church of England Primary School will be an inspirational place to learn and play, helping us make the most of every day! As a church school, we use Jesus’ words that “All things are possible to those who believe.” (Mark 9:23), as inspiration to overcome the barriers we face together each day with the faith that all things are possible with God in our lives.
Our values at Thorner, which are underpinned by biblical inspiration and teaching are: Enthusiasm, Responsibility, Courage, Perseverance and Ambition.
Our vision and values underpins all we do and our teaching in RE provides opportunities for pupils to further explore how this relates to our everyday lives.
At Thorner, Religious Education plays an important role, along with other curriculum areas, particularly PSHE and the teaching of British Values, in promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our children. Therefore, we endeavour to ensure that Religious Education consists of well-planned lessons providing varied and high-quality, engaging activities to inspire children and enable them to explore religious key questions, reflect critically upon their learning and to develop skills to analyse, interpret and apply Biblical text. RE lessons encourage children to explore, engage and reflect on a wide range of religious beliefs and practices.
RE also plays a vital role in developing religious literacy and deepening pupils understanding of Christianity, in all its forms, and fostering appreciation and understanding of other faith traditions. The curriculum promotes open mindedness, as we want our children to leave Thorner as well-rounded individuals with respect and appreciation for religion, beliefs and morals – both their own and that of others, creating a deeper understanding of the world and their place within it.
We want children to understand Christianity as a global, multi-cultural faith and to understand God’s Salvation Plan (the Big Story), including the big ideas (or concepts) in Christianity:
Our children will be encouraged to become courageous advocates and champion causes which are special and meaningful to them, be it global issues or matters far more personal and closer to home.
Through strengthening children’s understanding of our Values at Thorner, we aim to empower children to make positive choices and develop themselves as unique, confident, respectful and compassionate individuals.
Our RE curriculum is delivered using a blended approach of the ‘Understanding Christianity’ scheme, which introduces children to the big story of Christianity, along with the Agreed Syllabus in West Yorkshire ‘Believing and Belonging’, which includes in depth studies of other world religions and thematic approaches across religions. Learning is structured in a way that enables them to revisit and build on prior knowledge, skills and concepts.
Through our RE curriculum children are supported to:
- Make connections
- Make sense of beliefs
- Understand the impact
- Develop a range and depth of knowledge
R.E. is taught for a minimum of one hour each week through a creative enquiry approach. We use a range of approaches such as drama, role-play, hot seating, art, music, dance, stories, poems, video clips, diamond ranking and debates to support children’s understanding and engage them in their learning. We provide children with the knowledge and understanding of key beliefs and practices of religions and other world views, including those represented in Leeds.
Learning is brought to life through real life experiences, for example, exploring religious artefacts, celebrating religious festivals, visiting sacred places and meeting visitors to learn and ask questions about faith.
In Early Years children encounter religions and other world views through special people, books, times, places and objects and by visiting places of worship. They listen to and talk about stories from a range of different religions and world views. Pupils are introduced to subject specific words and use all their senses to encounter beliefs and practices. They are encouraged to ask questions and talk about their own feelings and experiences. Children use their imagination and curiosity to develop appreciation of, and wonder at, the natural world. They learn to appreciate and value human beings, recognising and encountering diversity.
In Key Stage One, children develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and world views, recognising local, national and global contexts. They are exposed to subject specific vocabulary. They raise questions about beliefs and respond with their own views. Teaching and learning is focused around Christianity and Islam, alongside understanding of non-religious approaches to life. Aspects of other faiths are included as appropriate, such as teaching about specific festivals or rituals.
In Key Stage Two, children extend their knowledge and understanding of religions, beliefs and values, recognising personal, local, national and global contexts. They are introduced to an extended range of sources and subject specific vocabulary. They are encouraged to be curious and to ask and discuss increasingly challenging questions about beliefs, values and human life, drawing on the insights of religions and other world views. Children respond with their own ideas, identifying relevant information, selecting examples and giving reasons to support their ideas and views. At Key Stage Two, teaching and learning builds on the Key Stage One focus around Christianity and Islam, and is extended to the study of Judaism and Sikhism, alongside developing understanding of nonreligious approaches to life. Aspects of other faiths are included as appropriate, such as teaching about a specific concept, festival or practice.
Teachers carry out ongoing and regular assessments of attainment in order to further challenge and support pupils’ learning, ensuring pupils are able to access RE. We have high expectations of all learners. All children, including those with SEND, are supported to access RE, through scaffolds, adjustments and additional support where necessary to achieve the intended outcomes.
The impact of our curriculum:
Learning about people from different backgrounds and environments is a key part of our learning journey. The impact of this shows through the respect and individuality of our pupils, ‘Pupils express ideas fluently and show respect for different opinions’ (SIAMS 2019).
- Children enjoy RE and talk positively about what they have learnt. They are inspired by first hand experiences which are memorable to them and help support them to deepen their knowledge and understanding.
- Children demonstrate an understanding of the school’s Values and their biblical inspiration and teaching and know what these look like in practice. They are able to apply this understanding to help make everyday choices.
- Children are inquisitive and want to find out more about religion and faith. They are able to talk confidently about their beliefs, morals and values and are able to ask and answer questions about religion and faith with informed opinions.
- Children are able to confidently share their understanding and views through high quality outcomes (both written and verbal).
- Children show respect, tolerance and understanding for all those around them including themselves.
- Children develop appreciation and understanding for all world religions and world views, allowing them to celebrate the diversity of our multicultural world.
- Children demonstrate their understanding of religion through use of the correct vocabulary, explanations and respectful opinions, as well as cross-curricular evidence, for example religious and cultural art work, drama, craft and presentations.
- Children develop their understanding of the idea of advocacy, to know how they can challenge injustice and how they can help to make the world a better place.
What our children say:
“In year 4, I enjoyed it when my mum came in to teach us about Islam.”
“We get to learn about different religions and learn about key facts.”
“I love learning about different cultures.”
“I enjoy reading and listening to bible stories, especially when we have to answer questions on it and think of our own questions.”
“I loved learning about the story of creation.”