As a Church School Religious Education has a high profile within our school curriculum. Our aim is to enable our children to become religiously literate and to help prepare them for life in the 21st Century. We follow the Kent Agreed Syllabus, with children in Key Stage One receiving one hour of RE teaching per week, rising to one and a quarter hours in Key Stage Two. Children learn significant theological concepts in Christianity as well as other world religions of Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism.
All RE lessons are enquiry based and each unit of lessons begins with a question. Children have the opportunity to reflect upon these questions through different learning styles such as art, stories, interactive games, studying artefacts, drama, music and visits. Pupils’ comments may be recorded in thought bubbles, pictures or on post-it notes and added to the classroom working wall.
RE at Sissinghurst helps children with their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development as well as their own religious beliefs.
At the start of Key Stage 1, children begin to look at religions and beliefs by talking about concepts that form the basis of religion and belief systems; belonging, commitment, kindness and forgiveness, to recall facts about different religions and beliefs and begin to use religious vocabulary to explain the significance and meaning of different religious practices. By the end of Key Stage 2, children will explain how a belief or concept, like forgiveness, resonates with their own life and begin to see how this may differ for other people because of their beliefs or religion and to explain the differences of practices and interpretations between and within different religion and belief systems, weighing up evidence to express their answer. We aim to give our children the tools to explore their own beliefs and values, building on their sense of identity and belonging and sense of community, understanding that a calendar year is punctuated with important times and events when families and communities come together in celebration of gratitude, reflection, love and change.
At Sissinghurst, it is our belief that in community lies strength. We aim for our children to explore and experience RE in a way that is indicative of real life, that is insightful and that aims to enhance our children’s spiritual, moral and cultural development. We recognise that faith and religion forms a crucial part of the identity and culture of our community and we want to celebrate our similarities and differences, ensuring that RE links to the personal experiences of our children and to the values we uphold as a school. We encourage and invite our children and families to share and celebrate their culture within school through assemblies, show and tell and class discussion.
To enrich their learning we plan experiences to local libraries, museums and local places of worship to provide our children with a real life perspective into the rich culture of different faiths and religions to develop a more holistic understanding of what they are learning. In addition to external visits, we frequently seek to invite leaders of local places of worship into our school to discuss their religion with our children.