Queens’ Federation: Religious Education Subject Statement
At the Queens’ Federation we aim to foster ‘Learning for Life.’
We will provide a rich, relevant and inspirational curriculum that promotes a lifelong love of learning and equips our pupils with the key knowledge and understanding, skills and personal qualities that they will need to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Our curriculum is designed to be relevant to our children and is linked to the context of our school and the local community.
At the Queens’ Federation, the aim of our RE curriculum is to promote religious understanding, respect and open-mindedness towards others with different faiths and beliefs. It also encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging through self-awareness and reflection. The curriculum engages pupils in an enquiry approach where they can develop an understanding and an appreciation of the beliefs and cultural practices of the local, national and wider global community.
Our RE curriculum is based on the 2018 Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus and focuses on the development of religious literacy. In each year, there is a focus on Christianity and opportunities for pupils to learn about and evaluate their own views on other world religions. Pupils also learn to appreciate their own and the beliefs of others. ‘Big Question’ units of work encourage and promote the contemplation of key concepts and themes within religions and the comparison of these with responses in other faiths, religions and belief systems. Throughout each stage of learning, pupils focus on contexts relating to their family, the local community, national and international societies.
The RE curriculum is enriched through school assemblies and the use of visitors and visits. These have a valuable role to play in providing pupils with access to outside experiences and expertise. They also provide a link with the wider community. Our pupils will also have access to first hand experiences of other faiths through visits to different places of worship and by meeting with people of different faiths. Pupils in KS1 participate in a Christmas performance and perform to friends and family sharing their understanding of the meaning of Christmas.
We view assessment as a holistic process, which takes place in every lesson through observation of, in questioning and in conversation with pupils and in the production of written outcomes. Religious Education assessment criteria set out the key knowledge and skills that a pupil should achieve at the end of each unit of work.
By the end of their time at the Queens’ Federation, pupils will be able to hold a balanced and well-informed conversation about religion and belief, demonstrating respect for the beliefs, values and traditions of others. They will have a clear understanding of the world in which they live and the different faiths that they will meet throughout their lives. Their knowledge and actions will support cohesion within and beyond the school community. Pupil outcomes evidence a broad and balanced religious education curriculum and at the end of each year, pupils achieve age related expectations and retain the knowledge and skills learnt from each unit of work.
R.E. may be taught through a full day or week’s learning on a specific question enquiring into a religion and its practices. This gives the children the opportunity to engage fully with the topic. Children complete an in-depth study of Christianity and other major religions represented in the local community and the UK. The units of study are grouped to ensure children develop a sound understanding across the area of focus. The information below outlines in more detail the religions and questions covered in each year group.
In the EYFS, the children explore religions and religious understanding through the People, Culture and Communities strand of Understanding the World. The children investigate some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class. Activities include, learning about special times, such as birthdays, holidays and the arrival of a new family member; celebrating key events from home and key local events; learning about religious festivals; for example, Eid, Divali, Hanukkah, Holi, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Ramadan, Easter and Bonfire Night. The children find out about special places and places of worship and visitors share information about their own communities and beliefs. Activities are practical and cross-curricular and include art, role-play, dance and music.
|Autumn A - Belonging: What diffrence does being a Christian make to a family? Autumn B - Celebration: Which story is important to Christians at Christmas?
|Spring A - Belonging: What difference does being Muslim make to a family? Spring B - Celebration: Why was Jesus welcomed like a king on Palm Sunday?
|Summer A - Stories: What did Jesus teach about God in his parables? Summer B - Big Questions: How is the birth of a baby celebrated?
|Autumn A - Leaders: Why do Christians trust Jesus and follow him? Autumn B - Believing: Why was Jesus given the name Saviour? - Christmas unit
|Spring A - Belonging: What is important to Jewish families? Spring B - Symbols: What are the best symbols of Jesus' death and resurrection at Easter?
|Summer A - Belonging: How do Sikh beliefs influence how Sikhs live? Summer B - Big Questions: How do people show they are thankful?
|Autumn A - Impact on Individuals: Why is the Bible important to Christians today? Autumn B - Believing: What can different churches tell us about the variety of Christian beliefs?
|Spring A - Engage: How does being a Hindu impact a child's life? Spring B - Celebration: Is Easter a festival of new life or sacrifice? - Good Friday focus
|Summer A - Impact on Individuals: Why do Hindus want to collect good karma? Summer B - Big Questions: How and why do people care for our World?
|Autumn A - Leaders: What difference did Paul's conversion make to Christians? Autumn B - Beliefs in Action: What do Christians mean when they talk about the Kingdom of God?
|Spring A - Leaders: Could Jesus really perform miracles? Spring B - Impact on Individuals: How do Muslims show their submission and obedience to Allah?
|Summer A - Leaders: Why do Muslims call Muhammed the 'Seal of the Prophets'? Summer B - Big Questions: How and why do people help those without a home?
|Autumn A - Commitment: What is the best way for Christians to show commitment to God? Autumn B - Leader: Jesus: Who do people say I am?
|Spring A - Teachings: What influences Jewish people? Spring B - Engage: Why do humanists say happiness is the goal of life?
|Summer A - Beliefs: How did the World begin? Summer B - Big Questions: How can we answer life's ultimate questions?
|Autumn A - Codes for Living / Big Questions: Being Me - Moving on. Autumn B - Beliefs: How do Christians show their belief that Jesus us God incarnate?
|Spring A - Symbols and Religious Expression: How did Buddha teach his followers to find enlightenment? Spring B - Resurrection: Should believing in the resurrection change how Christians view life and death?
|Summer A - Journey of Life and Death: How does the Triple Refuge help Buddhists in their journey through life? Summer B - Codes for Living / Big Questions: Being Me - Moving On.
Information for Parents
At Queens’ Federation we openly encourage parents, other relations and members of specific faiths to come in to provide a personal and accurate explanation of their beliefs and to answer children’s questions. These experiences are invaluable to the children and their understanding, as they hear first-hand what it means to be part of different faith communities. We also seek to offer children opportunities to visit local places of worship throughout their time at our school. If you would be interested in speaking with a class to share your faith and beliefs, or might be able to help facilitate a visit to a place of worship, please speak to your class teacher or the R.E. co-ordinator, Miss Cooper.
Examples of Work
2023-2024 Autumn Term
In RE, the children learnt that the place of worship in Judaism is called a synagogue. They found out that the Jewish Torah scroll is housed in a special cupboard called an Ark within the synagogue. The Torah scroll is a long as a football pitch and is written by hand. It is written in Hebrew. The children tried writing in Hebrew by copying the alphabet.
In RE, the children learnt about why Christians have given Jesus the name ‘Saviour’. They learnt about the Nativity story and heard that Mary and Joseph were told to call their child Jesus, which means ‘he saves’ or ‘saving one’. They thought about each of the characters depicted in the Nativity story and used playdoh to made their own representations of these, either by making figurines or creating something symbolic, such as a crown. The children talked about each character’s role in the story and why they play an important part in this Christian story.
Reverend Rob Hawkins took a whole school assembly about Advent. He explained that this means 'coming' and is a time of preparation in the period before Christmas which celebrates the birth of Jesus. It is all about preparing for Christmas Day. Rob welcomed a baby into his own family recently and told the children how his family had prepared for this.
In Reception the children learnt about Diwali. They took part in a range of practical activities to learn about this festival of light.
Our friends from St. Barnabas Church delivered an engaging assembly about conflict resolution and being fair. Through engaging, interactive storytelling, they helped the children to understand that we can work together to make sure that things feel fair for everyone.
The children learnt about Pentecost and Shavuot through a whole school assembly delivered by our friends at St. Barnabas Church.
We were delighted to welcome families to nursery to share news of their Diwali celebrations.
Children in Nursery learn about the importance of being kind using Kind Kangaroo, who is one of our learning animals.
Reception children had a lovely morning learning about Eid. We looked at photos and heard about how our friends celebrate. Children were able to participate in a variety of activities across both classrooms such as making cards and building mosques.
Reception children enjoyed learning about Diwali and engaging in different activities across both classrooms. We enjoyed activities such as making yummy Raita and Rangoli patterns in the garden
Year 1 have been exploring the question ‘What difference does being a Christian make to a family?’. They learnt about church as a place of belonging where Christians have a church family. They also thought about groups and places where they belong.
Year 2 Summer Term.
In the ‘Big Questions’ unit in RE, Year 2 have been learning how people with different faiths and world views show they are thankful. The children learnt about the Jewish festival of Sukkot. The most popular tradition of Sukkot is building, decorating, and spending time (even sleeping!) inside a hut called a sukkah.
During Sukkot, families welcome guests into their sukkah, or visit friends in theirs, enjoy delicious seasonal food and feel thankful for what they have. After learning about Sukkot, the Year 2 children went on a natural world scavenger hunt to find items and objects that they felt thankful for.
Year 2 Autumn Term.
Year 2 have been thinking hard about the nativity story this half term, focusing on what different characters were told about the baby Jesus. We made the link between the advent calendars (currently being enjoyed by many of the children!) and Advent as a time when Christians prepare for Jesus’ arrival. We had fun creating our own Advent wreaths, which are used in many churches to count time during this season.
People We Trust
As part of our investigations into ‘Why do Christians trust Jesus and follow him?’ Year 2 thought about people they trust. We tried to pinpoint reasons why we might trust a person, and why it’s important to choose the right people to trust. We also found out about some people in the Bible who trusted Jesus, including Zacchaeus.
Year 2 enjoyed meeting a Christian visitor as part of their unit on ‘Why do Christians trust Jesus and follow him?’. The children came up with loads of super questions to quiz her with and listened really carefully to her answers. First-hand experiences like this are invaluable for giving children an insight into the difference the visitor’s faith makes to their life.
Year 3 have been building on their knowledge of Christian festivals, thinking both about what Christians celebrate at these, and how they might do this.
Year 4 have been investigating ‘What difference did Paul’s conversion make to Christians?’. To help understand the concept of conversion as a complete change they made a flip book of the story, one side showing ‘Saul’ and the other about the newly converted ‘Paul’. They also explored the impact of belief on Mother Teresa and the major changes she made to her life.
Kingdom of God
Year 4 are investigating ‘What do Christians mean by the Kingdom of God?’. They discussed the ‘golden rule’: treat others the way you would like to be treated, as well as some kingdom characteristics. They’ll be going on to explore their own ideas about what would make a perfect community and how people would treat each other within it.
Year 6 Summer Term
In Y6, the children learn about Gautama Buddha and his path to enlightenment. They find out about the important rules that a Buddhist follows and learn where these rules come from by studying Buddhist beliefs and symbolism.
Year 6 Autumn Term
Our penultimate RE lesson this half term, learning about incarnation in Christianity, including us learning about Christingle. This is a symbolic object used in the Advent, Christmas and Epiphany services. Christingle comes from a word of German origin, Christkindl, meaning "Little Christ Child". We wanted to know how Christians show their belief in the incarnation in the way they live their lives. So, we all made one for ourselves, had a lovely time, and learned that each element of a Christingle has a special meaning and helps to tell the Christian story.
Codes for Living
Religion helps many believers make decisions in everyday life, particularly around morality. Year 6 have been considering things that they think are important, which form part of their own personal code for living. They shared their thoughts about why these things were important to them and discussed ways they show commitment to their beliefs