Religious Education at Bransty
At Bransty Primary School we follow Cumbria Agreed Syllabus using Discovery RE.
Discovery RE is an enquiry-based scheme of work, covering the 6 principal world faiths in a progressive way from Nursery to Year 6. In the early years, the learning is closely matched to Development Matters to contribute meaningfully to your child’s holistic development. Throughout all the enquiries, the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural education is carefully considered.
By following Discovery RE at Bransty Primary School we intend that Religious Education will:-
- adopt an enquiry- based approach as recommended by Ofsted, beginning with the children’s own life experience before moving into learning about and from religion.
- provoke challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs, the self, and issues of right and wrong, commitment and belonging. It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, and religious traditions that examine these questions, fostering personal reflection and spiritual development.
- encourage pupils to explore their own beliefs (religious or non-religious), in the light of what they learn, as they examine issues of religious belief and faith and how these impact on personal, institutional and social ethics; and to express their responses.
- enable pupils to build their sense of identity and belonging, which helps them flourish within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society.
- teach pupils to develop respect for others, including people with different faiths and beliefs, and helps to challenge prejudice.
- prompt pupils to consider their responsibilities to themselves and to others, and to explore how they might contribute to their communities and to wider society. It encourages empathy, generosity and compassion.
- develop a sense of awe, wonder and mystery.
- nurture children’s own spiritual development.
Each enquiry lasts for half a term and begins with a “big” question such as “What is the best way for a Christian/Jew/Muslim etc. to show commitment to God?” The children then start discussing the theme of the enquiry (in this case, commitment) from their own experience. What have they shown commitment to? Brownies? Cubs? Their sporting team? Playing an instrument?
Only when the children fully understand the concept they are considering, do they then move on to investigating what the people following the studied religion believe about it. They will spend approximately 3 lessons on this, learning in a variety of ways, so they can adapt their responses and come to a measured conclusion. In week 5 they will complete an activity which can assess their learning, by answering their “big” question. The assessment activities are child friendly and can be answered in a variety of ways, as long as the child can justify their view with the knowledge they have gained throughout the enquiry. This demonstrates the level of critical thinking that the children can apply – a valuable skill for them throughout the school curriculum.
The final week in every enquiry gives the children time to reflect on what they have learnt about the concept and apply to it their own lives, thus allowing them to form their own beliefs and identity. For example, learning that Sikhs share their food with all who attend has taught me; “about sharing that I would like to take forward with me”
These lessons are often very creative and children have opportunities to make items to express themselves in ways other than just writing.
Discovery RE gives schools a choice of which religions to teach in different year groups.