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Religious Education - Infant Class

The study of Religious Education (R.E.) is statutory and a core part of a broad and balanced curriculum. The R.E. curriculum is determined locally, not nationally, and our school uses the Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus for R.E. (2020-2025). The purpose of R.E. is summed up in its principal aim:

‘The principal aim of R.E. is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.’

In simpler terms, in the Infant class, we interpret this principal aim as exploring big and challenging questions about life and learning about what people believe and how this affects their lives. In so doing, our pupils can start to make sense of religion and different views of the world, develop a mutual respect and tolerance for the beliefs of others and begin to reflect on and articulate their ideas and consider how the issues raised may influence their own lives.

The legal requirement for both EYFS and KS1 is 36 hours per year and this equates to about an hour each week of tuition in addition to R.E. events/visits. Due to the mixed-age nature of our infant class, it is delivered on a two-year rolling programme. The agreed syllabus requires that all children learn from Christianity and this is dove-tailed with Judaism in one year and Islam in the other which exceeds the minimum entitlement.

The syllabus provides programmes of study for EYFS and Key Stage 1. There are three strands which run through it and these are covered in equal measure:

  1. Believing: This incorporates beliefs, teachings, sources of authority and questions of meaning, purpose and truth.
  2. Expressing: This incorporates religious and spiritual forms of expression; questions about identity and diversity.
  3. Living: This incorporates religious practices and ways of living; questions about values and commitments.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, R.E. sits very firmly within the areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the World although other areas will also be incorporated. The aim is for pupils to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others and to learn how to form positive and respectful relationships through planned taught activities and time spent learning in less formal situations too. They begin to understand and value the differences of individuals and groups within their immediate community. They also have the opportunity to develop their emerging moral and cultural awareness.

In Key Stage 1, the children develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews and relate this knowledge to their local, national and global contexts. They use basic subject-specific vocabulary. They are encouraged to express their own views in response to lesson content and questions about their ideas.

Ongoing formative assessment is used based on the learning outcomes for each unit provided by the Agreed Syllabus for Key Stage 1 (page 32) and the Early Learning Goals for our EYFS pupils.