Subject Lead: Mr Andrew Cooke [email protected]
The curriculum for Religious Education at All Souls uses the Archdiocese of Birmingham Diocese’s own strategy from Foundation to Year 6 called ‘Learning and Growing as the People of God’. More information about this can be found here.
What is our vision for RE at All Souls?
At All Souls Catholic Primary School our every decision is made with the understanding that every person is a child of God. We follow the mission statement ‘Christ is our light’ with the genuine commitment to do all that we do through the very footsteps of Jesus. Like Jesus, we value every person for who they are, make decisions driven by compassion and love as well as living to serve others. At their baptism, parents promise to raise the children in the practice of the faith by loving God and their neighbour; our school is committed to the fulfilment of this promise in collaboration with parents. Christ is at the very heart of everything we do, which is reflected in the fact that our ethos, vision and RE curriculum strive to meet this at all times. We believe that through having the courage to embrace our uniqueness in our approach, we provide children with a broad, rich curriculum that celebrates the faith of our school and the faith of others. As a foundation for our curriculum vision, we use the values instilled through scripture so that children make good choices, treat others with respect and listen to and actively seek their call from God. Children arrive at All Souls’ with unique foundations of faith and we celebrate this together, embarking on a journey of spiritual, moral, cultural and ethical development as followers of Christ. Our holistic approach develops children’s ability to look beyond themselves, question, justify and understand the world. They are then ready and passionate disciples of Christ, as living witnesses to the Gospels and able to spread the message of Christ beyond our school and local community.
How do we achieve this vision?
Our RE Curriculum is introduced from the very beginning of the children’s journey in the Early Year Foundation Stage. As directed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, RE is allocated to cover in excess of 10% of the curriculum teach time. This means for all year groups that RE should be taught twice a week in 1-hour sessions. Teachers use the objectives and learning intentions set out in the diocesan strategy ‘Learning and Growing as the people of God’ as a starting point for lesson planning, with an emphasis on providing children with opportunities to develop in knowledge, understanding and deepening spirituality in the Catholic faith. Our Long Term Plan for RE shows how the strategy units are implemented and developed as the children move through the school.
Pupils record their learning in specific RE exercise books from Nursery onwards, when reaching Year Six the children have two separate workbooks; one for the RE curriculum and one for their Confirmation preparation. The children receive new books every year as they move forward in their spiritual development and curriculum content. As part of the strategy there are complementary units as the children move through year groups to build on previous learning outcomes in former years. Teachers are mindful of work provided within these lessons to ensure it is a reflection of the child’s RE skill and development and not their abilities in English written language.
Lesson delivery takes a multisensory approach, through role play, dramatization, reflections, poetry, freeze frames, prayer, collective worship, meditation and guided activities. Questioning is a key part of the learning process in RE and involves suitable reflective questions being posed with the children expressing their own personal and individual responses. Lesson typically follow a staged process of gather, teach, apply and reflect. In this approach, we begin with a prayer or focus on Biblical scripture, process of teaching which includes modelling and exposure to a new element of the RE curriculum, applying the knowledge learnt in the teach to a specific task and then as an end point, reflecting on the knowledge in a personal time of reflection. This reflection can be as a consequence of a question asked, as addressed previously, or it could be in a time of quiet thought or prayer.
Assessment occurs in all units for focus children within every year group, these children are identified using the diocesan criteria. End of Unit assessments are carried out by class teachers three times a year, established by the Diocese, and work to gain clarity on the teaching and learning process. The focus for assessment follows a four year rolling programme based on the following themes: The Liturgical Year, Scripture, The Sacraments and Living as Christians. The assessment schedule identifies which units are to be assessed by each year group and are used in conjunction with the relevant class record sheets. These assessments should be completed based upon the understanding and recognizing that no two children are the same and therefore assessment is child specific in terms of lesson outcomes. Teachers then ensure that individual children’s needs are considered, planned for and met throughout the units to follow. This ensures that there is a constant focus on children’s development in all aspects of the curriculum especially in the key focus areas of knowledge and understanding, engagement and response and analysis and evaluation. The teaching of RE stretches far beyond lessons facilitated within the classroom in their allocated time. The RE curriculum is the very reason we exist as a Catholic school, it is the fundamental understanding of our faith and crucial to our ethos. We live out our RE curriculum daily and through doing so we implement the foundations of our faith into all that we do.
How does this impact our children?
The children at All Souls know that they are loved, this is displayed all around and can be seen in every aspect of school life. This includes classroom and corridor displays, altars in each classroom and corridor areas, the way the children interact with each other, staff and visitors. Our school environment provides a safe space for children to grow in moral, social, spiritual, vocational and cultural development. Our children know that they have a responsibility towards each other and the need to take care of this God given world. This is reflected in the positive impact they display through their living out of the Catholic faith, in their responses to charitable outreach, their contributions to the Liturgy of the school and parish and in the reflective work they produce in their RE books. The children leave All Souls and move to further education with a firm understanding of their faith and a full insight into what this means for them as Children of God.
Year 3 receive the sacrament of Reconciliation in the spring term. The children are prepared by their class teacher using the Diocesan RE strategy with some additional materials compiled by school. Parents are very much encouraged to go to confession on this occasion as role models of the faith for their children.
First Holy Communion:
Year 3 receive the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist during the summer term. The programme of study starts with a mass of commitment in the autumn term. The children are prepared by their teacher using the Diocesan RE strategy but also with the support of the parish community. Throughout the course of the year, Fr Paul leads our children and families through a reflective and supportive approach of preparation to ensure children are adequately informed and ready to take the next steps on their faith journey.
These sessions will be once a month on a Saturday evening at All Souls Church.
Year 6 receive the sacrament of confirmation, dependent upon the times given to us by the Diocese. A mass of commitment mass takes place in the autumn term.
Teaching is taken from the Diocesan RE strategy throughout the school year. It is seen as an integral part of the children’s journey of faith, not just as a standalone unit.
The children are prepared by their teacher using the Diocesan RE strategy but also with the support of the parish community. Throughout the course of the year, Fr Paul leads our children and families through a reflective and supportive approach of preparation to ensure children are adequately informed and ready to take the next steps on their faith journey.
These sessions will be once a month on a Saturday evening at All Souls Church.
Catholic School Pupil Profile
At the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches the people about the values that build up the kingdom of God. Assemblies, prayer services and reflection should be rooted in The Beatitudes and Catholic Pupil Profile. The Catholic Schools Pupil Profile is several pairs of Values and Virtues, which work to support the children’s spiritual, moral, vocational, social, and cultural development. Each half term, we focus on a new pair of Values and Virtues from the Profile. They are celebrated through displayed work, within Catholic Life Books, throughout class prayer services and play. The Values and Virtues we promote each term are the foundation of our school ethos and help us to live by the Gospel Values, it is imperative that these continue to be a focus within the classroom.
As the mass is the centre of the liturgical worship in the Catholic Church, it has an established place in the life of the school. A timetable for each term is planned by the Headteacher, RE lead and parish priest to include commitment masses and Parish links. The children are involved in planning and the celebration of mass.
Each class attends mass in our parish church on a rolling programme, several masses led by the children are held throughout the year:
The first Sunday of every month, this mass provides a lovely opportunity for school and parish to join together in the celebration of mass. Held monthly at All Souls Church, 9.15am mass. Year Six children take on additional responsibilities to live out their vocation and call to serve.
Key Stage/Class Mass
Takes place during school time with the support of school staff, a wonderful opportunity to share in the celebration of mass with their school family. This happens on a rota so children attend mass at least twice during a half term. Parents and families are welcome to attend these masses if possible. Children take on the key roles in mass including altar serving, offertory, reading and singing.
Whole School Mass
Takes place less regularly than the key stage/class masses but at least once every half term and on special celebration days e.g. All Souls’ Day. Takes place during school time with the support of school staff, a wonderful opportunity to share in the celebration of mass with their school family. Parents and families are welcome to attend these masses if possible. Children take on the key roles in mass including altar serving, offertory, reading and singing.
Children experience prayer every single day during multiple different times. Although times for set prayer within the school day, we encourage spontaneous prayer throughout the school day and provide opportunities of quiet reflection.
Prayer services are held on a weekly basis within classrooms as part of the children’s Religious Education programme and collective worship.
Children are encouraged to prepare and lead the prayer service and are supported to do this with the teacher. Children experience both planned for and spontaneous prayer as well as the opportunity to express guided meditation and reflection.
Within the first weeks of the school year. Reception children are paired with a child from Year 6 who is their Prayer Friend. The children share a variety of religious and non –religious activities together. Year 6 children accompany their prayer friends to mass. They guide them through the early stages of their journey of faith.
Monday morning assemblies are usually liturgical in nature and are taken by the Headteacher, the Deputy Headteacher or a member of Leadership Team.
Friday assemblies are Super Star assemblies. A time to reflect on the week, for children’s achievements both at school and home to be acknowledged and celebrated. Super Stars assemblies always begin and end with prayer and hymn singing.
Children’s achievements and talents are recognised and celebrated through ‘mini’ assemblies throughout the school year. For example piano or dance assembly.
House Points System –
The school operates a house point system. Children from Years 1 to 6 are organised into four ‘houses’ named after places important in the Life and Teachings of Jesus.
Bethlehem, Nazareth, Cana and Jerusalem
Throughout the school day children have the opportunity to be awarded house points by all staff members. House points are awarded for both academic achievement and displaying Christian values.
Each house has a Year 6 child as a house captain. During Friday Superstar Assemblies house points are collected and rewards given to the winning house. On occasion children from the different houses join together to participate in whole school activities.
Charity Outreach and Community Links-
All year groups have an act of service every term and two acts of giving; either giving time or money to support charities. The children have chosen these acts of service and specific charities that they wish to support following conversations with the teacher. We will continue to support CAFOD campaigns and Father Hudson Appeals to aid our global family.
We are always looking for more opportunities to further support charities or services in our local community but these are just a few we are currently linked with and supporting:
-Trussell trust food bank
-Multiple care homes
-Coventry Refugee Centre
-Cancer research UK
Please find our Religious Education Policy here.
RE Curriculum Map