Within our broad and balanced curriculum, we recognise RE as an important subject - both in its own right and as contributing to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils. We believe that it is vital for all our pupils to learn from and about religion, so that they can understand the world around them. Through Religious Education, pupils develop their knowledge of world faiths, as well as their awareness and understanding of the beliefs, values and traditions of other individuals, societies, communities and cultures. In line with the Salford Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, delivered through Discovery RE, Religious Education at Dukesgate Academy aims to develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the religions and beliefs which form today’s society.
To ensure curriculum coverage and that the legal requirements set out in the Salford Agreed Syllabus are met, we plan for a whole school RE week each term. By delivering teaching in this way, we have found high levels of pupil engagement and interest. Learning is enriched through trips to local places of worship. The published scheme, Discovery RE, was chosen because it supports the ethos of Dukesgate Academy. It focuses on developing tolerance and understanding through questioning and discussion. The scheme also details specific vocabulary with which to talk about pupils’ learning, views and beliefs. Pupils are encouraged to share their experience and expertise through the reflections built into this scheme. This links with our approach towards behaviour – an intrinsic motivation to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and because it helps everyone to stick to the school rules and to contribute positively to their community.
Christianity is taught in every year group, with Christmas and Easter given fresh treatment every year, developing children’s learning in a progressive way. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism are included, and there is flexibility as to which religions our school chooses to teach. All units have an overarching key question, encouraging pupils to apply the knowledge gained and provide plausible answers at various stages throughout.
Our chosen scheme, Discovery RE, is planned to ensure that knowledge progresses year on year, giving pupils the knowledge, skills and attitudes that they need to build on their previous learning and reflect on their new learning. We value all beliefs and encourage pupils to become experts; explaining and sharing their customs and practices as a way of bringing out the best from everyone and celebrating diversity.
At the end of each unit, teachers identify whether a child is working towards, at, or beyond expectations by measuring standards achieved against example planned outcomes for each objective. Pupils are expected to self-assess through personal reflections of their learning journey at different stages of each unit, not just at the end.
In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum using the following methods:
- Pupil discussions about their learning, including discussion of their thoughts, ideas, processing and evaluations.
- Evaluating how well children reflect on their experiences, ask questions, make judgements about their strengths and needs, and begin to plan how to make progress and set personal targets.
- Making formative assessments of RE work in lessons.
- Recording and reporting to parents as part of the child’s annual school report.