our religious Education CurriculumArticle 14: Every child has the right to think and believe what they want and to practice their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights.
Article 20: If a child cannot be looked after by their family, governments must make sure they are looked after properly by people who respect the child’s religion, culture and language.
Article 30: Every child has the right to learn and use language, customs and religion of their family, regardless of whether these are shared by the majority of people in the country where they live.
Religious Education is taught in addition to the National Curriculum in line with recommendations laid down by the Department of Education and the Local Authority.
At Bangabandhu we teach the subject through the exploration of 'big questions'. Teaching in this way helps children to compare and consider everybody and think critically, ultimately leading to greater understanding and respect.
There is a balance in RE between learning about Religions, ie facts, artefacts, specific details and common themes across Religions, to learning from religion, ie thoughts, perceptions, analysing facts and looking at the meaning of stories and events. We encourage our children to be critical thinkers.
We also make it clear to children that not everyone has a religion and that not everyone believes in a God. We in no way promote any particular religion. We celebrate various festivals and their traditions. At Christmas we have a Christmas performance with a traditional nativity and Christmas songs.
Our curriculum is based on the Tower Hamlets SACRE Agreed Syllabus, a summary of which you can access here.
Our goal is for our children to become religiously literate, therefore they must have:
- An outstanding level of religious understanding and knowledge.
- A thorough engagement with a range of ultimate questions about the meaning and significance of existence.
- The ability to ask significant and highly reflective questions about religion and demonstrate an excellent understanding of issues related to the nature, truth and value of religion.
- A strong understanding of how the beliefs, values, practices and ways of life within any religion cohere together.
- Exceptional independence; the ability to think for themselves and take the initiative in, for example, asking questions, carrying out investigations, evaluating ideas and working constructively with others.
- Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity, which are shown in their responses to their learning in RE.
- The ability to link the study of religion and belief to personal reflections on meaning and purpose.
- A wide knowledge and deep understanding across a wide range of religions and beliefs.
We believe that for children to secure greater depth, it is important that they first have solid fundamental foundations. Fundamental foundations should not be rushed and so the notion of ‘rapid progress’ must be dismissed. Instead the goal of repetition should be seen as both useful and necessary. This is why you will see us returning regularly to religious knowledge and concepts.
Cognitive Domains - Degrees of Understanding
We refer to three degrees of understanding and thinking ‘Basic’, ‘Advancing’ and ‘Deep’.
BASIC – Low level cognitive demand. Involves acquisition of fundamental foundations.
ADVANCING – Higher level cognitive demands beyond recall. Requires application involving some degree of decision making in how to apply fundamental foundations.
DEEP – Cognitive demand involves non-standard, non-routine, inter-connected, multi-step thinking in problems with more than one possible solution. Requires reasoning and justification for the inventive application of fundamental foundations.
Time scales for progression through the cognitive domains -
Milestone 1 – Y1 & Y2
Milestone 2 – Y3 & Y4
Milestone 3 – Y5 & Y6
Each milestone should be seen as containing two phases. In the first phase, pupils should repeat the content a sufficient number of times to secure fundamental foundations; in the second phase, they should apply the foundations in order to reach the ‘expected’ standard. If they reach this before the end of the second phase, they should move on to tasks that will secure greater depth. Thus, progress through the cognitive domains take two years.
It is expected that by the end of Year 1, pupils should be able to complete the BASIC tasks to secure fundamental foundations and by the end of Year 2, the ADVANCING tasks. It is also reasonable that a number of children may move on to the DEEP activities if they secure an early understanding of advancing.
Y1 & Y2
Y3 & Y4
Y5 & Y6
We believe that it is therefore extremely important to secure the fundamental foundations before trying to secure greater depth.
Curriculum Breadth, Depth & Progression Principles
We have carefully planned our curriculum to ensure progression as well as breadth and depth. These are the principles we have adhered to:
- We revisit the same micro-topics in both years of a milestone so that pupils have a chance to connect topics together (intra-curriculum links).
- Threshold concepts are returned to regularly within and through all the milestones.
- Planning ensures that we move from basic to advancing, with some children achieving deeper learning over the two years within a milestone.
Building a Religious Education Schema at Bangabandhu
Our pupils will form a RE schema* by:
- using concepts as the basis for schema. We call these threshold concepts; these are the ideas which form the basis for the subject schema. In Religious Education the threshold concepts are Understand beliefs and teachings, Understand practices and lifestyles, Understand how beliefs are conveyed, Reflect and Understand values.
- strengthening the schema with knowledge. The knowledge comes from our topics. Within each topic are knowledge categories, the facets of each threshold concept that helps to strengthen the schema. The Religious Education knowledge categories are Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Atheism.
- Further deepening connections through tasks. This is what is developed though our planning.
*Schema – Schema theory states that all knowledge is organised into units. A schema, therefore, is a conceptual system for understanding knowledge. A subject schema is a way of organising knowledge in a meaningful way; it is an appreciation of how facts are connected and they ways in which they are connected. A schema is distinct from information, which is just isolated facts that have no organisational basis or links.
Threshold Concepts - Big Ideas
We teach teach these three threshold concepts throughout KS1 and KS2. These are the big ideas that underpin the subject. The three threshold concepts are:
- Believing - Learning about religious beliefs, teaching, and sources
- Expressing - Learning abut religious and spiritual forms of expression
- Living - Learning about religious and non religious ways of living, and about values and commitments
The Big Ideas
Milestone 1 Milestone 2 Milestone 3
Learning about religious beliefs, teaching, and sources
-Describe some of the teachings of a religion
-Describe some of the main festivals or celebrations of a religion
-Name some religious symbols
-Explain the meaning of some religious symbols
-Present the key teachings and beliefs of a religion.
• Refer to religious figures and holy books to explain answers.
• Identify religious symbolism in literature and the arts.
=Explain how some teachings and beliefs are shared between religions.
• Explain how religious beliefs shape the lives of individuals and communities.
• Explain some of the different ways that individuals show their beliefs.
Learning abut religious and spiritual forms of expression
=Recognise, name and describe some religious artefacts, places and practices
=Identify religious artefacts and explain how and why they are used.
• Describe religious buildings and explain how they are used.
• Explain some of the religious practices of both clerics and individuals.
=Explain the practices and lifestyles involved in belonging to a faith community.
• Compare and contrast the lifestyles of different faith groups and give reasons why some within the same faith may adopt different lifestyles.
• Show an understanding of the role of a spiritual leader.
Learning about religious and non religious ways of living, and about values and commitments.
-Identify the things that are important in their own lives and compare these to religious beliefs
-Relate emotions to some of the experiences of religious figures studied
-Ask questions about puzzling aspects of life
Identify how they have to make their own choices in life.
• Explain how actions affect others.
• Show an understanding of the term ‘morals’.
-Show an understanding that personal experiences and feelings influence attitudes and actions.
• Give some reasons why religious figures may have acted as they did.
• Ask questions that have no universally agreed answers.
Explain how beliefs about right and wrong affect people’s behaviour.
• Describe how some of the values held by communities or individuals affect behaviour and actions.
• Discuss and give opinions on stories involving moral dilemmas
-Recognise and express feelings about their own identities. Relate these to religious beliefs or teachings.
• Explain their own ideas about the answers to ultimate questions.
• Explain why their own answers to ultimate questions may differ from those of others.
Explain why different religious communities or individuals may have a different view of what is right and wrong.
• Show an awareness of morals and right and wrong beyond rules (i.e. wanting to act in a certain way despite rules).
• Express their own values and remain respectful of those with different values.
Curriculum Content and End of Key Stage Expectations
Breadth of Study
|Key Stage 1||
Key Stage 2
End of key stage expectations: showing knowledge and understanding
By the end of Key Stage 1, pupils will be able to:
By the end of Key Stage 1, pupils will be able to:
End of Key Stage expectations: expressing ideas, beliefs and insights
By the end of Key Stage 2, pupils will be able to:
By the end of Key Stage 2, pupils will be able to:
Curriculum Breadth Maps (topics) - Intent
How we Implement our Curriculum
Religious Education is taught fortnightly for 45 minutes. We do not block our subjects as we want children to return regularly to the subject knowledge and concepts in order that they are regularly retrieving the tuaght knowledge and concepts, embedding these in their long term memory. This enables them to make progress - know more and remember more.
Subject Specific Vocabulary
We teach children a rich and broad vocabulary in order that they develop a deep understanding of the subjects they study. We carefully select this subject vocabulary, teaching it in context. Here is the RE vocabulary we teach in each milestone.
Our assemblies promote values which complement and reinforce all faiths; they promote positive relationships, tolerance and self-awareness as well as significant events from a range of religions. Assemblies are important social and educational occasions.
We explore shared values through our assemblies. We also learn about the diversity of our world and learn about key events which are important to our community and country. Celebrating effort and success is also a key element of our assemblies whether that be as individuals, groups or the whole school.
We have assembly themes which encourage children to be respectful, co-operate and empathise with others. On occasion we invite carefully selected individuals or groups to speak at our assemblies.
Other opportunities for collective worship occurs during RE and Health and Relationships Education.
Here is the school’s Religious Education policy which has been agreed by the school’s Governing Body. This policy includes the parental right to withdraw children from religious education. We do not recommend withdrawal as Religious Education is vital in helping children understand the world that we live in.
At Bangabandhu we gather daily in a variety of groupings where we celebrate and reflect.
It is an opportunity to help children to reflect on their own experiences and to recognise and celebrate the values and beliefs of the whole community, both in school and the wider world. This celebration and reflection reflects our diverse school community.
At Bangabandhu we celebrate diversity. We are committed to preparing our children to thrive in a multi-cultural world which is rich in faiths and beliefs. Citizens of the future who are tolerant of others are being developed in our school today.
Other opportunities for collective worship occurs during RE and HRE (Health and Relationships Education).
Beyond the National Curriculum - Cultural Capital Experiences
Cultural capital is the essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for their future success. We want to ensure that children at Bangabandhu have a wide and varied range of experiences as they progress through our school. We want them to know about their world; to build a schema of knowledge and to do this through first hand experiences. We intend to provide our children with opportunities to develop not just their knowledge but their interests and talents. Our aim is to prepare them for a successful future.
Our school is in an area of high socio-economic deprivation. We are focused on addressing this disadvantage. Our curriculum is the main provider of cultural capital however there are other aspects of school life which provide essential cultural capital and should not be overlooked. We have planned the cultural provision that goes beyond the curriculum and this plan can be found below. This plan is to capture, illustrate and to strategically plan for the breadth and range of cultural capital experiences we will provide for our children as they move through the school. We are not leaving such an essential element of our school’s provision to chance or individual teacher interest. When a child leaves Bangabandhu in Year 6, we will be certain of what they have learnt and experienced and know that they will be prepared for the next step in their learning and personal development.
Curriculum and Expectation Booklets for Parents
These booklets give an overview of our Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curriculum. They explain what is taught in each subject area as well as outlining some of the expectations we have for children. Parents are given these booklets at the start of each year and they are sent electronically with each term's newsletter.