RE, Collective Worship, and Spirituality at Mary and John School
The school community strives to embed an inclusive and distinctive Christian vision, which enables pupils and staff to flourish. Relationships at all levels are founded on Christian values and rooted in love. Pupils have positive relationships and care deeply about each other, the wider school community and surroundings. The partnership with the church in the daily life of the school enriches our Christian vision. The curriculum inspires pupils to think deeply about their own spirituality, and to be advocates of change. Collective worship provides opportunities to pray, reflect, and develop spiritually. It also seeks to strengthen the pupils’ Biblical knowledge and understanding of Christian traditions.
Collective Worship, (Celebration Time), is an important part of our school day. It is a time when the whole school community comes together as one. There are no interventions during this time. As Covid restrictions have lifted, the whole school has been able to gather once again for a live Celebration, involving a story or clip reflecting the theme for the term, followed by a biblical connection and then finally, prayers or reflection time. When Celebrations are unable to be live (due to Covid cases), they are enjoyed remotely and are the way we start each day. The whole school enjoy our weekly Celebrations led by the Head and Vicar, respectively. In addition, each teacher will have a week where their class will lead a Celebration, in KS1 and KS2.
The children across the school, spend the fist class Celebration time writing prayers. A selection of prayers is subsequently shared during each class’ Celebration time. Parents of all faiths and worldviews attend church Celebrations, which ordinarily take place at Christmas and Easter. The PTA have also taken part in some KS1 Celebrations, leading up to the Winter fair. Each Friday, (before COVID restrictions), all four KS1 classes in succession, would present their work to parents, grandparents and carers . A pop-up café was available run by parents and carers.
Each teacher has developed space in their classrooms for reflection. This is a quiet space, with prompt questions and resources, to help promote deeper thinking linked to our values, as well as awe and wonder. Children are actively encouraged to engage in these reflection spaces, using them as a space to pause during what can sometimes be a busy day.
RE provides pupils with a deep understanding of world faiths and world views. Children gain knowledge and understanding of a range of world faiths, many of which are represented within the school community, and children are encouraged to bring their own experiences to their learning. As a CE school, when teaching about Christianity, we ensure pupils have a secure understanding and knowledge of the Christian faith.
Children enjoy their weekly RE lessons. As a school, we look for ways to develop children’s spiritual language and curiosity. Teachers confidently manage ideas around Big Questions. Therefore, there is an emphasis on discussion. Using reasoning, acceptance and discursive skills are evident across the curriculum, and outside in the playground. Children enjoy lessons full of varied stimulus and opportunities for discussion. When appropriate, RE is taught in the morning, rather than the afternoon. This catches children’s ideas when they are most fresh and eager to engage in a respectful and reflective way.
Discovery RE is used as a springboard and teachers use a variety of stimulus to inspire and encourage. At the end of each unit of work, children are assessed on what they have learned/enjoyed and asked to share any I Wonders. These are then discussed as a springboard for the next round of lessons, the following term. The most thoughtful ideas are sampled by teachers and added to our Whole School Book of I Wonders. This book shows how wonderfully engaged our children are, and how inspired they are to question things further.
Religious Education Long Term Plan
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Intent, Implementation & Impact