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Religious Education at The Elms is centred around an enquiry based curriculum, where the children investigate a key question each half term.
Christianity is taught in every year group, with Christmas and Easter given new treatment each year, developing the learning in a progressive way. Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism are also included in the programmes of study.
The philosophy behind the enquiry-based model is that children’s critical thinking skills can be developed, their motivation to learn will be increased and their knowledge and understanding of, and empathy with their beliefs, religious or otherwise will be enhanced. The children are not purely learning about religion, but from religion too and they have the valuable opportunity to think about their own experiences and how they feel about the questions being asked; everything is centred around the child.
During our Christianity enquiries the children are able to read Bible stories and learn from Jesus’ teachings and parables; for example in Year 1 the children look at whether it was always easy for Jesus to show friendship. Through stories such as Zacchaeus they learn that Jesus was friends with all people and looked past their faults, vices and misdemeanours; behaviour which underpins the British values we strive to adhere to at The Elms.
The children also have the opportunity to visit different places of worship and the traditions and customs belonging to each one; hence bringing their learning to life and allowing them to see what they have been learning about first hand. Here at The Elms we are very fortunate to have our own chapel onsite for the children to visit and enjoy, as well as to celebrate collective worship there twice a week.
Religious Education has many different facets and cross curricular links: speaking and listening within the English syllabus, developing understanding and empathy as well as how to be a good friend and citizen, linking with the PSHE curriculum, looking at the locations of where the world religions are upheld linking with the Geography curriculum and researching about how the religions started links with the History curriculum. We also use iPads and laptops to aid the children’s independent learning.