At Forest & Sandridge we will promote an environment where all children feel known, accepted, and valued as individuals, within a caring community, where our Christian faith affects not only what we teach, but also how we teach.
We believe that it is fundamental for the children to belong to a safe and nurturing community, founded on strong Christian values where children will develop an array of skills that will equip them to meet the challenges of our ever changing world in which they can make their own positive contribution to our global society.
In Religious Education we aim to:
1. To provoke challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
2. To develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, religious traditions and world-views, which offer answers to ultimate questions.
3. To encourage pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging, in order to flourish within communities, as responsible citizens in society, and global communities.
4. To teach pupils to develop respect for others, including people with different faiths and beliefs, and helps to challenge prejudice
5. To prompt pupils to consider their responsibilities to themselves and to others, and to explore how they might contribute to their communities and to wider society. It encourages empathy, generosity and compassion.
We use a variety of teaching methods including art, music, discussion, the development of thinking skills, drama, the use of artefacts, pictures, stories, and the use of reflection.
Our RE teaching is informed by two different teaching schemes; Understanding Christianity and Discovery RE. By using these schemes alongside each other, we are ensuring children are given the opportunity to become religiously literate. This means that children will be able to use their RE knowledge to contribute to their communities and use their knowledge in their day to day lives.
Understanding Christianity is a new scheme that aims to support children to develop their understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to their experience of the world and their own experience within it. It is based upon seven core Christian concepts. Children will explore the different concepts in a range of inspiring activities as they move through the school, starting in Foundation Stage and developing a great depth of understanding by the time they reach Year 6.
Understanding Christianity believes that not only should children show an understanding of the religious text and teachings but they should also demonstrate a deepened and more thoughtful approach to their learning and how this influences day to day life. Therefore is based upon a three step enquiry model of teaching:
It is through the seven core concepts and the 3 step enquiry model that children begin to develop a greater understanding of the world around them. Discovery RE works brilliantly alongside Understanding Christianity to ensure that children are given opportunities to explore a wide range of different religions throughout their time in Primary School. It is through using these two schemes alongside each other that we are providing children with a holistic and balanced RE curriculum.
Alongside our RE teaching, we have strong links with St Andrew’s Church, Melksham. As well as the local vicar being a school governor and visiting the school regularly, we also visit the church whenever possible.
We have a variety of services there including a Christmas, Easter and a leavers’ service. We also use the church as a resource for RE lessons, learning about the parts of the church and how they are used within a service and about the different services that are held there and their importance in people’s lives.
The children also have the opportunity to take part in workshops at Salisbury Cathedral to enhance the children’s understanding of the importance of faith to Christians and the importance of the Cathedral as well as the year 6 children attending the Leaver’s Service with other children from the diocese.