In line with the National Curriculum and the Six Key Questions of the Barnsley Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education we have developed our HCAT RE curriculum. Children learn about a variety of religions and social development points throughout their time at school. The HCAT progressive document supports the progression of knowledge and skills a child should learn and how children revisit knowledge and skills to ensure depth and rigour over time. Religious Education in school provides a balance of opportunities for children to learn about, and learn from, religion. We believe that learning from religion provides huge scope for developing children’s spirituality. As a school, we wholeheartedly believe that a high-quality religious education, which promotes a celebration of all cultures and religions, centred around spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development is essential in promoting strong shared values among children as well as a knowledge and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values. At HCPS, the RE coverage for each half term has been thoughtfully considered to ensure that all six major world religious are covered in all year groups each term. This ensures that the content of each session is purposeful, meaningful and has a relevant context for our children to engage with.
RE is taught discretely and it is delivered to raise interest, self-esteem, creativity and aspirations of all our children. The curriculum is rich and varied, which provides our pupils with the skills required for life in the 21st Century. Within a sequence of RE lessons children would be given chance to explore religions through 6 key questions to ensure continuity and progression in each year group. The questions are designed to guide and shape pupils’ learning in RE across the years of schooling. Pupils begin by handling the key questions very simply, moving on to learn about and respond to religious objects and ideas, to describe for themselves, to analyse information, and increasingly to develop the ability to draw thoughtful and balanced conclusions. The Accelerated Learning Cycle, based on the work of Alastair Smith, is applied in all lessons. It stems from the idea of a supportive and challenging learning environment. The cycle has active engagement through multi-sensory learning, encourages the demonstrating understanding of learning in a variety of ways and the consolidation of knowing. It is important that children ‘know more and remember more’ about each religion and can articulate what they know confidently to others.
Formative assessment is ongoing throughout each lesson. It judges progress and enables teachers to make flexible adaptions to their planned teaching. Through this regular ongoing assessment, careful adaptations are made and scaffolds provided to enable all children to access challenging and stimulating tasks. INSIGHT is used as a summative assessment to assess foundation subjects. The curriculum is regularly reviewed to identify any gaps or misconceptions to be addressed or passed onto the following teachers. As a school, we believe that reflection time is an important step in pupil learning and progress. We ensure that our pupils are given time to reflect upon their learning. Reflection helps us to recognise what and how we have learned and what we need to focus on in the future. Reflection should be about valuing and encouraging pupil involvement – getting them to share ideas, listen to each other and develop the confidence to join in.
At HCPS our curriculum is ambitious for all pupils, including those children with SEND. Curriculum designers and teachers have high expectations of what SEND pupils can achieve and the curriculum is not diluted or unnecessarily reduced for SEND pupils. Every pupil is different and so what works for each pupil varies. Pupil’s individual needs are considered and adaptations are planned to ensure the success of pupils in all subjects. The way that our curriculum is designed ensures that chunks of learning are sequenced in a coherent way to enable all pupils, including those with SEND, to build on prior knowledge. Too much information at once can be a barrier to learning which is one of the reason why we have chosen half termly curriculum drivers. Where pupils are identified with having complex needs it may be appropriate to provide a personalised curriculum which will be based on individual needs and will retain ambition for the pupil. Where working memory is an issue for pupils, including those with SEND, we look to reduce extraneous load as much as possible as well as identifying key information when teaching. This helps pupils to pay attention to the content which they are expected to learn. Adaptations to support individual pupils will be recorded on personal school support plans.
At HCPS we do not assume that pupils with SEND learn content better through practical work as this can cause distraction and cognitive overload rather than increase clarity or accessibility. The curriculum is not narrowed for any pupils. Knowledge is taught and then pupils are provided with opportunities for scientific enquiry to test and investigate the knowledge taught. Pupils specific needs determine the types of adaptations which are required. These adaptations are in how the subject is taught rather than the content pupils are expected to learn. Where appropriate, learning will be chunked into smaller steps and pre learning and consolidation time in planned in to support need. Time is also planned to ensure pupils with SEND are pre taught vocabulary to support their understanding. Adaptations may include supporting pupils to pay attention to key aspects as well as reducing excessive or unhelpful demands on working memory.