At the Gipsy Hill Federation, the RE Curriculum develops pupils' knowledge and understanding of key religions, beliefs and traditions. In particular, students learn about Islam, Christianity and Judaism as the three Abrahamic faiths, alongside Sikhism, Buddhism (Lambeth), Humanism (Southwark) and Hinduism. As our federation spans two different London boroughs, each school follows the SACRE Syllabus for their respective municipality.
Children learn essential facts and concepts about the different faith groups while being taught key skills such as comparing and contrasting, making connections, analysing and evaluating ideas and theories and how to empathise with people from different traditions and backgrounds.
Children’s religious learning in EYFS starts with the familiar:their own identity and those of their families. They explore celebrations and stories, learning about what happens during important religion festivals throughout the year.
In Key Stage One, the focus on storytelling continues with topics looking deeper at the stories behind Easter, Christmas, the life of Muhammad, Jesus, prophets, gurus and characters from the Old Testament. Additionally, building on the Foundation Stage, pupils learn how festivals are celebrated throughout a community and what it means for a person to believe in God. Additionally, in year 2, they explore how belief might influence the way that a person behaves.
In Key Stage Two, children build on their understanding of their own identity and belonging while comparing their own experiences with others’. They are encouraged to reflect on their own beliefs (whether they are religious or non-religious) and consider the impact of what they are learning. They are encouraged to analyse and make connections between different beliefs, considering how faith impacts the believer’s world view. Children think critically about morality, truth, right and wrong. They explore religious responses to war, poverty and injustice. This allows them to investigate the relationship between RE, art, philosophy and social history, asking difficult questions and considering the impact of the answers.
Across all key stages, children express their learning through drama, art, discussion and writing. We celebrate important religious festivals throughout the year as whole school events, involving our local faith communities and families.
At the Gipsy Hill Federation, the importance of religious education, we believe, is pivotal in helping children and young people to grow into respectful citizens who make a positive contribution to our diversity city. RE provokes challenging questions about the meaning of life, identity, community, ethics and social justice.
Each half-termly unit is underpinned by a BIG Question which supports the children’s learning.