According to the R.E. Council

‘the ability to understand the faith or belief of individuals and communities and how these may shape their culture or behaviour, is an invaluable asset for children in modern day Britain.’

At Timbertree Academy, we know this is essential with our focus placed on children becoming confident individuals, successful learners and responsible citizens who recognise the importance of mutual respect and understanding of their community and the world around them. We recognise that children must be guided to develop this and in turn the tolerance of others and R.E. is a key area of the curriculum in which this can be achieved..

As a school, we follow the Discovery RE scheme of learning. Discovery RE follows an enquiry-based model which enables children to make links between their own experiences and the teachings of different religions as well as the opportunity to develop their critical thinking skills and expand their empathy for people and their beliefs.

Our aim through RE is to foster an enquiring nature and allow children to make their own informed decisions about religion, take part in well-balanced discussions, consider and evaluate positions they encounter and carry their understanding forward into the wider world. R.E lessons are progressive year on year giving children the opportunity to build on their prior learning and make connections between religions.

‘RE does not try to persuade but rather to inform and develop the skills with which evaluation can take place.’ – Discovery RE.

  • Implementation

    R.E. lessons take place weekly in all year groups at Timbertree and are based around the study of Christianity and at least one other religion throughout the course of the year. Our R.E. curriculum has been sequenced to represent our local community first and foremost: to expose children to the religions they are most likely to encounter in order to develop their understanding and empathy for individuals they encounter. Our curriculum covers Christianity and Islam as the key religions within our community then extends to Sikhism and Hinduism as religions that are demographically predominant in Sandwell. Children will also encounter Judaism and Buddhism throughout their Corngreaves journey to prepare them appropriately for their time beyond Timbertree Academy and deepen their understanding of the wider world. Please find our R.E. Sequencing Roadmap below for further information about what is taught, when.

    Every unit lasts for one half term and is based around a key question which is the overarching focus of the unit. Throughout the unit, children will work to make connections to what they know and their own lives, gather evidence (substantive knowledge) to develop their views and reach a conclusion based on what they know and think.  Units culminate in the opportunity for children to reach their own conclusion utilising their critical thinking, personal reflection, own thoughts and feelings, subject knowledge and their spiritual development.

    The unit structure is as follows:

  • Engagement

    Units begin with an engagement session which is focussed around the child’s own understanding or personal experience. Beginning with their own personal experience enables children to understand the concept that is being studied and a basis on which to build the unit.

  • Investigation

    Children will then move onto investigating the concept from the point of view of the chosen religion. It is here that children’s substantive knowledge will be developed as religion specific knowledge is taught. Investigation and discussion enables children to develop further, engaging in key discussions that embed knowledge and further improve oracy and critical thinking.

  • Evaluation

    Following on from the Investigation sessions, children are given the opportunity to consider what they have learned and carry out an evidence informed reflection answering the unit question. This requires children to draw upon their understanding of the substantive knowledge and utilise their ever developing wider skills including critical thinking, personal reflection and articulation of their own thoughts and feelings

  • Expression

    The final stage of the unit calls upon children to look back at where they started the unit and their initial views and thoughts. Children will utilise this, revisit what they have covered, then express their views and thoughts at the end of the unit. Children will be encouraged to recognise that with further knowledge, our views will change and that this demonstrates that we have grown as a learner and an individual.

  • Lesson Structure

    Sessions are designed following a Recall, Vocabulary, Explain, Example, Attempt, Apply, Reflect structure to ensure taught content is applied and embedded.

    The medium-term nature of Discovery R.E. planning enables teachers the freedom to develop lessons that support the learners within the class; supporting and extending as appropriate to enable all children to make good progress within sessions.

    Lessons are designed to encourage children to make links back to previous lessons, units and any further experience they have, resulting in deeper understanding.

  • Impact

    Children make progress by knowing more, remembering more and being able to do more: they need to transfer and embed key concepts into their long-term memory and apply them fluently.

    As an enquiry-based area of the curriculum, we assess the impact of R.E. in a number of ways:

    • the use of recall activities which allow teachers to assess if key learning has ‘stuck’;
    • children demonstrating a positive attitude towards, and understanding of people of any religion or with cultural beliefs different to their own;
    • children demonstrating respectful behaviour to all which is transferable outside of school in the wider community and beyond;
    • assessing the appropriate use of Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary within lessons;
    • ongoing assessment by teachers upon the marking of books which informs future lessons;
    • book studies carried out by leaders;
    • pupil conferences carried out throughout the course of the year.

    At Timbertree Academy, impact is seen not just within R.E. sessions, but through the way our children conduct themselves and have developed as thinkers and members of our class, school and community families.

  • Aims of the RE Curriculum

    The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage aims to: 

    • EYFS
      • ELG: People, Culture and Communities - Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.

    The National Curriculum for Religious Education aims to ensure our pupils in;

    • Key Stage One
      • Learn about the place of religion and belief in their local community
      • Learn about key features of Christianity
      • Learn about key features of at least one other religion or non-religious worldview
    • Key Stage Two
      • Learn about the nature of religion and belief
      • Learn about Christianity
      • Learn about at least two other religions and/or worldviews

More information