Religious Education encourages the interpretation of and the response to a variety of religious concepts, beliefs and practices within a pupil’s own and others’ cultural and life experiences. Here at Halterworth we support the development of our pupil’s own values and provide experiences that contribute to their spiritual, social and cultural development. From the earliest opportunity we promote a sense of awe and wonder through first hand experiences and make continual use of our fantastic school grounds.
The R.E. curriculum at Halterworth is taught in accordance with the legal requirements of the Agreed Syllabus for Hampshire, ‘Living Difference IV’. The syllabus asks that children encounter four golden threads - Community, Belonging, Special and Love - which are developed as the children move through the school. They will encounter one golden thread in Year R, two in Year 1 and the other two in Year 2. They then go on to encounter two of the golden threads in Year 3 in different contexts and the other two in Year 4. The process is then repeated in Years 5 and 6.
The syllabus places emphasis on the exploration of meaning, purpose and values of different faiths, through a concept driven approach. We follow the recommended time allocation of 36 hours of taught R.E. for the Foundation stage and Key stage 1 and 45 hours of taught R.E. for Key stage 2. Continuity and progression is ensured through carefully developed medium-term planned units which are delivered half-termly. In Key stage 1, pupils study the faiths of Christianity and Hinduism, in years 3 and 4 it becomes Christianity and Judaism and in years 5 and 6, the pupils study Christianity and Islam. This ensures that a mixture of Abrahamic and Dharmic traditions are being studied in depth.
For children in our Foundation stage, links are made with the Early Learning goals and all younger children at Halterworth, discover concepts which are within their own experience. As the children progress into Key Stage 1, they encounter religious stories, festivals, make use of our artefact collections, engage in art, drama and music and make visits to Romsey Abbey. We celebrate special festival days such as Diwali and these are integrated into the daily timetable.
In Key stage 2, the units studied focus more on concepts that are common to many religions such as God, worship and symbolism. The concepts are always seen as ‘big ideas’ which lead pupils to embark on journeys of enquiry. Due to the nature of an enquiry, each unit is delivered in blocks of time, rather than in a weekly lesson. This allows for the development of deep thinking about issues surrounding a concept including debates, a chance to explore through art, drama and music, and use ICT to research and present evidence. Cross-curricular links are sought wherever possible. Children in year 5 walk to Romsey Baptist church to engage in an ‘Easter experience’, sharing bread and blackcurrant juice in an upper room that is set out to portray the ‘last supper’.
Each year, Key stage 1 present the Christmas Nativity to our parents and lead the Harvest festival and Easter celebration. Many pupils and staff across our 3 schools federation join together in Romsey Abbey in December, to celebrate Advent with singing, readings and a Nativity tableau.
Our overall aim is to ensure that all pupils within Halterworth School receive high quality R.E. provision which is meaningful and celebrates diversity. They are then able to make reasoned judgements about religious issues and have respect for others views. They feel comfortable to express their thoughts and listen to others. There are many forums open to our pupils to develop this within our supportive environment such as the School Council, Green Group, Charities group, Food and Friends group, choir visits to local care homes and opportunities to participate in our daily collective worship.
By fostering a responsible and caring attitude towards each other and developing relationships with others in the community, our pupils are prepared for the responsibilities, opportunities and experiences they will encounter throughout their lives.