At Danesfield School, our intent is to provide children with critical thinking skills, the ability to personally reflect on the child’s own thoughts and feelings, to grow subject knowledge and nurture spiritual development. The teaching of RE is enriching and engaging, following an enquiry-based approach, where we learn about, and from, the main world faiths in a progressive way from preschool up to Year 6. In the early years, the learning is closely matched to Development Matters to contribute meaningfully to your child’s holistic development. Throughout all the enquiries, the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural education is carefully considered and RE lessons also contribute to pupils’ personal development and well-being and to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society.
When the children fully understand the concept they are considering, they then move on to investigating what the people following the studied religion believe about it. They will spend approximately 3 lessons on this, learning in a variety of ways, so they can adapt their responses and come to a measured conclusion. In week 5, they will complete an activity which can assess their learning, by answering their “big” question. The assessment activities are child-friendly and can be answered in a variety of ways, as long as the child can justify their view with the knowledge they have gained throughout the enquiry. This demonstrates the level of critical thinking that the children can apply – a valuable skill for them throughout the school curriculum.
At Danesfield, collective worship provides the opportunity for pupils to consider spiritual and moral issues and to explore their own beliefs, in both religious and non-religious way. It encourages participation and response where children can either get actively involved or simply listen to and join in the worship offered. It also serves to develop community spirit, promote a common ethos and shared values, and reinforce positive attitudes. Collective worship is achieved through a number of ways at Danesfield. Children take part in a weekly achievement assembly, where children celebrate the effort and achievements of themselves as well as others, instilling a well-developed sense of community and an idea of belonging to something larger than the self, in a supportive, encouraging environment.