Religious Education (RE) encompasses not only learning about different religions around the world, but also helps us deepen our conviction of our morals, spirituality and aids our understanding of how to live in harmony with each other. At Holmesdale, we aim to help our children develop an interest in and appreciation for a variety of religions and beliefs which reflect our diverse world. We follow the Surrey agreed syllabus for RE called the SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education). This syllabus allows our children to explore their own spiritual, moral and cultural beliefs; helping them create a strong self-belief, navigating what’s right and wrong and celebrating a range of religions. Alongside our RE lessons, we believe strongly in teaching and demonstrating a range of values in our children, which will equip them for their futures. We have 11 core values that we introduce and celebrate each month across the school. These values are: Friendship, Perseverance, Respect, Appreciation, Co-Operation, Patience, Trust, Caring, Tolerance, Responsibility and Courage.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) we focus on the three core concepts: Specialness, Celebration and Belonging. We provide an abundance of opportunities to develop children’s own beliefs through talking about a variety of traditions and celebrate important events that occur in their everyday lives including birthdays, festivals and holidays such as Diwali and Christmas. This planning is supported by the Department for Education’s ‘Development Matters’ document and predominantly comes under ‘Personal, Social and Emotional Development’ and ‘Understanding the World’, although it has strong links to many of the other curriculum areas too. RE starts from the child’s own experience and progresses to more of a subject content which focuses on religious ideas and concepts. Most of the learning in Early Years RE occurs through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Pupils in EYFS may begin to explore the world of religion and belief in terms of special people, books, times, places and objects and, where possible, by visiting places of worship. They will listen to and talk about stories, artefacts and be introduced to religious words and use their senses in exploring religions and beliefs, practices and forms of expression. Children may also discover, through talking about beliefs, that there are people who are not religious. They will reflect on their own feelings and experiences, using their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation and wonder of the world in which they live. Our children will develop an understanding of themselves and others as well as gaining knowledge of Christianity; the religion that has most influenced our local community, while also embracing the diversity present within the school context.
In Key Stage 1 (KS1), the teaching and learning of RE has a more structured approach. Our children will develop their knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith, Judaism and Islam as well as partaking in a non-religious comparative unit. By the end of KS1, we hope that our children can: identify similarities in religions and beliefs, retell religious, spiritual and moral stories, identify possible meanings for stories, symbols and other forms of religious expression, identify how religion and belief is expressed in different ways, respond sensitively and imaginatively to questions about their own and others' ideas, experiences and feelings, ask questions about their own and others’ ideas, feelings and experiences, give a reason why something may be valued by themselves and others and recognise that some questions about life are difficult to answer. RE lessons are a mixture of adult led inputs, discussion, visits to places of worship, independent activities and through cross curricular links.