The religious education curriculum at Deer Park School is designed to reflect the global diversity of belief. We believe that High quality RE prepares pupils to engage in a complex multi-religious and multi-secular world. Through in-depth and ambitious learning on major religions, philosophies and ethics, our pupils are empowered to gain a respectful, insightful knowledge of a wide variety of beliefs and practices, while developing a critical understanding of religious and moral issues. Through quality first teaching, enriching opportunities and a well tailored curriculum, we aim to instil our pupils with a holistic understanding of shared, modern values—such as diversity —that support life in today’s Britain. We strongly believe that by building a rich knowledge base of a plurality of beliefs, conjoined with an understanding of shared values, our pupils gain a critical insight into the way religion and beliefs shape the community and world in which we live. We intend for pupils to know how to navigate and reflect upon the complex world we live in and be able to find their own voice and ideas within it.
As a result of the careful sequencing and design of our curriculum, we ensure that all pupils understand and access new material when it is taught, building their knowledge from Reception to Year 6. In their final year, pupils compare a variety of religions to demonstrate their understanding of the complexity of RE. Pupils are taught substantive knowledge through content about specific religions (including Abrahamic, Dharmic and non-religious groups) to provide sufficient breadth; the diversity and differences within belief-sets; and the connection and concepts that cross over different religions. Disciplinary knowledge is taught in two ways. Firstly, the pupils learn how we find out about different religions ‘ways of knowing’ through reading, observing ways of living, asking questions, and debating. Pupils learn from a variety of sources including authentic artefacts, architecture, and art. Also, they explore that there are degrees of certainty in religious concepts. Secondly, their own personal knowledge, assumptions and their own views are also taken into consideration, so they have a better understanding of their relationship to the subject matter. The knowledge that is gained is linked through authentic horizontal, vertical, and diagonal links across the whole school curriculum. Many of these links are made through texts such as holy books or other stories that deepen their understanding of that religion or religious groups. The pupils from EYFS to Year 6 repeatedly learn through development of vocabulary both Tier 2 and Tier 3 in Vital Vocabulary and explicit teaching in lessons.
As a result of the carefully sequenced curriculum and quality first teaching practice, pupils build a broad, firm range of knowledge of global religious practices and shared values. Teachers use robust formative assessment to track the progress of knowledge and skills across each unit of work, with low stakes assessment allowing pupils to reflect on their learning while teachers identify and address gaps. Pupils have retrieval opportunities as starters for each lesson. These starters support fluency in key concepts. Based on these assessments, teachers assess if areas need to be re-visited or whether some pupils need consolidation or support. End of unit assessments ensure that pupils have an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learnt, while pupil voice, at the end of each unit, shows that pupils have acquired the requisite substantive knowledge and can answer disciplinary knowledge questions using their substantive knowledge to support their explanations. This summative assessment feeds into future unit planning. Regular and consistent monitoring of work, planning and pupil voice ensures that the quality of religious education teaching remains high, and that pupils are well prepared for the diversity of life in modern Britain. The richness of the curriculum affords pupils the opportunity to be respectfully curious, and to leave primary school with the skills to evaluate and contribute to challenging ethical and religious questions, ready for the next stage in their education.