At Orchard Primary Academy we aim to provide high quality Religious Education to promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and allow the children to understand the concept of diversity. As part of a broad and balanced curriculum, Orchard Primary Academy follows ‘Believing and Belonging’, the agreed syllabus for Religious Education in Kirklees.
Our RE is taught through an enquiry based approach, which aims to give children the knowledge, critical thinking skills, open minded and respectful attitudes with which to investigate the world of religion and beliefs, and make their own decisions about what this means to them, whilst empathising with what it means to those who hold those beliefs. It also aims to enable children to grow spiritually by developing their awareness and skills of reflection, their experience of awe and wonder and their appreciation of stillness and silence.
At Orchard Primary Academy, we believe the RE curriculum is fundamental for the holistic development of the child - physically, mentally and spiritually. It lays the foundations for respectfulness and open-mindedness in a diverse society, striving for better relationships and understanding in our shared world.
Each week our children take part in RE lessons which follow the guidance from our local agreed Syllabus, ‘Believing and Belonging’. Our children will learn about and encounter different religions and faiths, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and non religious views such as Humanism. This allows our children to explore, engage and reflect on principal religions and their practices, which, results in enabling them to hold informed opinions about the world they live in and the people around them. Lessons take an enquiry-based approach to teaching and learning through key questions. Each key question for enquiry enables children to express their opinion, learn from that religion and develop their understanding before it requires an answer that weighs up ‘evidence’ and reaches a conclusion based on this.
Our lessons begin in the EYFS, where children begin to learn about respect, belonging and cultural diversity. In this time, they are introduced to a range of religious and other worldwide views, through story and celebrations, as well as exploring their own beliefs and sense of belonging. These foundations are built upon in KS1, where they will focus on Christianity and Islam. In this time, they will continue to focus their enquiries on religious celebrations and rituals. This will help them develop critical thinking skills, reflect into their own thoughts and feelings, grow subject knowledge and nurture spiritual development. This spiritual growth continues when the children reach KS2, where they will be covering Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism. Using the reflective and critical thinking skills they have learnt, children will apply subject knowledge and balanced opinions, to explore and challenge ‘Key Questions’, through discussion and research.
At Orchard, spiritual growth and the development of morality is not just confined to Religious Education, but is woven throughout the heart of the school. You will find it threaded through our ‘Curriculum Drivers’; Respect, Aspiration and Resilience. We celebrate a range of faiths, religions and celebrations throughout the year in whole school or class assemblies. We also acknowledge the rights of the child, including, each “…child has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”.
We also strive to ensure that we provide children with cross-curricula links to embed Religious Education further. Through PHSE and SMSC opportunities within school, we adopt a holistic approach to provide enriching experiences that supports, respectful attitudes, empathy for others and a willingness acceptance. We also develop vocabulary through strong links with History and Geography. The use of books in RE develops children’s reading skills, curiosity and a stimulus for learning and also, provides the knowledge of other languages and cultural capital.
Please see below for our RE overview
We believe, that through regular RE teaching, children will be able to make links between their own informed beliefs and that of the wider world, in order to create cohesive communities. They will be able to refer to other religions and cultures, with reference to enjoyable experiences, that will promote inquisitive minds, respect, acceptance and understanding for all those around them, including themselves. The children will value difference and diversity and be able to ask questions about meaning and purpose in life, with the ability to engage in respectful and reasonable disagreement. Ultimately, we strive for children having a strong moral compass, who can show tolerance and acceptance towards other cultures, including their religious or other worldwide views.
Wider World Experiences
It is our intention that, children will visit a range of religious places by the time they leave Orchard. We hope that, by providing children with these experiences, it will enhance their religious understanding, respect for others and knowledge of the wider world.
Please see below an overview of the Religious Education wider experience trips that children experience at Orchard.
In October, Year 4 visited Bradford Reform Synagogue to explore the beliefs and practices of Judaism, to discover the special relationships Jew have with God.
In December, Year 2 had visitors from Dewsbury Elim Pentecostal Church to talk to them about why Christians believe that God gave Jesus to the World.
We also had a visit from a local churches 'Youth Bus', who helped children understand the Nativity story and to answer questions about Incarnation. They also got to make Christingles.
Within school, Religious education is taught through -
Arts and Crafts
Re-enacting Rituals and Celebrations
Click the image below to see the 'Believing and Belonging' document -