Religious education runs through our curriculum; not just evident in the lessons that we share but also in the festival celebrations of the school, the promotion of self-awareness and thoughtfulness, and through the modelling of the ethos 'we care for each other'.


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RE at the Coombes

Here at the Coombes we recognise that understanding each other and understanding ourselves is of great importance and therefore Religious Education takes a prominent place in our curriculum. Across the key stages we learn about the key values and practices of different religious faiths, with an emphasis on Christianity as part of the faith community that we belong to. Our teaching is based around Christian principles and we aim to develop spiritual awareness. Children have weekly lessons centred on a theme or value and build up an understanding of what different faith groups believe.

Our teaching develops understanding by allowing children to experience practical lessons where they can see first-hand what people do, in order to think about how and why people belong to a religious community. As a community school we promote our links with local parishes and the local diverse community. Visitors from different faiths enhance our teaching and learning and help children to understand and value difference. We are creative in our approach, using drama, art, workshops, outside visits and actually holding festivals to deepen understanding. As communities do, we enjoy coming together to share food and celebrations around Chinese New Year, Pancake Day and Christmas to name but few. This is vitally important to children's own development as they begin to consider what is important to their family and themselves. This reflects the key areas of learning from the locally agreed syllabus, learning about religion and learning from religion.

We learn from religion through discussion and questioning and support children to develop their self-awareness and understand values are important to them. We allow children time and space to develop these themselves in accordance with their age expectations. This is vital to enable children to develop confidence, self-esteem, self-reliance, self-discipline and responsibility as set out in the schools mission statement. Lessons make use of philosophy for kids and engage children in questions that are difficult to answer. Children have a great wealth of ideas which they share in their written work as well as using drama, ICT and art. It is crucial that children are involved in their learning, for example they retell religious stories through drama, dance, and poetry not to retell the story but to understand what it is trying to say.

Parents may request that their children be withdrawn from the act of collective worship.

PSHE

Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and citizenship enable children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. We encourage our pupils to play a positive role in contributing to the life of the school and the wider community. In so doing we help develop their sense of self-worth. We teach them how society is organised and governed. We ensure that they experience the process of democracy in school through the election and membership opportunities provided through the ECO Schools, Healthy Promoting Schools (HPS), and School Council Programmes.

The aims of PSHE and citizenship are to enable the children to:

  • Know and understand what constitutes a healthy lifestyle
  • Be aware of safety issues
  • Understand what makes for good relationships with others
  • Have respect for others regardless of race, gender and mental and physical disability
  • Be independent and responsible members of the school community
  • Be positive and active members of a democratic society
  • Develop self-confidence and self-esteem and make informed choices regarding personal and social issues
  • Develop good relationships with other members of the school and the wider community

PSHE and Citizenship in our school will follow the Framework for PSHE and Citizenship, given as non-statutory guidance in the National Curriculum. This framework will be delivered through a variety of teaching strategies. It cannot just be taught as a separate subject, although this is an appropriate teaching strategy. It will also be taught through cross curricular links, collective worship (often the theme for collective worship identifies, promotes and celebrates one of the school's values) and other activities or school events (residential visits, Enrichment, special activities planned to allow the children to work together under different circumstances), ECO Schools, HPS meetings and School Council, which provide links with parents and members of the outside community.

In following the framework our pupils will be taught the four key components of PSHE knowledge, skills and understanding:

  • Developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of their abilities
  • Preparing to play an active role as citizens
  • Developing a healthy, safer lifestyle
  • Developing good relationships and respecting the differences between people

In following the framework for Citizenship our pupils will be taught:

  • Social and moral responsibility
  • Community involvement
  • Political literacy

We use a range of teaching and learning styles with an emphasis on active learning by including the children in discussions, investigations and problem solving activities. PSHE and Citizenship will be provided in a variety of ways, to reflect the age of the pupils and ensure a whole school approach to the subject:

  • There will be a regular specific curriculum session, in order to develop themes and share ideas e.g. circle time
  • Opportunities will be found within other curriculum areas e.g. links with drama and role-play, debate and discussion in literacy, working together in pairs or small groups, improving health in PE, environmental, health and drug issues in science and beliefs, values and practices in RE
  • Activities will be provided as group, class or school events and initiatives e.g. community projects, school productions, assemblies for parents and friends, celebration assembly and annual residential trips for the Years 4 and 6 pupils
  • At playtimes and lunchtimes opportunities exist for playing co-operatively using play equipment
  • The children are involved when visitors come into school
  • In the Foundation Stage of the national curriculum PSHE is related to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals matching the aim of developing a child's personal, emotional and social development
  • Much of the curriculum is delivered through oral and practical activities

Where appropriate pupils will record or investigate their work using a variety of mediums including books, CD Roms, internet, specific adults e.g. medical agencies, police service, fire service etc. This encourages children to develop their learning to enquiring skills and assists in equipping them for adult life.

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