Religious Education

'Faith is building on what you know is here so you can reach what you know is there' - Cullen Hightower
At Tywardreath School our vision is to create a safe and stimulating environment where all children feel they belong and are able to challenge themselves , take risks and flourish both academically and socially. To develop our children so that they value and respect their own and others individuality, culture and heritage. We are committed to providing a place of excellence with high standards.

To achieve our vision all our children should:

  • Enjoy their primary school years and develop high self-esteem regardless of ‘academic’ ability.
  • Feel safe and secure and have a passion for learning and experience success.
  • Develop perseverance, flexibility, independence in a wide range of learning skills.
  • Be well mannered, respecting themselves, others and the environment.
  • Make a positive contribution to the school and the wider community.
  • Enjoy equal opportunities to succeed
  • Develop lively, inquiring minds and become confident communicators.
  • Experience teaching of the highest quality and develop core skills to a high level.
  • Appreciate the beauty, the diversity of the world and their duty to protect it.

Tywardreath School believes that:

The principal aim of religious education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.

We use the Cornwall Agreed Syllabus (2020 – 2025) as the basis for our curriculum. This agreed syllabus helps us to ensure that all pupils:

Make sense of a range of religious and non-religious beliefs, so that they can:

• identify, describe, explain and analyse beliefs and concepts in the context of living religions, using appropriate vocabulary

• explain how and why these beliefs are understood in different ways, by individuals and within communities

• recognise how and why sources of authority (e.g. texts, teachings, traditions, leaders) are used, expressed and interpreted in different ways, developing skills of interpretation.

Understand the impact and significance of religious and non-religious beliefs, so that they can:

• examine and explain how and why people express their beliefs in diverse ways

• recognise and account for ways in which people put their beliefs into action in diverse ways, in their everyday lives, within their communities and in the wider world

• appreciate and appraise the significance of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning

Make connections between religious and non-religious beliefs, concepts, practices and ideas studied, so that they can:

• evaluate, reflect on and enquire into key concepts and questions studied, responding thoughtfully and creatively, giving good reasons for their responses

• challenge the ideas studied, and allow the ideas studied to challenge their own thinking, articulating beliefs, values and commitments clearly in response

• discern possible connections between the ideas studied and their own ways of understanding the world, expressing their critical responses and personal reflections with increasing clarity and understanding

At Tywardreath School we have constructed a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. The curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment. Children study the full curriculum, teachers ensure this by teaching a full range of subjects for as long as possible, making RE as equally as important as others.

The school teaches RE as a discrete thread, linking to the wider school curriculum topics where appropriate. In adopting the new Agreed Syllabus, the school is seeking to deepen pupils’ knowledge about religions and for developing their ‘religious literacy’ by studying one religion at a time, these are called ‘systematic’ units, and then including ‘thematic’ units, which build on learning by comparing the religions, beliefs and practices studied.

The school’s underlying teaching and learning approach enables pupils to encounter core concepts in religions and beliefs in a coherent way, developing their understanding and their ability to handle questions of religion and belief.

The teaching and learning approach has three core elements, which are woven together to provide breadth and balance within teaching and learning about religions and beliefs, underpinning the aims of RE outlined previously.

Teaching and learning in the classroom will encompass all three elements, allowing for overlap between elements as suits the religion, concept and question being explored. These elements set the context for open exploration of religion and belief. They offer a structure through which pupils can encounter diverse religious traditions alongside non-religious worldviews – which reflect the backgrounds of many pupils in our school.

By carefully planning sequences of lessons where there is a clear progression of skills, knowledge and vocabulary pupils are able to build on previous learning by making explicit links and so remember more. Prior knowledge is activated at the beginning of each history topic and  at the start of each lesson so that pupils can build upon what they know. By sharing and discussing  the sequence of learning with the children and the end point of the topic we are able to be incorporate the pupil's interests and so enhance their engagement. 
Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess pupils regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all pupils keep up. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. At the end of each topic, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked by the teacher and consolidated as necessary.
The impact of our RE curriculum supports children to understand the relevance of what they are learning in relation to real world concepts, particularly during this ever changing and developing world we live in. We have fostered an environment where RE is fun and it is ok to have your own beliefs which differ from others. Our RE floor books are evidenced with a range of activities showing clear progression through an overarching discovery question. Children are developing skills in confidently communicating and reasoning about a range of religions, feeling comfortable enough to question and discover.

Pupil’s RE knowledge is assessed at the end of each topic. We use a range of assessment for learning strategies including:

  • Questioning, feedback and peer assessment
  • Teacher assessment
  • Low stake quizzing.
  • Pupil conferencing.
  • Formative assessment during lessons.

Monitoring by our RE lead includes:

  • Pupil voice
  • Book looks
  • Evidence of workshops/staff meetings.