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Our Church School

Our vision as a church school is that all children will be secure and happy and feel safe in  the nurturing environment of our school and its community.  We want our children to strive to be the best they can be.  Our vision is rooted in our Christian distinctiveness and values of Joy, Service, Truth, Trust, Determination Courage, Friendship and Respect.  We believe these give the children solid foundations from which they can grow and be secure with who they are and can be.

Because we are a Church school, we aim to provide the very best for every child. They are all unique and precious children of God and through nurturing them spiritually, morally, socially and culturally as well as academically, we provide better foundations on which they can become self-aware and compassionate young people.

We promote Christian values through daily acts of collective worship and our school policies.  These values are implicit in the way all members of our community interact with one another. We have very close links with the Church and clergy. 

We are a happy, purposeful and inclusive school, a place where people look forward to going to – children, teachers, parents/carers, governors and visitors.

Values Trophy

In memory of Mrs Roz Clark

In every celebration assembly we award the values trophy to a child who is living out our school values. 

Father, as we celebrate this season of thanksgiving we give thanks for the blessings of food, provision and nourishment. Please grow in us a harvest for the world. Come sow a seed of hope within our souls Lord, that we might yield goodness, patience and kindness in abundance.

What makes our school a special church school?

Hall display

Our RE Curriculum

RE Intent, Implementation and Impact Statements

Our broad and balanced whole school curriculum, including our RE curriculum, is designed around our school values of Respect, Joy, Truth, Trust, Thankfulness, Forgiveness, Belonging and Friendship, Kindness and Compassion and Determination and Courage and our mission statement:

‘Secure and happy, learning in a safe, nurturing community guided by our God.’

‘When you go through deep waters, I will be with you’ (Isaiah 43:2)

Intent:

In a nutshell, at The Minster Church of England Primary School, we believe that though Religious and Worldviews Education, children must be given the opportunity to develop understanding and tolerance of other people and to develop their own personal worldview based on reliable knowledge of a range of faiths and belief-systems.  Children are encouraged to have open minds, to use reason and to understand that there never is any ONE right belief to have: there are shades of belief in all religions since every individual will have unique experiences that will influence their views and beliefs.  Anyone has the right to believe whatever they want to, as long as they conform to the Golden Rule shared by all faiths:  you should treat others the way you want to be treated yourself. 

We believe that the teaching of Religious Education is vital for the development of each child as an individual.  RE contributes to our children’s development; further empowering them to become tolerant, understanding citizens, who live out the British Values and who are spiritually, morally, socially and culturally literate.  We believe that our children should also be able to display religious and theologically literacy.  Our RE curriculum contributes to all of these essential elements of knowledge, concepts and qualities. 

Our intent is that our curriculum is ambitious for all pupils.  We use the Discovery Scheme with links to the Wiltshire SACRE scheme.  It is coherently planned and sequenced including a balanced mixture of Christianity (50%) and world religions (Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism).  Our RE curriculum is successfully adapted, designed and developed for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities by the teacher as necessary.  It is a curriculum that is broad, balanced and inclusive for all pupils.

As a school, we intend that Religious Education adopts an enquiry- based approach as recommended by Ofsted, beginning with the children’s own life experience before moving into learning about and from religion.

Our curriculum:

  • Provokes challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs, the self, and issues of right and wrong, commitment and belonging.
  • Develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, and religious traditions that examine these questions, fostering personal reflection and spiritual development.
  • Encourages pupils to explore their own beliefs (religious or non-religious), in the light of what they learn, as they examine issues of religious belief and faith and how these impact on personal, institutional and social ethics; and to express their responses.
  • Enables pupils to build their sense of identity and belonging, which helps them flourish within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society.
  • Teaches pupils to develop respect for others, including people with different faiths and beliefs, and helps to challenge prejudice.
  • Prompts pupils to consider their responsibilities to themselves and to others, and to explore how they might contribute to their communities and to wider society.
  • Encourages empathy, generosity and compassion.
  • Develops a sense of awe, wonder and mystery.
  • Nurtures each child’s own spiritual development.

Implementation:

The Discovery and Wiltshire SACRE schemes bring together learning about and from religion, questioning and spiritual development in a comprehensive scheme of learning. Teaching strategies are varied and are mindful of preferred learning styles and the need for differentiation. Each enquiry starts from the children’s own life experiences using these as a bridge into the investigation of the religion being studied. Children have opportunity to empathise with believers of that religion or belief position and are encouraged to express their own thoughts and beliefs. Learning is continuously assessed in a variety of ways, including through contributions to discussions and creative work.   

At The Minster, since RE is a Core Subject, it is taught in all year groups by class teachers.  RE is taught for at least 10% of the curriculum time, usually as a discrete subject for an hour in each class every week, with appropriate links to other curriculum areas wherever suitable.  Sometimes, teachers may opt to teach RE as a block if it fits better that way with the rest of the curriculum that term.

In addition to our regular visits to our local Church and from our local Minster, each year group either visits a place of worship of a faith other than Christianity or is visited by a faith representative as follows:

FS2:  Local Minister:  Revd Susan Foster

Y1:  Jewish representative visit

Y2:  Muslim representative visit from Wiltshire Islamic Cultural Centre (WICC) in Trowbridge

Y3:  Sikh representative visit 

Y4:  Jewish Visitor

Y5:  Visit to Hindu temple

Y6:  Visit to Swindon Shahjalal Mosque/visitor from Wiltshire Islamic Cultural Centre (WICC) in Trowbridge

The Wiltshire SACRE scheme is written as a universal core curriculum provision for all children. Inclusivity is part of its philosophy. Teachers tailor each enquiry to meet the needs of the children in their classes. To support this differentiation, many enquiries suggest creative learning activities that allow children to choose the media with which they work and give them scope to work to their full potential. To further help teachers differentiate for children in KS1 and 2 classes with special educational needs, each enquiry has level exemplars for the full range likely for that age group, allowing children to evidence their depth of understanding.

How RE is taught at The Minster:

 

Impact:

Teachers are eager to ensure children are making progress with their learning throughout their RE. Therefore, children’s responses to each enquiry unit are continually assessed by the teacher with a ‘level’ recorded at the end of each unit. This assessment is informed through evidence such as records of discussions and annotations from other lessons within the enquiry to assist the teacher in reaching a best-fit ‘level’ (Below, Meeting or above Age Related Expectations).   Teacher assessments are an overall judgement based on observations on contributions children make in class, the confidence and willingness with which they answer questions and share their own ideas, their use of appropriate vocabulary, their recall of appropriate links from previous learning and their expression of their own developing personal worldview.

Assessments are moderated regularly throughout the year through both staff meetings and also with teachers from the local area Cluster.

Staff update the tracking document termly with their assessments so that the Subject Leader can assess the progress that children are making in being able to express their understanding and development of their own world views.  The Subject Leader also conducts termly pupil interviews.  The link governor joins the Subject Leader on learning walks, pupil voice group discussions and ‘book-looks’ at least once a year.  This enables an informed discussion and review of the subject within the school as well as ensuring that our link governor is fully engaged and informed.  This helps the children by enabling the Subject Leader to guide discussions in staff meetings, make informed decisions about necessary changes to any aspect of the planning, implementation and/or assessment of RE and also Action Plan updates.

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