All primary schools need to “raise the status of Religious Education” (Ofsted) and provide an RE curriculum which promotes respect and empathy. RE is considered an important part of a child’s education, especially their early education, because it allows young people to develop their beliefs and values. It helps children understand the place of religion and belief in the world. It contributes educationally to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils, whether or not they are from a religious background.
Our Religious Education curriculum develops essential characteristics of religiously literate pupils:
The Religious Education curriculum is designed to help pupils form a Religious Education Mental model within their long-term memories.
Schema theory states that all knowledge is organised into units. A mental model is, therefore, a conceptual system for understanding knowledge.
Our Religious Education Mental model is a way of organising Religious Education substantive and disciplinary knowledge in a meaningful way; it is an appreciation of how facts are connected and the ways in which they are connected. It is distinct from information, which is just isolated facts that have no organisational basis or links.
Big Ideas help form the basis of the mental model. Big Ideas are key concepts that underpin the subject. There are three Big Ideas in Religious Education:
Each Big Idea has knowledge strands which help to strengthen the mental model. Learning knowledge in each of the strands allows pupils to express and demonstrate their understanding of the Big Idea, which gradually develops as pupils return to them over and over again.