At Altmore, we believe that children need a solid platform to air their voice in regards to their beliefs, religious opinions, worldviews and differing cultures, traditions and practices. Therefore, we actively encourage children to enthusiastically engage in developing their spiritual, moral, social and cultural growth. We do this by providing learning opportunities to not only support, shape and encourage children’s independent thinking and confidence in their own ancient religious beliefs and culture but also, engage in the need for them to acquire core knowledge and understanding of differences of others religious beliefs and practices.
Therefore, these skills and attributes essentially equip our children to positively embrace, appreciate and contribute effectively to a cohesive and compassionate society where tolerance and understanding our differences is key. Our aim is to allow our children space with many opportunities to explore and think outside the box and build their own line of systematic enquiry into human questions, which religion and worldviews address.
Consequently, we believe this allows our children to develop a set of holistic comprehensive skills needed to really appreciate and evaluate varied responses to questions, as well as develop appropriate and meaningful responses of their own. Together, with these skills set we believe children will build their confidence in their own abilities to ask questions and empower them to develop their own unique views and ideas over time.
Our school promotes the beauty of every religion, culture and traditional background of our school community without imposing on any one particular religious’ belief or values nor does it compromise the integrity of any religious or cultural standards. We strive to preserve the unique religious beliefs and cultural identity of our children. Our purpose is to ensure every child’s views and opinions are positively heard, valued and respected and every child is aware of their own and the differences of others in a positive and broadminded manner.
At Altmore, we follow the guidance of the New Agreed Syllabus 2022 approved by the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Educations (SACRE.) The New Agreed Syllabus is very holistic in embracing the ever changing world we live in. It draws on the same fundamental approach from its previous Syllabuses, however, it follows the advice of the non-statutory National Framework so that secular philosophies and worldviews are included in and are a part of the RE programmes.
It opens up a catalogue of differing views which ensures children are engaged in developing and fostering skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews so that they can find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth and simultaneously respond creatively. The New Agreed Syllabus is rooted in three key disciplines or disciplinary fields, which are theology, philosophy and human/social sciences.
Through 7 lenses of RE (History, philosophy, empathy, Theology, Debate, Experiencer and worldview) children have ample opportunities to develop a arrange of skills and attributes to not only cultivate a deep thirst for learning in RE and Worldviews but it also ensures children able to transfer these skills and attributes cross curricular in all areas of their learning and development.
History | Technology | Philosophy | debate & Discussion | Empathy | Experiental Learning | World views
At Atmore, to meet the demographics of our children and high standards of teaching and learning, we regulate and adapt the plans from the New Agreed Syllabus to ensure we are ambitious in the way we accommodate the needs of our children and our school community. We are able to do so due to the flexibility of the syllabus.
At Altmore all year groups visit 1 or 2 places of worship a year to enable to children to gain first hand experiences of different worship settings and make meaningful connections to their own. We also invite visitors from different faiths to host talks, lessons and workshops from our borough so that children are able to recognise the multicultural and multi-faiths communities that they are a part of and build empathy of tolerance, respect and mutual understanding of the contribution of each community.
We are at forefront of celebrating a range of religious festivals through assemblies as we feel a strong need to ensure all our children feel appreciated and valued. Our children were engaged in dressing up for Diwali and were able to explain why Diwali is important to them and how they celebrate it at home. All children were given opportunities to compare their own differing celebrations and dressed up in their festive clothing.
At Altmore, as part of developing children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural growth we have given children experiences to taste festive foods during Diwali, Guru Nanak’s Birthday, Guy Fawkes/Bonfire Night, Easter and Eid. We recognised that the ambience of providing music which reflected each festival and decorations to match these themes really ensured these experiences supported our children to recognise personal meaning for themselves and articulate the differences that of their friends in their school community.
We have held fun packed competitions to really enthuse our children in the spirit of festivals. During the Christmas period, children designed and decorated their class Christmas Trees and through their artistic skills they produced very creative design pieces to display on their trees.
We hold an annual RE Exhibition to celebrate the diversity of our school community during Interfaith week in November. This year we will invite parents to come enjoy this exhibition with their children and be a part of a planned lesson.
Every year we have Primary workshop come into our school to host an interactive workshop that is designed to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Children are fully engaged in these sessions and are encouraged to participate in an performance to retell the origin of the ancient story.
At Altmore, we enjoy giving back to our communities; with the help and support of our parents we have been able to collect a lovely donation of foods for our Harvest collection. We donate generously to Bonny Downs Community Association based in Eastham and in previous years to Caritas Anchor House for the homeless. We have also invited associates of Caritas Anchor House to kindly do a presentation of all the work they do to help our communities in Newham.
Teachers in Reception plan effectively through long term, medium term and short term planning so that RE can contribute to children’s development of Characteristics of Effective Learning. Drawing on children’s prior learning and comprehension of the world around them, teachers provide many opportunities to make links between cultures, festivals, traditions and their own spiritual comprehension of their own faiths and beliefs.
Through providing opportunities to explore artefacts, objects, events that are linked to their RE learning children are able to talk about their own special objects and artefacts that they have at home or religious settings or family events and make sense of these. During role-play, children are given opportunities to play out life experiences, experiences that they are intrigued about that are related to the world around them both abstract and imaginary.
Teachers plan long term, medium term and short term using the New Agreed syllabus. Children are exposed to a variety of religions which reflect our school community and our wider society, each one starting off with a ‘Big question!’ The children are then provided opportunities to explore various concepts and ideas which are new to them, yet there are opportunities for them to learn to be inquisitive and debate ideas and concepts which is a key skill in setting them up for their modern adult life in Britain today.
In each unit children are supported to draw on their prior learning and then this is measured at the end of a taught unit to assess their skills and development in this area with post learning session. Teachers provide key vocabulary and differentiated resources to suit the needs of all children. Children are supported to find their own identity and their sense of belonging. They are encouraged to make careful comparison to that of their friends and other groups using the key skills. Teachers use religious texts to support children’s learning and comprehension about the creation of the world, opportunities are provided for children to make significant similarities and differences to their own faith.
In RE assessment is continuous. From the beginning of every lesson, teachers and teaching assistants will be assessing what their pupils are, or are not understanding and use this to scaffold each aspect of the lesson. At the end of a taught unit, teachers assess children’s comprehension through assessment of their work and contribution they have engaged in through talk.
True tube: Charlie and blue (find out about Jesus); (find about Allah and creation) and there are lots more
‘Lovely Jubbly’ by Doug Horley (Christian artist who writes songs for children to sing about their Christian faith) song about creation and it being lovely
Cbeebies – Eid film; Eid al Adha festival
Books linked to RE
Tabby Mctat by Julia Donaldson
Children’s Bible by Usborne
Muslim Faith and Practise by Curriculum Visions
Christian Faith and Practise by Curriculum Visions
Hindu Faith and Practice by Curriculum Visions
Sikh Faith and Practice by Curriculum Visions
The Lion Storry Teller Bible by Bob Hartman & Krisztina Kallai Nagy