Religious Education (R.E.)

Religious education is taught as a compulsory subject in every year group in age appropriate manner. At Queens’ federation we follow the ‘Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus’ and the ‘Discovery R.E.’ framework.

Early years and Key stage 1 children approach R.E. through experiences and feelings they are familiar with. Subsequently they are able to relate these to questions about other religions.

In Key Stage 2 children are encouraged to engage with and openly discuss their understanding and opinions of religions and their philosophies, through an enquiry based approach.

Yearly Overview

Unlike literacy and maths, R.E. is often taught through a full day or week’s learning on a specific question enquiring into a religion and its practices. This gives the children the opportunity to engage fully with the topic. The principal religions within the local community and the UK will be covered in different year groups. The information below outlines in more detail the religions and questions covered in each year group. Many students will be given the opportunity to take part in philosophy sessions or clubs. Research has shown that philosophy aids deeper thinking and academic engagement.

  Autumn  Spring Summer 
Year 1 About me
I’m special
People in Christianity
The family in Christianity
Parables (The life of Jesus)
Year 2 Judaism - Hanukah
Shabbat/ Passover
Places in Christianity
Easter resurrection
Sikhism - stories and symbols
Self and community
Year 3 Hinduism
Diwali and beliefs
Christian worship and Easter What does it mean to be good?
Creation Stories
Year 4 Christianity and miracles
Islam: Belonging and commitment
Easter Forgiveness
Christian people and prayer
Year 5 Christian and Judaism – Is religion what you say or what you do?
Christians in other parts of the World – What is it like to be a Christian in Vellore?

SBU: (Discovery RE) What is the best way for Christians to show commitment to God?
SBU: Ultimate Questions Part 1

SBU: Ultimate Questions Part 2

Visit From Reverend Rothwell

This week we were lucky enough to have St James’ vicar, Reverend Steve Rothwell, come and talk to the children about advent and the lead up to Christmas. He engaged the children by talking about how Christians get ready for this immense celebration and some of the symbols that surround it. He also spoke about how other faiths have special celebrations around this time too. Hopefully he’ll come back and talk to us again soon.

Examples of Work

Across the federation R.E. is taught through a variety of methods. The examples below demonstrate written work and more practical activities.

The Early Years

In reception this term we learnt all about the Hindu story of Rama and Sita. The children were lucky enough to have a parent come in and talk to the children all about the story, and the classes even retold the tale using ‘Talk for Writing.’ They were also busy making diva lamps and rangoli patterns from dried food.

Key Stage 1

We learnt about a different faiths and beliefs people may have.  A family within the year one class were celebrating a holy day within their Farsi/Persian religion which was shared across the year group.  We were luckily enough to use crafts to make flowers.  Each flower had four petals and on each petal we wrote a sentence about what we were going to do to help others.  This was a great opportunity for us all to start to think about being kind and what we can do to help those around us.

Year 2 have been finding out about Christianity and places of worship. We had fun looking at pictures of churches both inside and out. We also discussed why people might go to church and the importance of showing respect for people and their special place of worship. As part of this topic we created our own ‘stained glass windows’ which are displayed in our classes. They are very beautiful, unique and colourful.

Year 2 have made latkes, a potato based cake, when learning about Judaism. They also made dreidels and played with them as Jewish children would do when celebrating Rosh Hashanah.

Middle Years

Year 3 storyboards of how Ganesh got his head and comparing creation stories.

Year 3 studied Hinduism as one their RE topics and  learnt all about rangoli patterns. They designed and created some of their own with coloured rice and felt tips. Luckily this also led into their BIPS topic (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) which they have been covering this term.

Both Year 4 classes went to a Mosque, just off Mill Road, to further their learning about ‘The Golden Age of Islam.’ There they learnt about the 5 Pillars of Islam, the two Eid’s that Muslims celebrate and experienced how Muslims pray. It really brought their learning to life and as you can see from the work below, thoroughly enjoyed by all the children.

Year 4 have been learning about the symbols of Christmas and what Christians think of when they see these symbols. We acted out a play script of when the angles came to visit the shepherds and tell them about the news of Jesus’ birth. We then performed this in front of the class, and discussed why they may have been the first people to hear of the news when they were only poor, lowly people.

Year 4 were lucky enough to be invited to the art exhibition 'The Heart of Things' by Paul Hobbs, at Christ Church, Cambridge. Paul has created sculptures and paintings, based around his Christian faith, and explained to the children his intentions and asked for their own interpretations. The children were so grateful to ask a real life artist questions about their own work! The pupils then created their own masterpieces based upon one of Paul's works, 'Three in One', where they had a small square piece of paper and copied a section of the original painting. Eventually, the children put their squares together to form a whole picture and they were so impressed with what they had created. Well done Year 4 for being so respectful in the church and representing Queen Emma.

Later Years

Year 5 celebrated Rosh Hashanah during our Judaism lessons. We ate apples dipped in honey which tasted delicious.

Children in Year 5 have been thinking about how important 'doing' is in religion and how what you say you believe can be demonstrated in the way we behave towards others and the environment.
We made Christmas crackers and put jokes and sweets inside for the homeless people who stay at Jimmy's Night Shelter in Cambridge. As a result of the extremely kind generosity of Year 5 families, who donated all sorts of items, from chocolate biscuits, razor blades and warm gloves to dog food and a sleeping bag, we were able to take a substantial collection to Jimmy's - Thank you!

Information for Parents 

At Queens’ federation we openly encourage parents, other relations and members of specific faiths to come in to provide a personal and accurate explanation of their beliefs. These experiences are invaluable to the children and their understanding, due to the fact that they hear first-hand what it means to be part of different faith communities. If you would be interested in helping out in this way please speak to your class teacher or the R.E. co-ordinator of your school which are Miss Halliwell (Queen Emma) and Miss Barker (Queen Edith).

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