Religious Education at NCEA Warkworth Primary

In line with the Church of England’s vision, we strive to ‘promote educational excellence everywhere, for everyone,’ and emphasise the importance of spiritual, physical, intellectual, moral, emotional and social development and “Life in all its fullness,” (John 10:10) for our pupils.

Our Religious Education curriculum uses a combination of the syllabus from the Diocese of Newcastle and Durham for world faiths and Understanding Christianity. Throughout the curriculum, we permeate the Church of England’s values and vision for the development of:

  • Wisdom, knowledge and skills;
  • Hope and aspiration;
  • Community and living together well and
  • Dignity and respect.

Aims of Understanding Christianity

  • To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living world faith, by exploring core theological concepts.
  • To enable pupils to develop knowledge and skills in making sense of biblical texts and understanding their impact in the lives of Christians.
  • To develop pupils’ abilities to connect, critically reflect upon, evaluate and apply their learning to their own growing understanding of religion and belief (particularly Christianity), of themselves, the world and human experience.

Understanding Spirituality

At NCEA Warkworth C of E Primary school we believe that spiritual development is not necessarily or exclusively religious but is the development of children’s mind, body and spirit. “Spirituality is generally viewed as enriching individuals in their understanding of and ability to relate to, others and as a society as whole,” (SCAA 96).

Our Approach

Our vision focuses on the holistic development of each and every child of God; enabling all pupils to flourish and reach their God given potential. We actively provide opportunities across the curriculum for our children to reflect, think deeply, fully appreciate the world around them and be agents of change in their school, the community and as global citizens. Each RE lesson, worship and topic covered in school always begins with the children’s ‘big questions’ and then, until recently (September 2021) we used the windows, mirrors and doors approach.

Through our Pupil Voice forum, pupils identified that the ‘windows, mirrors and doors’ approach was difficult for them to remember and so as a school, we began exploring other options to explain spirituality.

Pupils suggested that when discussing spirituality they needed a simpler definition, one that really meant something to them as it’s at the heart of everything they do! They suggested using the school rules and reflecting on the big questions and experiences through these:

  • Love yourself;
  • Love each other and
  • Love the world!

As part of this discussion they identified that we were missing one key element and so for our spiritual approach, they added ‘And beyond’. An example of this could be: is there a heaven?

NCEA Warkworth Primary is now trialling this approach to spirituality when talking to pupils; however, for now, all planning will keep the windows, mirrors and doors approach.

Exploring RE lessons at Warkworth C of E Primary

We are very proud to announce that in 2020 we received the Gold Award for RE! Check out some of the exciting things that we get up to in RE lessons across the school using the drop down menus below.

We LOVE using our virtual reality (VR) headsets to bring learning to life in RE! Recently, our Year 1 class visited sacred places around the world eg The Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

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Year 2 has been exploring the question ‘Why is the Torah special for Jewish people? ‘. We even made connections with Christianity as we discovered that many of the stories in the Torah are also found in the Old Testament. We created our own Torah and then recorded our rules and ideas to share with the community.

(Click on any photo to view slideshow)

In RE we have been researching ‘What does it mean for Muslims to follow God?’ We’ve focused on the five pillars of Islam and how they support Muslims on their life journey. We then made our own five pillars linked to our school vision to support us on our life journey.

(Click on any photo to view slideshow)

We’ve been learning about the Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath). Did you know it’s a time to rest and spend time with family? We made Challah bread which was delicious and learnt some of the rituals and traditions involved in a Shabbat meal. We reflected on special meals we have with our families and the importance of these!

(Click on any photo to view slideshow)

In Reception, we’ve been thinking about all the things God has created! So we went outside and went on a hunt to find all the things God made: there are so many! We then closed our eyes and listened to hear all of God’s wonderful creations! We then discussed generosity – Reception thought God was very generous to have made us such a lovely world. But they did ask if they thought we could look after it? Now that is a big question to explore!

(Click on any photo to view slideshow)

We learnt about the festival of Sukkot today. This is when Jewish people celebrate Harvest and remember God protected the people of Israel in the desert. As part of the festival, people build a temporary shelter in the garden with a roof made of branches or leaves. We then made our own shelter and reflected on times when we felt protected and loved.

(Click on any photo to view slideshow)

First hand experiences are so important in RE, pupils loved experienced the journey through Holy Week in Year 2!

(Click on any photo to view slideshow)

Mr Petch (school governor) came into school today to help us explore the big question ‘Can God be loving and holy?’ We impressed him so much with some of our responses:

“Everyone can be loving but not everyone can be holy.”

“God should be eternal, everyone can experience a world with God in it. Love is different, you love God in a different way to how you love your family.”

“We have one word to describe lots of love, it’s like the Trinity, three bits in one.”

“No matter the cause, love still stays strong, that’s unconditional love.”

“Conditional love, love with conditions but no one’s love should have conditions.”

“God is pure and holy, think about the ten commandments.”

Click here to find out more about Religious Education within our wider curriculum.