TS1, TS3, TS4 & Pt 2: RE Training

Today I attended a religious education training session. I have learnt how vital it is to understand how to teach this, different faiths, resources and different methods of teaching in this area of the curriculum. I am going to take away from this training some of the strategies and use them in my teaching. Training in a Church of England school it is important to understand the Christian values and other faiths beliefs and values (TS3 – have a secure knowledge of the relevant subject and curriculum areas, foster and maintain pupils’ interests in the subject).

After this training session I can take away the understanding why it is so important and how to teach children in a motivating and stimulating environment (TS4 – promote a love of learning and children’s intellectual curiosity). Religious Education makes a distinctive contribution to the school curriculum by developing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of religion, religious beliefs, practices, language and traditions and their influence on individuals, communities, societies and cultures.

Religious Education is concerned with the deep meaning that individuals and groups make of their experiences and how this helps them give purpose to their lives. It provides opportunities to explore, make and respond to the meanings of those experiences in relation to the beliefs and experiences of others as well as to one’s own experiences. This area of the curriculum is being considered by the Department of Education as to whether this area should be compulsory for all children to participate in during school life, giving them the opportunity to understand different faiths (TS3 -demonstrate a critical understanding of developments in the subject and curriculum areas, promote the value of scholarship). As a group, we had the opportunity to discuss what and how often we teach RE, what curriculum do we follow and what have we taught so far. Having this discussion, it was evident that it is important for children to understand that all faiths believe in a God and worship (probably in different ways but they all believe worshipping one God). RE’s place in the curriculum is underpinned by values and purposes (TS part two – not undermining fundamental British Values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs).

The RE training has had a massive impact on my teaching of religious education and all the different faiths. It has also given me the opportunity to research different faiths using the information from the training session. My week of teaching has introduced the Nativity story and why we celebrate the birth of Jesus. This has given me the confidence and knowledge to be able to teach this subject to my children in the class. Understanding all faiths and how they pray, worship and the stories behind their religion can be extremely hard to understand but with support from experienced people who has the knowledge it is possible to teach children in a motivated and stimulating environment (TS1 – establish a safe and stimulating environment for pupils, rooted in mutual respect).

Focused next steps to impact on your progress or the progress of the children in your care:

  • Research Religious faiths in greater detail.
  • Teach more RE to my class.
  • Communicate with the RE lead in my school about the different faiths and how to teach them to the children.
  • Read about the new church inspections criteria being introduced.