Learning about other religions and cultures is an integral part of our children’s education at Dovedale Primary. We are fortunate to belong to a school community that welcomes children and families from many different and diverse cultures and backgrounds, and we believe that learning about each other’s faiths and traditions - the connections between these faiths and their impact on the wider society - is the foundation of our RE curriculum.
At Dovedale Primary school we believe RE is at the centre of our ethos and it makes a strong contribution to the education of each child by encouraging them to develop skills in critical thinking and analysis, as well as developing empathy, sensitivity and understanding through positive, discussion based learning. Through the use of an enquiry-based model, children’s critical thinking skills can be developed, their motivation to learn increased, and their knowledge and understanding of, and empathy with people and their beliefs (religious or otherwise) will be enhanced.
Children are taught respect and tolerance as an imperative prerequisite to learning RE because of our varied demographic of children. This is reflected through the outstanding behaviour of the children in our school, their positive relationships with one another, their attitudes towards differences, and the responsibility they willingly undertake to support their peers - and the example they set to younger children. We hope that through their learning, students will be able to stand up for their own beliefs and challenge injustices around them. Through cross-curricular opportunities, reflective assemblies and themed topics such as Black History Week, Remembrance celebrations and Religious festivals, we aim to provide knowledge, understanding and critical thinking around key issues that affect the modern world.
In RE, the children learn about different faiths including; Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism. Our program of work is investigative and enquiry based and children are encouraged to ask questions, offer opinions and make connections with their own lives and the lives of others. We learn about traditions and important festivals through lessons and weekly assemblies, their historical basis and their impact on civilisations historically, and to today. Through this the children are taught RE in an exciting and creative way. Discussion, writing, art, drama, visits, handling artefacts and ICT are some of the practices of teaching used.
At Dovedale, we promote spiritual development of children through experiences of mindfulness and reflection. Mindfulness means cultivating a sense of awareness on purpose, in a non-judgemental way in the present moment. Teachers and specialists from the community use mindfulness practices as part of assemblies and in lessons to build children’s self-awareness and skills of reflection, thus supporting their RE learning as well as their personal spiritual development.