At Blackpool Gateway Academy, children are taught to understand and respect the importance of religious beliefs in the world around them. We believe that all children, from any faith or culture, should feel welcomed into the school community and this is fostered through the learning and exposure to a variety of religions and world views. Our academy follows the Discovery RE scheme of work, which fosters an enquiry-based approach to our RE learning. We encourage children to use and develop their skills in RE and to participate in critical thinking. We aim to ensure that the RE curriculum is challenging, dynamic and relevant to pupils of all ages.
In the Foundation Stage, RE is taught through topics based upon the children’s own lives and their own experiences. Through the various strands within the 7 areas of learning we seek to build the foundations on which children will foster positive attitudes to diversity and difference. It is important to encourage children to ask questions and explore answers which can support children to develop emotionally, spiritually and morally as well as help them find out about themselves, their family and community. RE can also contribute to children’s development of Characteristics of Effective Learning in particular with regard to showing curiosity, making links with what they know and exploring through acting out experiences.
During Key Stage 1, the study of Christianity is introduced and aspects of Islam and Judaism are taught. In Key Stage 2, the study of Christianity is developed and religious beliefs within Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam are explored. Each year group has a focus on Christianity and one other world religion. By using Discovery RE, our aim is to develop children’s critical thinking skills, increase their motivation to learn. Through this, their knowledge and understanding of, and empathy with people and their beliefs, religious or otherwise, will be enhanced. This approach takes very seriously the philosophy that children are free to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief.