Stanford Junior and Infant School
Living together - Learning together
The RE curriculum at Stanford School is unique and we believe in helping children become religiously literate young people, who are understanding of diversity and able to naturally reflect on their actions and their work. We want to enable children to be fluent in applying these key skills of deeper thinking and enquiry-based learning to the wider curriculum, and to be able to express themselves in a range of ways.
In RE children learn about religions and worldviews in local, national and global contexts, in order to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions. Children learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response, and to agree or disagree respectfully.
The RE curriculum is purposeful and relevant to the pupils. The knowledge and skills pupils acquire, build on their previous learning, allowing them to transfer key skills, knowledge and concepts to their long-term memories. We use the agreed East Riding syllabus and have adapted this to meet the needs of our children.
Core theological learning focuses on the religions of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, in addition to drawing comparisons and similarities with a range of other religious beliefs and practices. We follow the approach of: teaching about core theological beliefs; studying the key rituals and practises of these religions; then reflecting on how these beliefs impact on people of faith, including what we ourselves can learn from them.
Children use a range of different learning approaches to study RE, including: reading comprehension, immersive visits, expressive arts, drama and reflective writing.
We are proud of the achievements of our pupils in RE. We assess children’s ability in RE based on their understanding of core religious practises and artefacts, as well as their ability to be reflective thinkers and to use higher order questioning skills. These skills learned in RE can be applied to a range of subjects across the curriculum.
We were really lucky today as Sunita came to our school to teach us about how Hindus live their life, pray and celebrate, The morning started with an assembly where she told us about the story of Rama & Sita. The children loved listening to this story and taking part with actions & sound effects.
For our Hindu experience, starting with Miss Perrin, we all had to dress up in costumes suitable for Bollywood. Sunita them showed us several dance moves. It was really fun!
O - I liked using the sticks in our dance.
M - I like that we got to meet a new person today.
W - I liked dressing up
T - I liked the dancing
Willow class had a fantastic experience with Sunita as she visited the school this week. We had a special lesson where we learned all about creating Rangoli patterns. Our main focus was to ensure that the artwork was symmetrical and colourful. We worked really well in teams to make sure that we communicated the symmetrical patterns across our group.
We had a wonderful Indian Experience Workshop this afternoon with Sunita.
We discussed the similarities and differences between the UK and India - identifying misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding houses, pets, vehicles, transport, schools, toys and games, sports, festivals and celebrations, roads and streets and children working.
We discovered that there are lots of unexpected similarities between India and England, however we did also find out two surprising differences - although England has a Royal Family, India has a Space Centre!
From our discussions with Sunita, a very important message was clear - skin colour, hair colour and clothing does not tell you where someone is from, you should never judge someone by the way that they look and never assume you know something about someone because of their appearance.
Thank you, Sunita.
Pumpkin Class enjoyed exploring and handling a wide range of special religious items from different religions for Interfaith week. They remembered some of the names of the special items and could explain how they might be used by different religions during worship, prayer and celebrations.
D- I tried on a Kippah. Jewish boys wear them when they go to the synagogue.
E- I read the Qur'an. It's from the Muslim religion. You have to have washed your hands before you can touch it.
F- I liked the Hindu Gods. I loved their bright colours.
H- Lots of religions have candles for celebrations. I've seen some different ones today.
J- I saw lots of crosses. That's because Jesus died on a cross.
E- The Advent calendar had a picture of Baby Jesus when he was born in a stable. I think it will be Advent soon.
K- I couldn't believe how long the Torah was. It was on a long scroll.
L- I've enjoyed seeing all these things. I liked picking them up.
In our RE lesson we went to look at this displays of religious artefacts for Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism & Islam. We looked at the different items for each table then we noticed how these different religions have many similarities. Several religions use candles, prayer beads, prayer mats, skull caps and special books. A lot of them share the same stories from the Old Testament.
The children found it fascinating handling these items and looking at the similarities and difference between these religions.
Children really enjoyed engaging with the wealth of RE resources that we have in school, displaying a range of religions and allowing children to learn about faiths in a practical and exciting way.
"I learned a lot from the Jewish display"
"The Christian display was so colourful"
"I was shocked at how long the Jewish scroll is"
"Hinduism is a much more colourful religion than I knew"
"The Muslim resources were really interesting - particularly the Qur'an"
Willow class created some beautiful artwork and some wonderfully descriptive poetry as we learned about Remembrance.
In our RE learning, we have started to focus on some of the key beliefs of Islam. We learned about the Muslim idea of a straight path to God (Allah). To help us internalise the idea we tried walking a path but adding more obstacles and barriers. As more obstacles were introduced, more guidance was required. This helped us to understand the concept of working together in harmony, as well as how Muslims take guidance from the Qur'an.
Foundation and Year 1 children celebrated the start of Diwali on Thursday 4th November. We had already joined an online workshop with the authors of the book, ‘The Best Diwali Ever’ and learnt all about the celebrations. We loved sharing the story book and meeting the authors too. Our celebrations on Thursday were great and ranged from Diwali dancing and making Divas to creating Rangoli patterns in lots of different ways. We hope you enjoy looking at our photos.
Pumpkin Class enjoyed celebrating the Harvest. Many thanks for all the kind donations of food for Harbour Place.
P- We sang Harvest songs which were all about food from around the world.
E- I liked singing 'It's Harvest Time.'
C- We are sending the food to help homeless people. It's good to share our food and help people.
L- We all watched a special assembly about saying thank you for all the food we eat.
H- I liked the Harvest table. I brought some tins to help people.
Year 5 have been creating some art for the Spirited Arts competition. This is an annual competition by National Association of Teachers of RE and this year's theme is 'God's Good Earth'.
Children were challenged with creating an environmentally-aware piece of art, linked to their feelings about climate change and nature.
Believing: Muslims believe God created the world to be harmonious. Harmony means ‘joined together’.
Thinking: We then thought about when we are joined together harmoniously and how this makes our lives better both in an out of school.
We then had races between two teams, one with obstacles, one without (the straight path). The team without the obstacles always finished first
Believing: Muslims believe that God has set out a straight path (shariah) for humans to follow to help them keep things in harmony (muslim). If they follow the ‘straight path’ and don’t let obstacles in their way their life will be better.
In Barley Class this term, we are exploring the Islam faith. So far we have begun to find out about traditions and customs that are important to Muslims.
We have been learning about the Five Pillars of Islam and Ramadan, which is currently being celebrated in the UK.
In our school hall, have displayed some interesting artefacts, including: Hajj robes, Qiblah, prayer mat and key pieces of information about mosques, prayer times and fasting, as well as some of our written work explaining what we have learnt so far.
Throughout this term we will be further developing our understanding of the Islam faith and comparing and contrasting Islam and Christianity.
The children have been learning about the Easter Story and finding out ways Christian people celebrate Easter at this time. Here is a song that those who believe might sing in their special place of worship.
As a part of our Easter Celebrations the children learnt about Holy week and the different days which lead to Easter Sunday
Palm Sunday - when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on a donkey and the crowds celebrated by waving palm leaves
Maundy Thursday – when Jesus had the Last Supper with his disciples
Good (Holy) Friday – When Jesus was placed on a cross Easter Sunday – When Jesus was resurrected.
The children were shown different types of crosses including a bright one with an image of Jesus on it. The children used this as inspiration to design their own crosses depicting Holy week and the different events.
After listening to the Easter story we working in teams to design and create our Easter gardens to represent the Easter story. It was so lovely to make use of our outdoor classroom space on such a sunny afternoon. We also enjoyed searching our outdoor space for resources for our gardens including our home grown daffodils.
This week Juniper class having been exploring the Easter story. We have created stain glass windows of the Christian symbol the cross.
Thinking: The children were asked to work in teams to try and lift an object – they had 3 rulers to do this. With 1 ruler the book fell, with 2 it was slightly more stable but when 3 were used and worked together the book was given a solid base. We then looked at how Tripods are used to give support from bicycles to stands.
Believing: The children were then introduced to the idea that, for Christians, God is not three separate strands, but a single being woven together as Father, Son and Holy Spirit which Christians call ‘The Trinity’
God the Father is the creator of everything, the Son refers to how God chose to send a part of him as a human being in the form of Jesus his son who built a bridge between God & mankind, the Holy Spirit the power of God in our daily lives.
Living: After Jesus was resurrected, He commanded His disciples to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 29: 19). Ever since then, baptism has been a way to take upon oneself the name of Christ and become part of His kingdom, to believe in The Trinity and be supported by it.
Thinking – The children were set a task to get a character across a ‘river’ but it couldn’t touch the water. They decided to build a bridge using items around the classroom. The children were not allowed to cross more than halfway over the river and nothing they touched could touch the river bank. This took the children a while to figure out until they realised that they had to work in pairs, communicate and work together.
Believing – The children were then told the story of Adam & Eve and how they broke the bond of trust with God and did not communicate with each other. It wasn’t until God sent his son Jesus down to ‘bridge the gap’ and communicate between man & God that their bond was re-established.
Experiencing – The children were then asked to put this into a real life context to show their understanding. We discussed how when 2 friends fall out sometimes they need a friend to go between the 2 of them to sort out their conflicts and open the line of communication so they can start to talk and make friends again.
Who thought we could learn so much from just building a bridge?
With the theme of ‘I believe’, we have been looking at the way three different religious groups believe that The World was created.
First we looked at the Christian Story of Creation and made story wheels to show this.
Secondly we compared it to the Islamic Story of Creation and noted the similarities and differences. This is what we thought:
OW: ‘Both stories have their God making the sky and land and seas.’
DI: ‘In the Islamic story they believe Allah made angels.’
TS: ‘In the Christian story God just made man and woman but in the other one Allah modelled it first then breathed on it to make it alive.’
OH: ‘Both stories start with nothing and end up with the living things on the World.’
Finally we looked at the Hindu Story of Creation and noticed how very much different this one was. We liked the part where Vishnu grew a lotus flower out of his navel. We also liked how Brahma used petals of the flower to make things. We got creative and made our own lotus flowers:
This week for interfaith week we have been learning about many different religions around the world. To help us understand some of the places that they pray we have done some drawings of the Buddhist temple.
Next, we learned about Judaism and how Jewish people follow the religion with the place that they worship, sacred items to them and the events that they attend to celebrate Judaism. We did an activity labelling the different parts of a Jewish synagogue.
We have looked at Sikhism and the various things that they belief. After we looked at what the Sikh religion believes we were able to create a mind map of different drawings and key words of what the Sikhs belief in their religion.
Reflections on interfaith week
As part of Inter faith week in Juniper class , we looked at the faith Buddhism and how they use meditation. Meditation is a very important part of Buddhism. Through meditation, Buddhists believe they can calm and clear the mind, making it peaceful. We thought this was a good way to start our day. Well done those at home who joined in.
The children in school have been learning about a different religion each day this week. When we were learning about Buddhism we learnt about how Buddhists use meditation to try an reach ‘enlightenment’. We tried meditating and listened to a meditation track called ‘The Gratitude Tree’ which involved thinking about all the positive things in our life.
After we finished meditating we were given a picture of a tree and were asked to fill the tree with everything in our lives which is good. We then looked at our trees to see how full our lives are and how there is so much positivity in our lives when it is such a troubling time.
We completed a selection of different activities during our 'I Believe'/inter-faith week.
We learned about different stories, beliefs, places of worship, etc. for a range of different faiths. This included: watching videos of festivals and thinking about our different senses; identifying areas of places of worship; understanding how people dress to reflect their beliefs; recreating art from religious stories. We also reflected on the question of "Where is God?" thinking about our own or other people's beliefs, which resulted in some beautiful artwork.
Pupils at school were invited to take part in a special competition to design the cover of the January 2021 edition of the church magazine to celebrate The Epiphany. There were so many wonderful entries, that the judges decided to include all the drawings in the magazine. Well done to everyone who took part!
Congratulations to the Seedlings and Sunflower children who took part in St. Margaret's Church competition to draw 'Three Wise Men' from the Nativity story. Children received a book and their drawings will be put onto the church Christmas magazine.
Pumpkin class have been drawing the kings and camels who visited Jesus. This is for a church competition and here are some of our entries. We all have our fingers crossed that we might win!
We had a special meeting with Buddhist Marcus Czarnecki this afternoon. We learned a bit about the history of Buddhism and about rituals which Buddhists practise. We also had a go at some Buddhist chanting ourselves.
Many thanks to everyone who brought in food for our Harvest Celebration. All your kind donations have been gratefully received by the Harbour Place charity in Grimsby.
Thanks to all those who contributed to the Harvest donations for Harbour Place - greatly appreciated.
Today is Pancake day and children have been learning about why people celebrate this day. We learnt that pancake day is also called Shrove Tuesday and that it is celebrated on the Tuesday before Lent. Christians celebrate this time of year and might promise to give something up, such as chocolate or sweets for 40 days until Easter.
Children made pancakes with the playdoh and wrote a pancake promises.
Well done to Sunflower and Pumpkin classes for their wonderful performances of 'Shine Star Shine.' Lovely singing, acting, dancing, reading and instrument playing.
As part of interfaith week, we had a special visitor in school, Marcus Czernecki. He shared information about his faith Buddhism. Our class had a workshop where we listened to stories and looked at artefacts linked to the faith. We were given special bookmarks as a gift.