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 have started our learning about Chinese New Year in foundation stage. We have read the story of 'The Great Race' and learned that there are 12 animals which different years are named after. This year is the year of the rabbit, but most of us will have been born in the year of the dog or the rooster. We have enjoyed exploring Chinese food in our takeaway role play area, as well as trying on some traditional Chinese clothing. We have also tried writing and painting some Chinese words and numbers. We have made some Chinese dragons using a concertina effect with card - next week we will be making a big dragon and taking part in a dragon dance. Happy Lunar New Year to all those who celebrate it!
Well done to everyone in Pumpkin Class for their lovely Christmas nativity play. They told the story of the nativity beautifully. Everyone sang well, danced enthusiastically and the acting and the speaking were amazing too. Many thanks to all the parents and carers for organising such wonderful costumes.
We had an exciting assembly led by our special visitor Mrs. Cockerill. She told the children all about Advent being the time leading up to Christmas Day. The word Advent means ‘coming’ and the children learnt that it is a time of preparation for Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Mrs. Cockerill made the assembly very interesting and enjoyable with her props, dressing up and whole school singing.
Pumpkin Class have been finding out about three different religions this week.
They visited the RE display in the school hall, listened to a range of faith stories and watched videos about people’s way of life: how they worship and what they believe in.
J- We have been researching Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.
A- We made word maps of all the interesting facts we found out.
L- The stories and videos were good.
S- I enjoyed finding things out.
Then the children wondered if the different faiths had any things in common.
A- They all want people to have a good life.
R- They all have special buildings where people go to worship, like a church, a Mandir or a Mosque.
M- They all have a special book, like a Bible, a Qur’an or a Vedas.
J- It was interesting how they all have special celebrations, special symbols and special people who teach them and help them to worship.
We were lucky to have Sunita come and visit the school today. She told us a story about Rama and Sita in assembly then she came to our class to teach us about traditional Hindu dances. The children had lots of fun dressing up and dancing ‘Bollywood style’.
We welcomed Sunita into our school this morning to learn more about Hinduism.
Altogether we took part in an interactive story of Rama and Sita. In class Willow class learnt about Rangoli art and created our own versions using stencils and chalk pastels.
Year 6 had a great afternoon learning all about life in India! We found there to be many similarities between India and our own lives- including McDonald's, gaming and football! We looked at other aspects of daily life, such as housing, pets, schools and transport; a very eye-opening and insightful session!
Year 2 enjoyed a special assembly led by Sunita. She told them all about her religion: Hinduism. She told them the story of Rama and Sita and demonstrated how she prays and celebrates the festival of Diwali. After the assembly the children thought that it had been unkind of some children who laughed when Sunita showed pictures of her gods. This led to an important discussion about why it is important to show respect to others.
Mrs. Brady showed the class The Equality Act 2020 poster ‘Protected Characteristics.’ The children picked out some of the symbols they recognised e.g. religious symbols, people of different ages, male and female symbols, people with disabilities and different kinds of families. They made posters to show that all people need to be treated fairly.
M- Sunita has a religion called Hinduism.
A-She prays in a temple called a Mandir.
E- If she wants to pray somewhere else she can set up a little table called a shrine with all her candles and little statues of gods.
R- I learnt that people are different and it doesn’t matter if people pray to different gods.
S- People have the right to dress differently and wear things that they like.
V- She taught us that we need to show respect for each other.
Stanford School had a special visitor on Tuesday, Imran Kotwal from The Muslim Learner Services. He came and spoke with Key Stage 2 pupils about Islam and their key beliefs and also challenging stereotypes.
A fantastic workshop for Parents and Carers on Islam. Thank you for the wonderful feedback:
“Really helpful and welcoming”
“Fantastic to learn about Islam, really enjoyed being able to ask questions and find out more about this amazing religion. Would love to learn more.”
“Very interesting and so informative. I really appreciate the time this took, so informative- would come again!”
“Very insightful and lovely session to meet other parents who are interested in exploring Islam. The discussion time/Q and A time is great to open up discussion on topics amongst parents.”
“It is definitely worth learning about other religions. Imran you are an asset to us and the kids at this school.”
Juniper class explored how we express how we are feeling through different methods: poetry, songs, dance, art etc
We used different facial expressions, body language and tone of voice to show this in small groups, with our peers having to guess the emotion we were displaying. We linked this to different faiths and how expressing faiths involve feelings and emotions.
As part of their RE work, Pumpkin Class visited the church. They learnt all about the Easter story with Rev. Mark and enjoyed exploring the church and asking lots of questions.
Mrs. Brady would like to thank Rev. Mark and all the community members for their warm welcome and help with the visit.
M- Rev. Mark talked about Easter and did some magic tricks.
E- I felt excited because I had never been in the church before.
R- We gave Easter cards and a pot of daffodils to the church.
H- We thought of the people in Ukraine and prayed for them. We put Ukraine flags on a cross.
E- We sat on the pews.
J- Rev. Mark had a bowl made of melted toy soldiers which he put Ukraine flags in. He talked about wanting peace in the world, not war.
E- We had biscuits and juice.
O- Mr. Swallow showed us a kneeler with the Stanford badge and a cross on it.
K- Mrs. Brady played the organ and we all sang Easter songs. A- The altar is a special table and it had flowers and candles on it.
A- I saw lots of crosses all over the church. Jesus died on a cross.
W- Jesus was on a stained glass window and there were pictures of people praying. I liked it, it was colourful.
F- I saw the font where the babies get christened.
P- There were lots of Bibles.
C- I stood at the lectern.
E- I saw the pulpit.
H- I enjoyed my trip there, it was so interesting!
In our RE lessons this term we are learning about the life journey that Muslim's follow.
In our most recent lesson, we recapped the place of worship (Mosque), the religious leader (Imam) and the holy book (Qu'ran), which lead us to discuss the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the core beliefs and practices that Muslim's follow.
We are excited to learn more about the Islam faith and to compare and contrast to Christianity and Hinduism as we continue our RE lessons in Year 6.
Pumpkin Class have been learning all about the First Christmas. They enjoyed drawing nativity scenes, acting out the story and learning a special poem.
D- Mary was told she would have God's baby. It was special news from Angel Gabriel.
J- I think the shepherds were scared at first of the angels, but they got good news about Jesus being born and wanted to go and see him.
L- The Wise Men believed that Jesus was a special kind. They were so excited to see him because they travelled a long way.
C- Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God. Christmas is when people celebrate his birthday.
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?