Religious Education & Collective Worship

Religious Education (RE):

Religious Education is part of the curriculum, and is planned using the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus and the Diocese of St Albans’ guidance. Religious Education is an academic subject, delivered in an academic, objective and pluralistic manner. The purpose of teaching RE is to enable pupils to become ‘religiously literate’, learning both about and from religion. We define religious literacy as “the ability to hold balanced and informed conversations about religions and beliefs”. Through a deeper understanding of ourselves and others we hope to provide the foundations for peaceful and respectful relationships across and within communities. RE is NOT about converting or evangelising but is about exploring their own and others’ beliefs within the context of humanity’s religious experiences.

Within RE, we explore the major belief systems of the 6 major world religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam as well as Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism. As a church school two thirds of our RE curriculum time is spent exploring Christianity (Statement of Entitlement 2019), with each year group also learning about one or two other world faiths.

Year group Autumn term Spring term Summer term
Y1 Christianity Christianity Islam/Judaism
Y2 Christianity Christianity Islam/Judaism
Y3 Christianity Christianity Sikhism/Buddhism
Y4 Christianity Christianity Sikhism/Hinduism

This enables the children to explore both differences and similarities, looking at key ideas about God/s and religious texts (theology). We also explore our own personal beliefs, and how religious beliefs impact on our day to day behaviours and practices (sociology) and how they can help us answer some of the ‘big questions’ in life, such as what is my purpose in life (philosophy). RE is seen as an essential part of learning to reflect upon life and our relationships in order to live life to its fullest.

Religious Education supports children to develop empathy, appreciate diversity, as well as develop the skills of reflecting, questioning, investigating and expressing themselves. They begin to find their own responses to the important questions in life, focus on their own spiritual development, and accept and understand that not everyone will have or should have the same beliefs. RE enables children to explore the unknown and develop a sense of awe and wonder. It promotes inspirational role models who have been guided by their faith to support and help humans across the world, as part of a global community.

Collective Worship (CW):

Collective Worship happens daily at Layston and is separate from RE. At the beginning of each half term a new Christian value is introduced by the head teacher and a values leaflet with tips for parents about exploring this value at home is posted on the school website (Our School – Christian Values). This value is then explored in depth across the half term.

Christian Values
Term ½ term value Year A ½ term value Year B
Autumn term Koinonia – community Creation & stewardship
Friendship & self-sacrifice Peace & justice
Spring term Courage, endurance & resilience Wisdom
Thankfulness Reverence
Summer term Agape – God’s love Compassion & forgiveness
Trust Hope

On a Monday the head teacher and music teacher lead a singing CW with songs promoting our value. On a Tuesday the local reverends are invited in to talk to the whole school about our value. On Wednesday CW takes place in key stage bubbles where the value is explored more deeply with class teachers. On a Thursday the deputy headteacher leads a sharing CW where children share their learning and talk about what they enjoyed, found tricky, and what helped them move their learning forward. On a Friday the head teacher leads a celebration assembly giving awards such as Values Awards, Stars of the Week, Diners of the Week, Buddy of the Week & the Attendance Award for the week (see Classes & Curriculum – Classes – Year Group – Awards).

Please see RE policy for more information.