Our curriculum subject areas of the website are currently being revised and updated. However, please see below for a flavour of what we do.
Religious Education is taught through weekly lessons in each year group. The subject matter is based on the West Sussex Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. The agreed syllabus follows the legal requirement for Religious Education to reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are mainly Christian, while taking account of the teachings and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. As the children move up through the school they also spend time learning about and discussing important issues such as identity and living alongside each other. During these topics, the pupils are given opportunities to give their own ideas on big questions about life and God. There are two focusses that we work on in RE. One of these is the ‘learning about’ a religion, where children develop knowledge of the people who are important to these religions, their history, where people worship and how their beliefs affect the way they live. The other focus is ‘learning from’ a religion. This is where children are encouraged to see how they can learn from other people’s beliefs.
The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education is currently being discussed and we will update this information as soon as it has been agreed.
The children’s first year is split into three sections which centre on Christianity. They start by learning what Christians believe about God. This includes a visit from the Rev. Kath Jones who organises the hall as a Methodist church and explains how a service runs and what each aspect means. The children are engaged by this experience as it enables them to see how faith is acted on by people who go to church. As the year continues, the children learn about Jesus and his life. They are encouraged to put themselves into the shoes of someone who lived around the times of Jesus and imagine what it must have been like growing up in Bible times. In the summer term the topic is developed more with a look into the Old Testament Bible stories which the children always enjoy. Year 4 learn about Christianity in more depth, finding out what the Bible is and how Christians use it, as well as hearing about the miracles of Jesus and the story of Easter. This year the children are also taught about the beliefs of Muslims, including how they use the Qu’ran, where and how they worship, important pilgrimages and Ramadan.
Year 5 start the year by learning about the Hindu religion, exploring their beliefs about God and worship. Group discussion is encouraged and children spend time considering how the views and lifestyles of Hindus compare to their own. In the next term, each child will reflect on their role in society and discuss what it means to belong. The last part of Year 5 returns the children to Christianity, where they learn about Paul the disciple of Jesus and other famous Christians in History. The children’s final year begins with a term on Judaism in RE. There is a focus on the history of Judaism which also links to the history of Christianity, followed by a series of lessons where they gain understanding of how modern Jews live. The next term is heavily discussion based, tackling questions such as, ‘Are people the most important beings on Earth?’ and, ‘To be a good person is it more important to follow the rules than to make people happy?’ These questions truly engage the children and they are eager to share their views. In their last term, the children discover who the important leaders in the Bible are, such as King David and Esther and Abraham.
How religious education at SJA equips our children
Culture is an important aspect of the world we live in. People’s values affect the way they live and the decisions they make. In Southwater Junior Academy children gain knowledge of the diverse beliefs that people have. As a result, they have an understanding and respect for people, which is crucial for when they enter the world of work. Throughout their time here, they are encouraged to think about how different beliefs are relevant to them.