Teaching & Learning in RE: Findings from our SEF/Monitoring & Evaluation:
- Outstanding leadership of the school demonstrates a determination to effectively reflect, at all levels, on the distinctive nature of a Catholic school and how that manifests itself in the daily lives of the pupils.
- The Governing Board state that the head teacher has a clear and focused understanding of her role as leader of Catholic Life. The S48 Inspector stated….”Her(HT) enthusiasm and drive are infectious, and she is highly skilled at working with all members of the school community, to ensure that the pupils’ experience of Catholic Life, Collective Worship & RE, is rich and meaningful.”
- Governors are highly committed, have a clear and robust vision and know the school well. They are highly dedicated to the school’s mission and effectively support and challenge the school. As a result, the school continues to move forward and outcomes for children are outstanding.
- The Governing Board draws together representatives from different roles within the school community and there is evidence that it has had a significant impact on outcomes for pupils.
- Pastoral care of staff is given a high priority. Staff questionnaires evidence that staff feel cared for by each other and also by leaders. They appreciate opportunities to reflect on their own faith and spirituality through retreats and praying together. This has been a top priority for leaders during the pandemic & staff have been truly grateful of this support.
- Teachers use a wide range of teaching strategies to engage all the children in class & the use of TAs to support this is highly effective. This is evidenced in the outcomes for children, including SEND, PP & EAL.
- Teachers are consistently assessing the children in learning & adapting their teaching, when needed, to meet the individual need. Therefore, all groups needs are met through differentiation and the use of the other adult.
- Teachers are highly skilled at questioning the children, to gain a deeper understanding of what they are being taught and in return the children’s answers, evidence a very mature & deep understanding of their faith
- The school uses a variety of strategies to engage and inform parents, including those who are sometimes hard to reach. The school website, newsletters, twitter and workshops for parents, all reinforce the Catholic nature of the school.
- In the Parental Questionnaires, 95% were satisfied with the standard of RE Education and agreed that the school was a supportive, caring Catholic community.
- All evidence of recent monitoring & evaluation from all leaders, including governors – are measured against the impact statements above. Formal lesson observations were carried out during Advent, Lent, & more recently, RSE. Outcomes are shared with staff in school & Governors at the Standards & Curriculum Meeting every term.
Learning and Growing as the People of God
The schools of the Archdiocese of Birmingham use the Diocese’s own curriculum strategy from Foundation (Nursery) to Year 6 called ‘Learning & Growing as the People of God.’ (often referred to as the Strategy).
The Strategy was written using the Learning Outcomes provided in the Bishops’ Conference document the Curriculum Directory as a basis. Rather than produce a lesson by lesson scheme of work the Strategy provides teachers with a range of suggested cross-curricula activities which they can use and adapt to suit the needs of the learners in their class in order that their children achieve the learning outcomes. This flexibility also allows teachers to incorporate their own ideas, creativity and imagination into the delivery of the Strategy.
The Strategy is divided into a number of units, usually 12, which cover four main areas of study. It is through the construction of a spiral curriculum that children’s knowledge and understanding is developed.
The children learn about the Liturgical Seasons of the Church’s year. They find out about the significance of each season, its particular signs and symbols and the different liturgies celebrated in each season.
The children also study both Old Testament and New Testament Scripture in order to give them familiarity and knowledge of Scripture as well as allowing them to explore and understand how our Catholic beliefs are rooted in what Scripture reveals to us.
There is a strong Sacramental focus in each year group. In particular the content of the Y3 and Y6 books fully prepares the children to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist in Y3 and Confirmation in Y6. As part of the strategy the children learn about what it is to live as Christians today, how the Church is organised from global to parish level and also the opportunities which exist for them to participate in the life of the Church. A key element to each unit is the opportunity to link the learning with opportunities for prayer and reflection.