The subject lead for Religious Education at Darwen St James is Mrs Simms.
At Darwen St James, our vision and values are at the heart of everything we do. We provide children and families with a warm and nurturing environment in which all children can grow and learn.
In RE, we follow the Questful RE Scheme, developed by The Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education and supplement this with Understanding Christianity, a resource developed by the Church of England Education Office. Our strong RE curriculum is centred around pupils' spiritual, moral, cultural, and emotional development, making a significant contribution in preparing them for the responsibilities and experiences of later life. Our curriculum strengthens our understanding of Christian values, empowering pupils to make positive choices. Through the syllabus, we ensure there are opportunities to develop children's enquiry, analysis, interpretation, evaluation and reflection skills, deepening their understanding of the impact of religion on the world and enabling them to express personal views with consideration and confidence.
The Christian vision for the academy is ‘to treasure and love every individual, for pupils to have a thirst for learning, love for life and embrace the future with Christian hope and confidence’. Its mission statement is ‘working together, to love, to learn, to live’. These two impressive statements of intent are at the very heart of the academy’s work. Pastoral support through Christian love and care is exemplary.
SIAMS Inspection Report 2017
New RE policy and appendix
In Nursery we have been exploring the story of David and Goliath. The children created the Giant and David out of stickle bricks and role played the story.
Reception Class have enjoyed learning all about Easter. We have sequenced the Easter story, talked about what we could remember and we have created a prayer garden, writing prayers to Jesus.
In Year 1 we have been learning all about Easter. We have been looking at signs of new life and thinking about the new life Jesus has in heaven with God. We role played Palm Sunday and had great fun making palm leaves and cheering Hosanna!
Year 2 have been looking at Easter and the different objects and symbols used to help explain and understand the meaning of Easter. For example palm leaves or a donkey to represent Palm Sunday or bread and wine for Good Friday. The children also created their own El Salvador cross for The Last Supper and thought about why Jesus washed his disciples feet and what this represented.
In Year 3 we have been looking at the Easter story. In one of our lessons we looked at different pieces of artwork that showed different parts of the story. The children used emojis to record how they felt at each point. The children were blown away by how many different emotions they felt.
Year 4 have been discussing betrayal and trust in the Easter story. We have looked in particular at Judas and Peter and how they betrayed Jesus during this time. We have also looked at forgiveness and discussed how Jesus forgave his disciples even though they betrayed him. We looked at what the Bible says about forgiveness and also what other faiths say about forgiveness.
Year 5 has been exploring how Easter is a time of victory for Christians. We have looked at the Easter story and how it is portrayed in a variety of different ways, picking out the key aspects and themes. We have also explored art depicting Easter from a variety of artists and created our own artwork.
Year 6 have looked at ‘Who is / who was Jesus’ this term, and considered what the Bible tells us about Jesus, how Jesus described himself, and why Christians believe Jesus is the Messiah. Year 6 have begun to form their own opinions in answer to the question ‘ Who is /who was Jesus’.
The children revisited the story of Jesus being born at Christmas time and the three Kings had to travel far to see baby Jesus. The children learnt that the kings arrived at Bethlehem on the 6th of January. We discussed what the kings brought for Jesus and what we might of brought him if we had visited him.
The children listened to the story of the lost sheep and learnt the song with the puppets. The children discussed what we would do if we lost something important to us and how that would make us feel. The children made their own sheep and made foot prints with the sheep so we could follow them to find the missing sheep.
Reception class have been learning about stores Jesus heard. We have listened to Noah’s Ark, the story of Moses and Daniel in the Lions Den. Once we had listened to the story we took part in a craft activity linked to the story.
The children also explored Chinese New Year, the year of the tiger. They have painted pictures of tigers and threaded a tiger outline.
In a year 1 we have been learning about why Jesus is special to Christians. We read lots of stories about the miracles Jesus performed. We formed our own opinions about whether this shows that Jesus is special, however we all agreed that he must have needed some help to make these unusual occurrences happen. We talked about the Bible and how you can find the miracles in the New Testament if you want to read them.
Year 2 have been learning about ‘Jesus, friends to everyone’ and have looked at a number of different stories this term showing how Jesus was friend to the friendless. We learned about Blind Bartimaeus, The 10 Lepers and Jesus Healing the Paralysed Man. We finished the unit by learning about how Jesus chose Matthew, a tax collector, as one of his 12 special friends and thought about who we would choose to be on our team and what qualities we would want them to have.
This term Year 3 have been learning about Jesus and how he changed many people’s lives. We looked at different characters from the Bible, including a man called Zacchaeus who after meeting Jesus became a better person. We then looked at people who desiccated their lives to caring for people who were less fortunate. One person in particular was Mother Teresa. The children enjoyed researching about her and the life she led.
Year 4 looked at Jesus - Son of God. We discussed miracles and stories from the Bible that proved that Jesus was God’s son. We discussed how
because Jesus was God’s son, he had complete authority over nature and death. We saw this in Bible stories such as Jesus calms the storm and Jesus raising Lazarus. We also learnt about Jesus speaking out against the authorities and linked this to real life people who have spoken out against authority. We enjoyed learning about Rosa Parks and how she stood up to her beliefs even though she was put in jail. She really was an inspirational and courageous person and has inspired us to speak out against anything we don’t agree with.
Year 5 have been looking at stories Jesus told and how these impact and form Christian behaviours. We read several parables and discussed how these impact Christian lives, linking these to British values and our whole school values.
The children took part in a carousel of values and read the parables to each other.
Year 6 have been studying The Exodus this term, and comparing the significance of this event for Jewish people, and Christians. These photos show the class exploring a poster depicting The Last Supper, and discovering that it was actually a Passover meal! We went on to discuss why we as Christians do not celebrate Passover, even though Jesus did.
The children in Nursery have been learning about the Good Samaritan and thinking about how we can be good friends in Nursery. We have also been learning about Advent and Christmas and linked this to our school values, Joy and Love.
Rev Rebecca visited class and spoke to the children about Advent, showed them how to make a Christingle and explained what each part represents. The children then had a chance to explore and make their own Christingle in class.
We have also been learning about Christmas, thinking about the main characters in the Christmas story and sequencing the events. We worked really hard learning the songs and actions for our Nativity play too!
Year 1 have been learning all about what it was like to live when Jesus was alive. We have had lots of experiences including, eating what Jesus would have eaten, dressing up in clothes Jesus may have worn and playing games that Jesus would have played when he was a boy.
In December we have been learning about the birth of Jesus and how he was a present sent from his father, God, to help the world.
Year 2 have been thinking about the question ‘Why was the birth of Jesus such good news?’ They looked at the Good News and Bad News within the Christmas story and the important role the Angels played, focusing on the news they delivered to Zechariah, Mary and the Shepherds. They designed their own Angel thinking about the message (s)he would share.
In our Harvest lessons we looked at the Jewish Festival of Sukkot. After reading about how the jewish people celebrate Harvest we built Sukkot shelters-a tent like structure to remember the years they spent in the desert.
Also don’t forget to look out for the KS2 carol service on our website and on Youtube.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.
Year 4 have been exploring the theme of light. We discussed how Christians carry the light of Christ inside them. We had some visitors into class who talked about how they carry the light of Christ inside their hearts. We also talked about how we can shine our own lights to show our love for others.
We are continuing with our work surrounding the Bible. We have been looking at what God told us through his words about living our lives, and applying this to current issues within the news. We have also looked at similarities and differences between other faiths and how they use their religious books.
We have been looking at the question 'How do Christians prepare for Christmas?' Rev Rebecca came into school to share her experiences of Christmas and how the Church prepares for Christmas during the time of Advent.
In nursery, we have been talking about why we are special and what makes us special. We created our beautiful pictures by drawing around our hands and then using ink to print our unique fingerprints. We talked about God and how he made us all different and how being different is a good thing.
We have also been learning about harvest and we used different fruits and vegetables to create our very own paintings. We had lots of fun doing this and enjoyed learning about what harvest is and why it is important.
In Reception we have been looking at our favourite foods, then we looked at Harvest and how we thank God for what he has given us. We created fruit kebabs and ate them together - thanking God. We have also been making thank you baskets.
In Year 1 we are learning all about Harvest. We have looked at different foods and where in the world they come from. We have also thought about people in the world who may not have a good harvest and what we could do to help them. For our school Harvest Festival we have talked about the Yam Festival in Ghana. We decorated yams and tasted them for the first time. On the whole we thought they were yummy!
In RE this term, Year 2 have been learning about the Bible and how it is important to Christians. Rob came to school to talk about how the Bible is special to him, about different stories in the Old and New Testament and to answer some of our questions.
Throughout the unit we will be learning about people who struggled to have a Bible, including Mary Jones and the impact this has had on society and also about the Qumran scrolls, known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
We will progress onto learning about Holy Books from other faiths and look at similarities and differences between The Bible and other Holy Books, including the Qur’an.
In our topic, Called by God we discussed the things we might be asked to do and not really want to do! We had some funny answers. Not wanting to tidy our room and not wanting to share our toys.
We then looked at how God called upon people to do important tasks. We looked at Moses who was afraid at first but believed in God and carried out his wishes. As a class we then thought of questions we would like to ask Moses.
Next we looked at the story of Abraham and Isaac. It started off really sad, but again Abraham believed in God and in the end he didn’t have to sacrifice his son. Then we took part in some drama depicting the story of Abraham and Jesus. It was our first time doing drama and we were all a little nervous and some of us had the giggles but we really enjoyed the lesson and learnt that we need to believe in God as he is always there for us.
In Year 4 we have been learning all about a boy called David. We have learned how he has been chosen to be the King of Israel and how he defeated a huge warrior called Goliath. In one lesson we learned about the strong friendship between David and Jonathan. We learned how Jonathan showed his friendship to David by giving him a gift of a robe and a sword. Jonathan’s father was King Saul and he was jealous of David and wanted him killed but Jonathan begged his father not to hurt David. His father agreed for a short time but he grew jealous and angry again and ordered David to be killed. Jonathan warned Daivd and helped him escape so he could be safe. Although they were apart they remained best of friends. We talked about the friendship between David and Jonathan then discussed our own friendships. We decided on the qualities a good friend should have and the times our friends have been there for us. We then wrote some recipes for a friend!
In year 5 we have been looking at the Indonesian Rice Festival, in Bali, as part of our Harvest around the world work. We looked the Karapan Sapi which is a bull race that takes places in the festival. The bulls are decorated in gold, fabrics and sequins before racing through the festival parade. We have made our own headdresses using images from the bull race as reference
In Year 6 we have been looking at life being a journey. We began by thinking about what a journey is and why people might take a journey. Then we thought about the similarities and differences between life and journeys before moving on to thinking about what a Christian’s life journey might be like, and if this is easy or hard, and why. Rev Rebecca came into class to answer some of our questions about the life journey of a Christian.
We visited Church for the first time in over 18 months and what a lovely celebration it was.
Each class has been learning about different Harvest Festivals from around the world and the children spoke and sang with such courage in front of the whole school.
Our new choir also sang a Harvest song and it sounded amazing! We are looking forward to our next celebration in Church already!
Two children from KS2 attended the RE Conference alongside a number of other schools from across the diocese at Blackburn Cathedral.
The children had the opportunity to look at the Knife Angel as it was in Blackburn at the time of the conference. They learned about the meaning behind the angel and even saw the Police emptying the surrender box, where knives had been surrendered anonymously. The children also spent time searching the Cathedral, looking at the different Angels around the building and thinking about why they are there. They then explored different verses in the Bible to see how Angels are described and ended the day by designing their own Angel, thinking about the message they would send to others.