Faith and Philosophy at Wallace Fields Junior School

At WFJS, after much consultation and work with the children, it was decided that we would rebrand R.E. We wanted to make the subject more dynamic, more reflective and more about the children in our care each day. Our curriculum is still based on the Surrey Agreed Syllabus, but each lesson is now tailored to start with a personal question to get the children thinking about their own philosophy and values. A religion will then be learned about and the children will reflect on their views about it afterwards and what impact it could have on their philosophy. We do not teach any religion or non-religion as fact, but as ideas to help shape and question children’s own views and morals and to try to answer some of the ‘big’ questions in life. Some of which the children have asked: Who were the very first humans and what did they look like? Who was the first person to speak and how did anyone understand them? What is at the end of the universe, if there is an end? Why do some people not believe in alien species? Who first decided to milk a cow and why? Why do humans wear clothes but animals do not?

So far, this has massively increased the engagement with the subject and encouraged children to see R.E as a reflective tool to help them shape their own views and beliefs and to share and celebrate the ones they already have. Faith and Philosophy also outlines the ideas that those who do not follow a religion, still have morals and codes that they follow and it explores where they come from and why they might exist.

This is all new to September 2020 and we are excited to see how the subject changes and reflects the views of the families within our community.

Below are the concepts explored in each year group but please bear in mind that this is just the learning, not the reflections and values explored through each lesson.

Faith and Philosophy progression map

Faith and Philosophy Curriculum: 

What is our intent?

Our intention through our Faith and Philosophy curriculum is guided by the Agreed Surrey Syllabus 2017-2022 and is designed to enable pupils to:
demonstrate an appreciation of the nature of religion and belief and the important contribution of religious and spiritual insights and values to the individual’s search for meaning in life, whilst acknowledging that this may also come from a non-religious perspective 
develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity, and of the other principal religions and beliefs represented in Great Britain, both through their history and their contemporary diverse expressions
develop interest in and enthusiasm for the study of religion & beliefs and enhance their own spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
develop the ability to make reasoned, informed and creative responses to religious and moral issues 
recognise the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on the individual, on culture and on communities throughout the world.
At WFJS, after much consultation and work with the children, it was decided that we would rebrand R.E. We wanted to make the subject more dynamic, more reflective and more about the children in our care each day. We wanted to encourage children to shape their own beliefs and philosophies by drawing and reflecting upon others. We feel this will help children go through their childhood and into adulthood with a curious and open mind and be able to reason their own beliefs whilst appreciating and empathising with others. 

How do we implement this?

Our curriculum is still based on the Surrey Agreed Syllabus, but each lesson is now tailored to start with a personal question to get the children thinking about their own philosophy and values. A religion will then be learned about and the children will reflect on their views about it afterwards and what impact it could have on their philosophy. We do not teach any religion or non-religion as fact, but as ideas to help shape and question children’s own views and morals and to try to answer some of the ‘big’ questions in life. Some of which the children have asked: Who were the very first humans and what did they look like? Who was the first person to speak and how did anyone understand them? What is at the end of the universe, if there is an end? Why do some people not believe in alien species? Who first decided to milk a cow and why? Why do humans wear clothes but animals do not?
The Curriculum is delivered through the following Strands but as stated above, is taught as non-factual, philosophical beliefs and children are encouraged to reflect on what the topic means to them and what they can learn personally from it:

  • What do Christians believe God is like? 
  • Who is God? 
  • Who is Jesus? 
  • What can we learn from religious books/stories/parables?
  • Why do people use symbols in their religion?
  •  What would be in my prayers and what are they?
  • Where would my church (place of worship/reflection be?
  • Buddhism Unit
  • Comparative Units
  • Sikhism
  • Islam unit
  • Judaism unit
  • Christmas Unit
  • Easter Unit
  • Hinduism Unit

What impact has our curriculum had?

Faith and Philosophy as a rebrand has so far, increased the engagement with the subject and encouraged children to see R.E as a reflective tool to help them shape their own views and beliefs and to share and celebrate the ones they already have. Faith and Philosophy also outlines the ideas that those who do not follow a religion, still have morals and codes that they follow and it explores where they come from and why they might exist.

Faith and Philosophy curriculum photos

National Curriculum

To find out more about the national curriculum for Religious Education in Key Stage 2 that the school is following click here.

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