17.7.23 Nathalie Bolofo
I was delighted to meet the Religious Education teacher, Mrs Hayley Gillen and her colleague, who both work hard to teach Religious Education to the Mellers students from Year 1 to Year 6. As a team, they aim to successfully develop children’s skills and knowledge in all concerning religion and spirituality.
The focus this year is declined in 3 key points: – the teaching must be consistent; reflective and based on the child’s own experience.
Moreover the continuity of the curriculum is ensured by the prior knowledge of the subject they gain the previous school year.
The subject for each class group is taught very well as Mrs. Hayley ensures there is often positive feedback from children. In fact, most of students have a prior good knowledge of culture, tradition and religion throughout their Christian or Muslim background. They are taught all about kindness and environment and children are already aware of the importance of being kind in the society and respectful towards all religions and they all strive to find out solutions for protection of the environment.
For instance, at the moment Year 6 students are being taught “Beliefs in action” and Kindertransport a topic related to the Second World War. This topic emphasizes upstander, bystander, anti-bullying and also triggers a discussion about values such as kindness, empathy and tolerance and to develop them through a deep study and research of this tragic historical event.
To keep the subject alive, the teachers organize visits at the places of worship, at resources centres dedicated to religion, they also take part to services. At the resource’s centres, children can have access to floor books, arts, dramas and song. Those visits inspire the children to produce their own work, which develops their creativity. For example, this year a special project for mums who can come to present a Religion workshop at Mellers.
In general, the course is going well, there is no issues, all children are comfortable in their beliefs and aware and respectful of each other’s religion and beliefs. At the end of the year, the children are not submitted to a formal assessment but Mrs. Hayley expects and checks that they all know the key points of the subject and are able to explain them.
To sum up, the key message for Religion at Mellers is: inclusivity and kindness.