At Hatch Warren Infant School, through our teaching of the Living Difference IV, we intend to introduce our children to what a religious way of looking at and existing in the world may offer in leading one’s life, individually and collectively.
Our curriculum recognises and acknowledges that the question as to what it means to lead one’s life with such an orientation can be answered in a number of qualitatively different ways. These include the idea that to live a religious life means to subscribe to certain propositional beliefs (religion as truth); the idea that to live a religious life means to adhere to certain practices (religion as practice); and the idea that to live a religious life is characterised by a particular way of being in and with the world: with a particular kind of awareness of and faith in the world and in other human beings (religion as existence). These three ways of conceptualising religion also relate to different theological positions and may be found as overlapping to different extents within any particular religious tradition. Our school’s religious curriculum intends to play an educative part in the lives of children and young people as they come to speak, think and act in the world. This entails teachers bringing the children first to attend to their own experience and that of others, to engage intellectually with material that is new and to discern with others what is valuable with regard to living a religious life or one informed by a non-religious or other perspective.
Our religious education curriculum is taught through a cycle of enquiring (shown below) as outlined in the Living Difference IV and covers the five different key skills needed by children to develop their religious understanding and is designed to progress the children’s understanding and ability to engage with RE as they progress through the three year groups.
The Living Difference IV, and therefore our curriculum, takes as its starting point an exploration, with the children, of what it means to exist in and with the world. The enquiry process, therefore, begins as the teacher brings each child or young person to attend to aspects of their own experience, before attending and responding to ways in which aspects of human existence have been conceptualised and lived out by other people in particular situations.
The Living Difference IV is implemented through a process of enquiry into concepts, where a concept is understood as a name for, or way of referring to, an idea that exists or has the possibility of existing in a particular kind of way under particular conditions; for example, compassion, hope, community or justice. As people struggle to express their experience of their own existence in the world, concepts can come to gain particular significance; some are shared between religions, such as worship or prayer. In addition to this, some concepts are used uniquely in one particular tradition, for example the Church and sangha, and are, therefore, characteristic of one particular tradition and/or context in which they came about and have quite distinctive meanings in one tradition.
At the end of each year, children will have developed their reflective skills, and have gained a new understanding of beliefs and religions in the world around them. They are able to talk enthusiastically about their knowledge of religion and about the need to be respectful of different beliefs. Children will know how people if different religions may express themselves and treat people equally regardless of background or beliefs. They will use acquired vocabulary in lessons. They will develop an understanding of the need to be respectful and tolerant of different beliefs.
Click to access the Link to Living Difference IV
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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