Those Present: Tricia Opalko, Father Pepe, Nancy Rowe and Julia Evans
Discussion Topic: RE
On the children’s arrival, one of the infants asked us “What are we talking about?” When we told them we would like to talk to them about their RE lessons the child said “I love RE” and another enthusiastically told us “I particularly love collective worship!” What a lovely start to the discussion.
Once the governors had introduced themselves, Mrs Opalko asked the children if they knew what Father Pepe’s job was. Responses included “Fr Pepe looks after the church and teaches us about Jesus” and “he takes mass on the weekend and sometimes for our class”.
When asked about collective worship the children told us they sit in a circle and listen to stories from the Bible. The children said they enjoyed the stories and they liked the candles. “I feel peaceful afterwards” was one comment.
The children were asked what they learnt in their RE lessons.
The children said they discussed the miracles and did some activities around this. Some of the year 1 children told us they had cut out scenes from the nativity story and had to stick them in their books in the right order. The children had enjoyed this.
All of the children said at some point drama is incorporated into their lessons. One pupil told us they acted out the Wedding of Cana. Their teacher had even managed to turn water into wine!
The children told us they had at least one RE lesson a week and daily collective worship. This daily collective worship also includes assembly.
The children were asked how often they pray in school.
They all said they say a prayer in class together in the morning, lunchtime and at the end of the day. The children spontaneously sang us the Morning Prayer. It was done beautifully.
Mrs Opalko asked the children why they thought Jesus told Parables.
The children all knew that parables were stories. Some of the answers given were “to help us understand his message”, “to help us know how to live like Jesus”, “to love others and to be kind”, “to help us try to be a Saint”!
The children were asked how they follow Jesus in their daily lives.
Responses included; “by making the right choices”, “I try my hardest to be good”, “I care for my friends”. The children understood that God loves them whatever they do.
The governors had a chance to look at a couple of Year 1 RE books. They were filled with lovely pictures, writing and activities. We saw evidence of the Nativity activity they had told us about. We also saw evidence of weekly RE lessons.
The junior children were asked about their RE lessons.
The children told us they had RE for 2 hours a week, sometimes this is one lesson, sometimes this is split into 2 lessons. Some of the Upper Juniors said they did RE about 3 times a week. The juniors also say their prayers 3 times daily in class.
They all agreed they enjoyed the RE lessons. They found them fun because the teachers incorporated drama and visual aids (for example videos, pictures and art). As part of the lessons they said they sometimes went into the church. One child told us “I enjoy RE because we have a good discussion”. A year 3 pupil told us how they had had a discussion on the “Hail Mary” and linked it to their lives today. Another view on their RE lesson was “RE lessons are slightly different from other lessons as you have to think with your heart as well as your head”.
The children were asked why RE lessons were taught.
The children’s responses included; “to read the scriptures and see how we should live our lives”, “so you can learn how to be a better person”. One year 4 pupil told us they learnt about other faiths in their RE lessons.
A governor asked the children if they feel they are getting a good Religious education, the upper juniors responded by saying they feel they have a good knowledge and they could answer questions if a friend who knew nothing asked them.
We had the opportunity to view a Year 6 pupil’s RE book. Again, there is clear evidence of regular RE lessons. We saw some lovely activities including a leaflet complied for one topic area. This book was filled with lots of writing activities.