Good Works: Extending Religious Education
As a Church school, one of our core goals is to embed the wonderful, life-giving story of Jesus within the minds of our children.
To help us achieve this goal, we developed 'Good Works' (a scheme of work that combines RE teaching with the national curriculum for English).
The structure of Good Works
The Good Works scheme is at the heart of our school English curriculum. Each term, in each year group, a Good Works unit is delivered as one of the units of learning in morning English lessons. Units typically last 3 weeks. The units are split across the 3 terms as follows:
|Jesus - The Gospel Story
Pupils retell one chapter of the life of Jesus. In Year 1, pupils start by writing about the birth of Jesus. In the Year 2, they retell the story of the baptism of Jesus. This continues until, in Year 6, pupils write about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Children will first become immersed in the story by exploring different retellings – they will learn one version as a class using actions and story maps as prompts. They will then identify key events in the story, and work towards specific grammar and punctuation objectives, before retelling it in their own words. After writing their own version, children will edit and improve their work.
|Jesus - The Storyteller
|Children explore how Jesus used stories (parables) to teach us how to live our lives. He himself was a wonderful storyteller! By the end of these units, children are able to create their own short story that teaches the reader about the love of God. Children will first become immersed in a parable of Jesus by exploring different retellings – they will learn one version as a class using actions and story maps as prompts. They will then identify key events in the story and work towards specific grammar and punctuation objectives. As a class, they will then be given the chance to innovate (adapting and changing some parts of the parable) and will plan / write their own story about about a particular Christian value.
These are non-narrative units. Children explore our Christian response to a relevant concept, issue or question. Research, discussion, evaluation and debate form part of the unit. They then develop a piece of writing. Examples of units include:
Year 1 - A recipe for a good friend (instructions)
Year 2 - Helping the poor: How can we love like Jesus? (information report)
Year 5 - Should a Christian have a big house and an expensive car? (discussion text)
This document shows how Good Works forms the heart of our wider English curriculum:
The origins of the name 'Good Works'
"Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
These words, spoken by Jesus to his followers during the Sermon on the Mount, are the basis for our school vision, motto and values. Our school motto is all about actions. We teach children to spread the light of Jesus through their words and actions - these actions are our 'good works'. Our actions extend to the work we produce as part of the curriculum; these too are our 'good works'.
The 'Good Works' scheme extends our RE curriculum in a way that develops rigorous literacy skills whilst developing a deep-rooted grasp of the Jesus story.
Extending our RE curriculum
Each Good Works unit supports children in achieving the goals set out in the Questul RE 'Ladder of expectation' document (produced by Blackburn Diocese).
By extending our RE curriculum with Good Works, we seek to commit 10% of class time to RE over the course of a school year.
Good Works in action
The following photographs and examples of work demonstrate some of the wonderful learning that has taken place as part of Good Works. Our children are developing a deep understanding of the life and actions of Jesus.
Click on the images to enlarge.