Other subjects

 Religious Education and assemblies

RE is concerned with an exploration of the important aspects of life and what it’s like to be human. It provides opportunities for pupils to ask questions, seek answers and develop ideas in a quest to discover more about their own identity and that of others. RE can provide a context for the exploration of moral and ethical opinions and dilemmas by learning about lifestyles and behaviour. It can help our pupils to understand the power and meaning of belief and religion for individuals and communities in the United Kingdom and across the world. Within their learning in RE, pupils develop specific attitudes that are open, reflective, and critical and a skill base which allows them to be curious, play with ideas, empathise, listen, imagine, question, make links and reason. Our Aims & Ethos  (and other related policies) describe the attitudes and approaches we place great emphasis on. RE can play a key role in developing and sustaining this ethos. Similarly, Kerr Mackie Primary School is a happy and healthy place to learn, and RE can actively support this by providing an opportunity to learn about each other and celebrating our beliefs and choices. To learn about our similarities and differences is important to support our ethos. Teaching and learning in Religious Education actively promotes fundamental British Values of individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. How is RE taught? At Kerr Mackie Primary, we want our pupils to learn about religion:

  • to develop a knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs and teachings
  • to explain meanings within religious language, story and symbolism
  • to develop a knowledge and understanding of religious practices and lifestyles

…and to learn from religion:

  • to reflect on aspects of human nature, identity, personality and experience especially in the light of one’s own beliefs and experiences
  • to identify and respond to questions about the nature, meaning and purpose of life
  • to give informed and considered responses to religious and moral issues

The subject of RE is taught in line with recommendations laid down by the state and the Leeds local authority. At Kerr Mackie, RE is taught as a separate subject. We often teach the subject around a theme, which could be festivals, buildings or special books. Teaching in this way helps children to compare and consider everybody, ultimately leading to greater understanding and respect. We do not promote religion or a particular religion: children learn about all major religions and – importantly – that some people choose to have no faith. Assemblies Assemblies – technically termed ‘daily acts of collective worship’ – are a legal requirement. Like RE, our assemblies promote values which will help everyone to lead happy, healthy and harmonious lives. These values complement and reinforce all faiths; they tend to promote positive relationships and self-awareness, for example. Does my child need to be taught RE or attend assemblies? Parents have a statutory right to withdraw their children from Religious Education and assemblies. However, because of the benefits of RE within a broad and balanced, inclusive curriculum, we hope that any who may wish to do so will contact the school to discuss any matters of concern before making such a decision. Please arrange to speak with the headteacher about this. 

Sex and relationship Education

The responsibility for deciding whether sex education should form part of the school curriculum lies with the Governing Body. After consultation with parents, health visitors and other professionals, they have agreed a policy for sex education within school and each year they meet to monitor its implementation and to review it as necessary.

Parents do have the right to withdraw their children from Sex Education and before any lessons are taught we hold meetings at which parents are fully informed about the content. We do ask parents to discuss any concerns or worries with us before making this decision as we can usually resolve any issues.

Sport

All children follow the National Curriculum for PE and Games. Throughout the school, games skills, dance and educational gymnastics are taught and pupils in Year 4 take swimming lessons at Fearnville pool. The school is also part of a Schools Sports Partnership who provide access to a range of sports training and competitions. We have had particular success in Cricket competitions in the past.

Other subjects

We provide a range of after school sports activities – some of these are free and others are provided by other professionals. There is a small charge for some courses.

Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education

Our Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) programme addresses issues such as working with others, bullying, personal safety and road safety. It also addresses issues concerned with drug education. Miss Fiona Cornish leads our PSHCE provision.

At the core of our PSHCE programme is the six themes of the SEAL curriculum (Social & Emotional Aspects of Learning). We have a theme for each half term which is used to focus discussion & teaching about a particular aspect. The themes are:

  • New beginnings
  • Getting on and falling out
  • Relationships
  • Going for goals
  • Good to be me
  • Changes

We also cover Keeping Healthy. We talk about the themes in school assemblies and each class has a weekly Circle Time session when they are discussed in a smaller setting.

Circle Time

The Circle Time lessons last about half an hour and are designed to allow appropriate discussion of the key issue highlighted in the ethos statement, depending on the age of the children. The teachers make the sessions fun by including games and energising activities but they have a clear purpose in bringing vital issues to the attention of the children.