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Religious Education

Religious Education at Westhouses Primary School

As a school, we have adopted the 2020-2025 (currently in transition from the 2014-20 syllabus) locally agreed syllabus for Religious Education.RE must be provided for all registered pupils in state-funded schools in England, including those in the sixth form, unless withdrawn by their parents (or withdrawing themselves if they are aged 18 or over). It is a necessary part of a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’. As a Local Authority school, we must follow the Derbyshire County Council Agreed Syllabus. The RE curriculum is drawn up by a SACRE, and ‘shall reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain’ (Education Act, 1996).


The Intent of our Religious Education Curriculum:
• Religious Education contributes dynamically to children and young people’s education in schools by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
• In RE pupils learn about and from religions and worldviews in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
• Pupils learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their
insights in response, and to agree or disagree respectfully.
• Teaching therefore should equip pupils with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.
• It should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue, so that they can participate positively in society, with its diverse religions and worldviews.
• Pupils should gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence. They should learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.


Our Principle Aim:

RE explores big questions about life, in order to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can make sense of religion and worldviews, reflecting
on their own ideas and ways of living.


The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:
1. Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals
• identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses, offered by some of the
sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews
• appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of
expressing meaning.

2. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence
individuals and communities
• express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions
and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues
• appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.

3. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that they
• find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and
truth, responding creatively
• enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for
the wellbeing of all
• articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.


What are the requirements?

Te agreed syllabus requires that all pupils learn from Christianity in each key stage. In addition, pupils will learn from the principal religions represented in the UK, in line with the law. These are Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Judaism. Furthermore, children from families where non-religious worldviews are held are represented in almost all of our classrooms. These worldviews, including for example Humanism, will also be the focus for study. The main focus of our teaching is built up from the representation of faiths and beliefs within our community and wider local area.


Religious traditions are to be studied in depth as follows (from 2020 Syllabus):
Schools should consider the pupils they serve in deciding whether to go beyond the minimum
entitlements to learning about religions, which are that pupils should learn from:

Children will encounter Christianity and other faiths, as part of their growing sense of self, their own community and their place within it.

Key Stage 1:
Christians and Muslims or Jewish people

Key Stage 2:
Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jewish people, alongside other world views, such as Humanism and Spiritualism.


In order to deliver the aims and expected standards of the syllabus effectively, the expectation is that there is a minimum allocation of 5 per cent of curriculum time for RE.

  • In Reception, this equates to 36 hours of RE, e.g. 50 minutes a week or some short sessions implemented through continuous provision.
  • In key Stage 1, this equates to 36 hours of tuition per year (e.g. an hour a week, or less than an hour a week plus a series of RE days).
  • In Key Stage 2 this equates to 45 hours of tuition per year (e.g. an hour a week, or a series of RE days or weeks amounting to 45+ hours of RE).


Planning and Assessment:

Pupils are assessed periodically throughout units of learning, in accordance with our Teaching and Learning Policy. Each lesson, Teachers will use ongoing assessment to identify where children require additional support or challenge. Within lessons, activities will be adapted accordingly. Within planning, teachers shall ensure that lessons are progressive and build upon prior learning, recapping key concepts as appropriate. Planning will identify key success criteria, gathered from the Syllabus, and will identify what children should be doing to work towards, be expected or work at a greater depth. Units are structured in such a way to allow children to revisit and build upon prior learning - this will also support children who require additional support to achieve the end of unit goals. Opportunities will be planed for children to demonstrate their understanding in different ways, such as through art work, mathematics and extended pieces of writing.

Overview of Learning and Progression:


After reviewing the new syllabus, we have decided to structure our RE curriculum in a progressive way. Units at the beginning of each year will focus on specific religions and their beliefs, whereas units towards the end of the academic year will be thematic in approach, drawing together the knowledge and understanding gained from earlier units in the year and in previous years. Some units have also been split into two parts – this ensures that children will revisit key ideas periodically, embedding and developing understanding further. These units will be implemented and taught by all classes from the Autumn Term 2020, some units shall be trialed in the 2019-20 academic year.


The following table outlines the areas of learning, and specific religious links within the units. Each coloured block shows areas of learning which build upon one another - this may be through key religious knowledge (building upon prior knowledge or make comparisons) or specific themes where comparisons can be made within and across religions and beliefs. 



Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2


F5: Where do we belong?

F4 Which times are special and why?

F6. What is special about our world?

F2 Which people are special and why?

F3 Which places are special and why?

F1 What stories are special and why?


Christianity will be the main focus in EYFS, with links as appropriate to cultures and religions within the setting and local area.

Explorers Year A

1.1 Who is a Christian and what do they believe? (part 1)

1.6 How and why do we celebrate special and sacred times? (Part 1)

1.2 Who is a Muslim and what do they believe? (part 1)

1.7 What does it mean to belong to a faith community?

1.5 What makes some places sacred?




Christians, Muslims or Jewish people


Christians, Muslims, Jewish people

Christians, Muslims and/or Jewish people

Explorers Year B

1.3 Who is Jewish and what do they believe?

1.6 How and why do we celebrate special and sacred times? (Part 2)

1.2 Who is a Muslim and what do they believe? (part 1)

1.1 Who is a Christian and what do they believe? (part 2)

1.4 How can we learn from sacred books?

1.8 How should we care for others and the world, and why does it matter?


Jewish people

Christians, Muslims or Jewish people



Christians, Muslims and Jewish people

Christians and Jewish people

Philosophers Year A

L2.7 What does it mean to be a Christian in Britain today? (part 1)

L2.8 What does it mean to be a Hindu in Britain today? (part 1)

L2.2 Why is the Bible so important for Christians today?

L2.5 Why are festivals important to religious communities?

Easter focus.

L2.1 What do different people believe about God?

Christian focus and either or both Hindus and Muslims

L2.4 Why do people pray?





Christians and Hindus/Jewish people/Muslims

Hindus, Christians, Muslims

Christians, Hindus or Muslims

Philosophers Year B

L2.8 What does it mean to be a Hindu in Britain today? (part 2)

L2.7 What does it mean to be a Christian in Britain today? (Part 2)

L2.5 Why are festivals important to religious communities?

Eid focus?

L2.3 Why is Jesus inspiring to some people?

L2.9 What can we learn from religions about deciding what is right and wrong?

L2.6 Why do some people think that life is like a journey and what significant experiences mark this?




Christians and




Christians, Jewish

people, non-religious

people (Humanist)

Christians, Hindus and/or Jewish people

Trailblazers Year A

U2.1 Why do some people think God exists?

U2.6 What does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain today? (part 1)

U2.7 What matters most to Christians and


U2.2 What would Jesus do? (Can we live by the values of Jesus in the twenty-first century?)

U2.3 What do religions say to us when life gets hard?



Christians and non-religious


Christians and non-religious


Christians, Hindus and non-religious responses

Trailblazers Year B

U2.6 What does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain today? (part 2)

U2.8 What difference does it make to believe in Ahimsa, Grace and/or Ummah?

U2.5 Is it better to express your beliefs in arts and architecture or in charity and generosity?


U2.4 If God is everywhere, why go to a place of worship?




Christians, Muslims and Hindus

Christians, Muslims and non-religious (Humanists)

Christians, Hindus and Jewish people