Religious Education

INTENT – to what do we aspire for our children?


In Religious Education (RE), pupils enter into a rich discourse about the religious and non-religious traditions that have shaped Great Britain and the world. RE enables pupils to take their place within a diverse multi-religious and multi-secular society. At its best, it is intellectually challenging and personally enriching. It affords pupils both the opportunity to see the religion and non-religion in the world, and the opportunity to make sense of their own place in that world.

Source: Ofsted 2021

Although there is no National Curriculum statutory guidance for Religious Education, we follow the Non-Statutory Guidance published by the DfE in 2010.


At St Werburgh’s, we work together towards excellence, underpinned by the following values:


● Our curriculum is broad, diverse and inclusive and celebrates religions from all around the world

● We develop respect and positive attitudes towards others and their beliefs, encouraging discussion whilst being respectful and tolerant

● We are collaborative by working together, sharing and using each others’ ideas and our own

● We teach children to use well-chosen language and demonstrate and model this in our own teaching in order to celebrate diversity positively.



● We ask ‘big questions’ that develop critical thinking, increasing children’s inspiration to learn and enhancing their understanding of other people and their beliefs

● We develop skills to evaluate and explore beliefs, encouraging children to explore ideas about faith and religion

● We engage in enrichment opportunities to see others’ beliefs and worship in practice



● We proactively celebrate heritage and personal differences.

● We persevere to understand concepts and use that knowledge to help us explore philosophical questions

● We approach RE learning with resilience and an open-mind

● We work hard to develop and be able to articulate a secure foundational subject knowledge about different beliefs
British Values

At St Werburgh’s Primary we promote “British values” through our culturally inclusive curriculum. We believe that it is hard to define what constitutes “Britishness” or national identity and prefer to celebrate the similarities and differences that make us unique. We embrace and support the multiple ways our community connects with British society.

Our RE curriculum serves the SMSC (spiritual, moral, social, cultural) and British Values agendas. RE is a key contributor to SMSC development and SMSC opportunities are built into each enquiry. Religious Education is key in engendering knowledge and understanding which can lead to tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs. Our RE curriculum contributes significantly to the British Values agenda, as it encourages evaluation and critical thinking, and equips children to consider belief positions they encounter. The School prides itself on the importance it places on being proud of one’s heritage and the value in feeling a sense of belonging.


Rights Respecting School

“UNICEF works with schools in the UK to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they are able to thrive.” (UNICEF).

At St Werburgh’s, our work toward achieving the Rights Respecting Silver Schools Award embeds these values in our teaching and our learning. We use the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) throughout our curriculum and School Vision.


The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:

We teach Religious Education through Discovery, which is a whole school, planned programme of learning that helps develop critical thinking and enhance children’s spiritual development. It gives children the opportunity to learn about aspects of different religions in order to answer a big enquiry question, whilst giving children the opportunity to express their own opinions and learning.

● To encourage children to ask question and explore how practices and beliefs affect how someone may feel and choose to live their life

● To understand how religion can deep the sense of community people may feel

● To acquire knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs and values across a wide range of world religions

● To develop understanding and tolerance

● To also understand that people may have no attachment to religious beliefs and follow secular philosophies

● To develop the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society

● To promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children in the school

● To retain key knowledge and apply it to a series of big questions


Curriculum Overview:

Discovery RE is a set of detailed medium-term plans for RE from Year 1 to Year 6. It adopts an enquiry based approach to teaching and learning. Christianity is taught in every year group, with Christmas and Easter given new treatment each year, developing the learning in a progressive way. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism are also covered. Humanist perspectives are added when appropriate in some enquiries. Each enquiry unit demands the equivalent of 6 lessons, but teaching time could be blocked over perhaps 3 half days to enhance learning. Each enquiry has a learning objective which shows the learning over the enquiry and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) development opportunities are mapped throughout as is each enquiry’s contribution to the British Values agenda.




We recognise the vital role that oracy plays in the lives and life chances of our children, therefore we plan explicit opportunities to develop their oracy skills as well as opportunities to learn through oracy across the curriculum.

We promote oracy through RE by teaching Tier 2 & 3 vocabulary which in turn allows the children to explain, discuss, debate and share their ideas when thinking about their reading more effectively.


IMPLEMENTATION – how will we deliver the curriculum?

Delivery of the Curriculum at St Werburgh’s

RE is taught weekly using the lesson plans provided by Discovery. RE learning is recorded in class floor books.

Children will learn about the following different Religions: Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam and Buddhism.

Themes: Different themes will be introduced to the children throughout the year. Children will be given opportunities to engage with, investigate and evaluate each theme, and finally express their viewpoints relating to their own experiences, reflecting on how this enquiry might have influenced their starting points and beliefs.

Key Questions: Key questions provide the starting point for each enquiry, demanding an answer that weighs up ‘evidence’ and reaches a conclusion based on this. Children then use their subject knowledge and apply it to the enquiry question. Our curriculum focuses on critical thinking skills, on personal reflection into the child’s own thoughts and feelings, on growing subject knowledge and nurturing spiritual development.


What does RE look like in EYFS?

RE in the EYFS can contribute to most of the seven areas of learning that the framework outlines.

It is most significant in these two areas: personal, social and emotional development, specifically ‘self confidence and self-awareness’, and understanding the world, specifically ‘people and communities’ and ‘the world’.


RE lesson design at St Werburgh’s

RE is taught weekly and is divided into the following sections following the Discovery curriculum:

We use an enquiry-based approach to teaching and learning in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Within this enquiry-based approach, a 4-step enquiry process is followed.

The Engagement lesson (Step 1) is where the key question is explored. Underpinning this question, children are encouraged to think about their own experiences.

The Investigation lesson (Step 2) is where children gain subject knowledge to assist their thinking about the key question.

The Evaluation lesson (Step 3) draws together the children’s learning and their conclusions about the key question from that enquiry.

The Expression lesson (Step 4) takes the children back to Step 1, enabling them to consider their own experience and to reflect on how this enquiry might have influenced their own starting points and different beliefs.

It is expected that every lesson will include: A key question that is introduced and referred back to. Specific links to prior knowledge and key concepts.

Key vocabulary that is taught/recapped every lesson. A personal reflection that supports children transfer the key understanding into their own context.



The curriculum at St Werburgh’s Primary is inherently designed to support pupils with SEND through universal quality first teaching.

This includes:

● High expectations and aspirations for all learners

● A carefully structured and sequenced curriculum, specifically designed around how pupils learn

● Pre-planned and focused direct vocabulary instruction

● Modelling and demonstration

● Chunked instructions which are supported by visuals and gestures

● The use of multi-sensory approaches to enhance the curriculum

● Frequent formative assessment as teachers check for understanding

● Accurate and regular feedback

However, we recognise some children need provision ‘additional to’ quality first teaching in order to reach their potential. This includes:

● Carefully considered scaffolding

● Explicit instruction and modelling

● Structured challenge, without ceilings

● Alternative ways of recording

● Additional targeted adult support

In some instances, specialist adaptations are made to support the specific barriers of individual pupils.


Reading across the curriculum

There are topic specific texts to support the children’s learning alongside additional reading in the school bus.



Curriculum enrichment at St Werburgh’s

During these units, teachers will always look for opportunities to invite parents or visitors into their classes to further enrich the curriculum and to present information about their faith. Where relevant, teachers also encourage children or staff members in their class to share their own experiences of their faith with their peers.

● Assemblies/collective worship and specialist visitors

● Extra-curricular activities

● Philosophical/critical thinking questions

● Passport of experiences links to visiting local places of worship


IMPACT – how do we know our curriculum is effective?

Pupil Voice

● Use correct terminology and specific vocabulary that has been covered in the learning

● Talk about the meaning of the learning and the impact on themselves and those around them

● Talk about the ‘why’ of the RE learning

● Children are able to ask questions confidently and explore their own and each other’s responses

● Children demonstrate how learning builds on previous knowledge


High quality outcomes:

We will monitor our curriculum through floor books and discussions with pupils.

These will:

● Demonstrate pride and effort.

● Capture increasing understanding of RE specific concepts and knowledge.

● Demonstrate a clear sequence of learning.

● Include vocabulary that is clearly seen and used correctly.

● Demonstrate that learners make progress regardless of starting points