Religious Education

Church of England Statement of Entitlement in RE


Religious education in a Church school should enable every child to flourish and to live life in all its fullness. (John 10:10). It will help educate for dignity and respect encouraging all to live well together.

Such an approach is offered through a commitment to generous hospitality, being true to our underpinning faith, but with a deep respect for the integrity of other religious traditions (and worldviews) and for the religious freedom of each person….

Please click on the link to read the whole document of A Statement of Entitlement.


St Mary’s Religious Education Policy

As a Church of England School, the religious education of our pupils is a high priority. We recognise the desire and the right of parents and children at St Mary’s to receive education in general, and Religious Education in particular, which is distinctively grounded in the rich and broad traditions of Christianity.

The school exists to serve the parishes and the community where it is located – both people with faith and people without.

In keeping with the traditions of the Church of England, and the example of Jesus Christ, we see it as our duty to minister to the needs of all whom we are able to help. We seek to meet them where they are on the road and to travel with them and encourage them as far as they wish to go.

Read our full RE and Curriculum policy by clicking on the link.

Our RE Curriculum

Religious Education is treated as one of the core subjects in our school’s curriculum. We follow the London diocesan Board’s Scheme of Work, which me supplement with some of our own units, to reflect our local context. Our Curriculum overview can be found below:

To view the LDBS units included in our syllabus please click on the link.

Why do we teach RE?


RE gives children the opportunity to think about the big questions in life, to explore what various belief systems and philosophies say about these questions, and to start to clarify their own values and to critically evaluate truth claims.

RE should develop religious literacy, enabling children to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and worldviews. This means that children are enabled to reflect on and develop their own ideas, attitudes and actions, in response to learning about a variety of religions and beliefs. This is possible whether the child has no faith stance, a secular world view (eg Humanism), a fledgling idea of faith, or a religious commitment of their own.

RE must be provided for all pupils in state schools in England, including sixth form, unless they are withdrawn by their parents. Voluntary aided schools such as St Mary’s should provide RE in accordance with the religious designation of the school.

RE supports children’s spiritual and moral development, as part of a balanced and broadly-based curriculum and a whole-school ethos.
Spiritual development allows children to look within themselves, to look at their human relationships and at the wider world.

Moral development enables children to take an increasingly thoughtful view of what is right and wrong, and to recognise the needs and interests of others.

RE supports children’s social development, by developing characteristics such as respect, accepting difference, and a willingness to be active in their own communities.

RE supports children’s cultural development, by giving them an opportunity to understand their own identity and place in society, and to understand the culture of others. Pupils can encounter some of the most profound responses to the human condition through exploring sacred texts, religious art and music, rituals and actions.


Pupils should develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global contexts. They should use basic subject specific vocabulary. They should raise questions and begin to express their own views in response to the material they learn about and in response to questions about their ideas.

Pupils should engage in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.

At St Mary’s, we provide a coherent curriculum that enables progress through ordered and sequential learning developing both knowledge and skills. When studying Christianity and other major world faiths, children build up their substantive knowledge and develop their skills in three main areas:

  • Theology (what people believe and what the sources are for these beliefs)
  • Philosophy (what people think about the ‘big questions’ in life)
  • Human/ Social Sciences (how people live)

How do we assess whether children are doing well in RE?

We can use the ‘I can’ statements in the targets to assess how well children have expressed their understanding.

For some children, it may be that you see a good level of understanding demonstrated in a drama or other creative activity, or in a group or class discussion, in which case it is important to record this on a post-it note and stick it in the child’s book. We assess children’s progress throughout the year, as we mark their work and give verbal feedback.

How do we know if a child is working at greater depth in RE?

The expectation is that by the end of the year, most children will be working at the expected level for the year group, in accordance with the year group targets. A few children will be working towards, and for any SEN children working below, you will need to refer to the targets for the preceding year group. A few children will also be exceeding expectations for the year group, in which case there should be evidence that all of the targets for the year group are securely embedded.


Within each unit of work, all children should make progress. The challenge should increase so that there is an opportunity to achieve at a greater depth. Children with varying needs should be given scaffolded tasks, and ideally should have the opportunity to work with the class teacher in order to develop their skills and understanding, and to talk about what they have learned.

Learning in RE is enquiry-based; each RE lesson opens with a question, relating to the over-arching ‘big question’ for the half-term. For example, the first Y6 unit in RE is: What do people believe about the journey of life and death?

A question for one of these lessons is: What do Christians believe about life after death? Some lessons will open with a question which draws on learners’ experience, so that they could give a personal view which is outside the religious context. For example, as an introduction to the Buddha’s response to suffering: If you could remove one problem from the world which has affected every human who has ever lived, what would you choose?

Discussion is an essential element of RE lessons, as is the use of questioning from both the teacher and the learners. This results in high levels of engagement and curiosity from the children. Children are also given the opportunity to explore concepts and beliefs through media such as art and drama.