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Religious Education


Religious Education at St Mary’s CE School enables every child to thrive and to live life in all its fullness. RE promotes dignity and respect whilst encouraging all to live well together. As a Church school, RE has a high profile and helps embed our Christian values and our vision to 'Shine as Lights in the World' throughout our school and wider community. The rich and engaging nature of lessons through an enquiry approach enable all children including SEND and the more able to flourish in their RE learning.

The purpose of RE is to teach children about the religious and non-religious world-views that they will encounter in modern Britain and enable them to engage in meaningful and considered dialogue with those of all faiths and none. This is religious literacy. Every year group studies Christianity and at least one other world faith. Staff ensure there is a balance between Theology, Philosophy and Human Sciences.

We use the Discovery RE Scheme as it takes an enquiry approach to lessons making them exciting and engaging for both teachers and children alike.  Discovery RE was chosen as the basis for are scheme of work as it has an enquiry-based and investigative approach based around Big Questions. This fits in well with both the Diocesan Scheme and the resources found in Understanding Christianity.

We believe that RE should enable our pupils to:

  • Acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of principal religions represented in the United Kingdom;
  • Develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies, and cultures from the local to the global;
  • Develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religions and moral issues, with reference to the teachings of the principal religions represented in the United Kingdom; • Enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development;
  • Develop positive attitudes of respect towards other people who hold views and beliefs different to their own, and towards living in a society of diverse religions and beliefs.


Teachers create a positive attitude to RE learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children can respect and understand key religions and be able to discuss and share opinions on sometimes challenging concepts. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of RE involves the following;

  • RE is taught as a discrete subject for at least an hour weekly.
  • Through our planning, we involve deeper thinking opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to follow these questions up through discussion and reflection.
  • We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. A skills progression document supports teachers to ensure skills and knowledge are built up sequentially across the three phases in school (KS1 LKS2, UKS2) building on their understanding from the Early Years.
  • New vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
  • Where possible, experts from the different faiths taught enhance the curriculum with talks and visits to school while opportunities are sought wherever possible to visit places of worship and key religious places.


The impact of our successful RE Curriculum is that children reach the intended end points identified by the end of each phase. Robust assessments also reflect children’s knowledge and skills as well as their ability to discuss their views on their learning. Regular monitoring and evaluation of the subject, through the use of pupil voice and books scrutiny, shows that children can talk confidently about what they have learnt from the subject and give their views respectfully on the topics covered.

Faiths studied by each Year group:

Nursery - Festivals celebrated by the cohort

Reception - Christianity and festivals celebrated by the cohort

Year One - Christianity and Judasim

Year Two - Christianity, Judaism and an introduction to Hinduism and Isalm

Year Three - Christianity and Hinduism

Year Four - Christianity and Judaism

Year Five - Christianity and Hinduism

Year Six - Christianity and Islam

RE activity examples across the school


All Year Groups visit The Church on Fairford Leys to further develop their understanding of the Christian faith. Trips are also arranged to other churches, places of worship and visitors are invited in so the pupils can begin to appreciate how faith in a world religion influences followers daily.

Biblical Experience Week

Every year the whole school visits The Church on Fairford Leys to take part in a range of workshops. These help the children to gain agreater understanding of Biblical stories, the historical backgruond behind them and what they mean to Christians today. These weeks have included: Moses, Daniel, Easter, Parables and The Lord's Prayer.  

Easter Experience

The children took part in four workshops around the church. These were tailored to each year group by including age appropriate religious literacy and activities from the Understanding Christianity Salvation units. The children acted out Jesus' triumphal entry to Jerusalem, discussed some of the traditions Christians take part in during Lent and Holy Week. They reflected in the Garden of Gethsemane and took part in the Last Supper while learning about its link to Passover. The experience finished with the stone being rolled away from the tomb and some fizzy forgiveness prayers.

Easter Experience

Useful websites

Useful documents