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Religious Education

At Bierton Church of England School, we believe that Religious Education plays a central role in a broad and balanced curriculum that will enable our pupils to participate fully in life in modern Britain and the wider world. It aims to enable young people to hold informed and balanced conversations about religions and beliefs. It provides a safe environment where pupils can explore their own ideas and learn to evaluate the opinions of others.

Whilst a greater emphasis is placed upon the Christian faith in RE, it is important for young people to learn about the wide range of faiths and beliefs that reflect modern society. The Church of England Vision for Education (2016) points out that education should be ‘hospitable to diversity, respects freedom of religion and belief, and encourages others to contribute from the depths of their own traditions and understandings.’

Through the study of a wide range of religious and non-religious worldviews, our pupils are encouraged to answer challenging questions and investigate the ways in which religious practice and belief informs and influences society. We aim to deliver high quality, challenging lessons.

We aim to:

  • Engage pupils in enquiring into and exploring questions arising from the study of religion and belief,
  • Provide learners with knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religious
  • Develop their understanding of the ways in which beliefs influence people in their behaviour, practices and outlook
  • Enable learners to become aware of their own beliefs and values and to have a positive attitude to the search for meaning and purpose in life.
  • Encourage learners to develop a positive attitude towards other people who hold religious beliefs different from their own.
  • Teach and encourage skills of enquiry and response through the use of religious vocabulary, questioning and empathy.
  • Teach and encourage skills of reflection, expression, application, analysis and evaluation of beliefs, values and practices, and the communication of personal responses to these.
  • Help all learn to understand the influence of religion in a worldwide context.


Religious Education is a statutory subject of the curriculum for all pupils in each year group and ‘should be provided for all registered pupils except those withdrawn at the request of their parents.’ (s 71 SSFA 1998). Parents have the right to request that their son or daughter be excused from all or part of the REprovided at school. The syllabus should ‘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.’ (s375 (3) Education Act 1996)

Across the school, KS1 and KS2 follow the Oxford Diocese Scheme of Work. This scheme of work for RE, revised during 2016-2017, covers the requirements of the Locally Agreed Syllabi in the Oxford Diocese, and is designed to meet the recommendations of the Church of England Education Office Statement of Entitlement for RE, published in 2016.

Within the ODBE RE Scheme of work, each unit has a “Big Question” which has been created to allow children to experience a range of theological, philosophical and social elements. The big questions address syllabus questions and topics. The assumption is that Christianity will be the main religion taught, in accordance with the national guidelines. In addition, Judaism will be taught in KS1, and in KS2 there are units on Hinduism and Islam.

Each unit within the scheme of work consists of an outline mid-term plan and a class record sheet for assessment purposes, these are used in conjunction by the class teacher in planning the unit of work. Neither is exhaustive or exclusive, but should be used as a starting point for learning. There is a unit for each half term, for each year group. Units are usually taught on a weekly basis, but can also be blocked into special weeks or special days; hence the mid-term plans are not split into weekly lessons. This is particularly the case with Year 6. Religious Education is generally taught on a weekly basis, but can be delivered through class whole-school RE days or weeks.

The background information for teachers included in each unit contains enough information to get teachers started and is a springboard for further research. Expectations for pupil achievement at three standards are included – developing, expected and excelling.

Teachers follow a yearly cycle incorporating planned progression and recall of knowledge and skills. This ensures that children are increasingly challenged as they move through our school. A detailed overview curriculum map is in place outlining when different faiths are taught and the skills that are built upon each year.

All lessons are planned and delivered in a variety of ways, ensuring that all pupils can access and participate in lessons. Teachers use interactive, practical activities encourage the children to discuss their ideas and extend their understanding of difficult concepts and challenging questions. From year 1, children have an RE book in which to complete their work and this follows them up through the school.

Progress in RE is shown through acquiring wider and more detailed knowledge of religious beliefs and practices, deepening understanding of the meaning of stories, symbols, events and practices, more fluent and competent use of religious language and terminology, increased levels in skills of responding to questions of identity, meaning, purpose, values and commitment.

Pupils’ progress in RE is based on the expected outcomes outlined in the Agreed Syllabus, which in turn have been developed in line with guidance produced nationally.

Whilst we track individual pupil’s progress in this way, we also bear in mind that the statements do not cover all aspects of teaching and learning in RE. For example, pupil’s personal views and ideas are not subject to formal assessment, and yet are central to good RE.


RE in EYFS is demonstrated in topic work around special places, celebrations and visitors to the setting. Celebrations play a significant role for our youngest children. It gives them the opportunity to visit special places and meet important local visitors. Children can also try out cultural foods, explore different ways of dressing and look at relevant artefacts/ sacred items related to that festival or celebration. Children are able to immerse themselves fully into learning about different religions and viewpoints through play. RE is not a discretely taught subject although children gain familiarity of our school Christian ethos and values through class-based prayer and reflection sessions, visits to the local church – St James’ and regular collective worship with Key Stage One and the whole school.


The successful and effective approach at the school results in an engaging, fun, challenging, critical and high- quality Religious Education, providing the pupils with the foundations for understanding the world. Pupils at the school understand the purpose of Religious Education resulting in engaged children who enjoy, and have a passion for, the subject, thus leading to motivated learners with a sound understanding.

Our approach to Religious Education enables our children to develop their;

  • knowledge and understanding of, and their ability to respond to, Christianity, other principal world religions, other religious traditions and world views;
  • understanding and respect for different religions, beliefs, values and traditions (including ethical life stances), through exploring issues within and between faiths;
  • understanding of the influence of faith and belief on individuals, societies, communities and cultures;
  • skills of enquiry and response through the use of religious vocabulary, questioning and empathy;
  • skills of reflection, expression, application, analysis and evaluation of beliefs, values and practices, and the communication of personal responses to these.
  • ability to consider challenging questions of the meaning and purpose of life; beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human;
  • ability to understand the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures;
  • ability to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring questions of meaning and their own beliefs;
  • ability to learn about religious and ethical teaching, enabling them to make reasoned and informed responses to religious, moral and social issues
  • their sense of identity and belonging, preparing them for life as citizens in a plural, global society;
  • respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own.
  • awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression;
  • ability to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses;