Religious Education


church 1

Father Geoff showing us around St Mary's Church.


The aims of the syllabus are for pupils: 

• to develop religious literacy; 

• to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions and world views represented in the United Kingdom; 

• to develop an understanding of the influence of the beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures; 

• to develop attitudes of respect towards other people who hold views and beliefs different from their own; 

• to develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious issues, with reference to the principal religions and world views represented locally and in the United Kingdom. 

Religions deal with some of the most profound and difficult questions in human life, questions such as: • What is the purpose of life? • How should people treat each other? • How do we explain and cope with death and suffering? Religions approach these issues in complex ways, in ways of life, culture and action, as well as ritual, tradition, story, symbol and belief. Religious Education must take account of this depth and complexity, helping pupils to an understanding appropriate to their age and aptitude. To do this RE needs: 

• to develop pupils' skills; 

• to enable them to ask questions; 

• to discover information, to approach new material with empathy; 

• to reflect on their learning.

 Pupils should not only acquire knowledge but also be able to use their knowledge to understand their world, build community, and develop their personal position. Throughout the RE curriculum pupils should be encouraged to explore religions, engage with their knowledge, and reflect on their learning and their lives. 

Curriculum Intent

At Houghton Primary School our school population is contextually mainly white, British with the vast majority of parents indicating that their children are raised in a Christian household. However, we can’t assume that children have any understanding of the practices, rites, traditions and customs of either Christianity or any other religion.  Our Religious Education curriculum is essential in developing our children’s knowledge and understanding of people’s beliefs across a number of religions represented locally as well as within the national and international context. 

We follow the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus, supported by the Discovery Scheme of Work and adopting an enquiry based approach to teaching and learning. Christianity is taught in every year group on a spiral curriculum, 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, providing a secular world view as required by the Agreed Syllabus.  We take every opportunity to ensure that our school curriculum drivers of oracy, diversity, environment, community and enquiry remain central to our approach for this subject area.

Curriculum Implementation

We follow the Discovery RE scheme which is an enquiry-based approach to Religious Education, with a different enquiry for every half-term (6 per year) focusing on one religion at a time. The aim is to deepen children’s critical thinking skills through greater subject knowledge (AT1) and also to allow their own spiritual development (AT2). Each enquiry has a big enquiry question e.g. ‘What is the best way for a Sikh to show commitment to  God?’ Each question is explored with a 4-step process:

Engagement (How can I relate to the underpinning concept in my own world?)

Investigation (What do I need to learn about the religion in order to answer the big question)

Evaluation (How well can I apply this knowledge to the big question using critical thinking/evaluation skills?)

Expression (Can I express what difference this enquiry has made to me, my thinking and my starting point?)

Curriculum Impact 



Most children are

expected to reach these


Personal resonance with or reflection on...

The concept / belief underlying the subject matter of the enquiry...

Child’s own thoughts, opinions, belief, empathy...

Knowledge and understanding of the

subject matter of that enquiry (subject


Skills of evaluation and  critical thinking in relation to the big enquiry question

End of KS1

I can tell you / talk about what concepts like

belonging, commitment, kindness,  forgiveness mean to me in my world.

I can verbalise and / or

express my own thoughts

I can recall facts about the religions / beliefs I

have studied, begin to use the religious vocabulary and start to explain the significance and meaning of the facts, practices etc.

I can start to think through the enquiry question using some facts and am beginning to see there could be more than one answer.

End of lower KS2 

I can tell you / talk about the concept / belief e.g.

belonging and start to relate this to the people I

am studying e.g. Sikhs.

I can express my own opinions and start to support them with rationale.

I can recall facts about religions I have studied,

select the facts that are most significant to the enquiry and start to explain their relevance /


I can apply my knowledge to the enquiry question and give an answer supported by one or more facts.

End of upper KS2

I can explain how the concept / belief e.g. forgiveness resonates in my own life and can also

see this might be different for other people because of their religion/beliefs

I can express my own thoughts etc having reflected on them in relation to other people’s.

I can recall facts about religions and explain

differences in practice and interpretation within and

between religions / belief systems.

I can weigh up evidence and different arguments

/ aspects relevant to the enquiry question and

express my answer, supported with evidence /