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Religious Education

Living Difference IV

Teaching RE at Haselworth Primary School




“Living Difference IV”, the Agreed Syllabus for Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight, is the legal document to be followed for the teaching of religious education in our school.  This is the statutory framework which defines the matters, skills and processes to guide individual schools developing their curriculum for religious education.


Our RE provision aims to introduce children to what a religious way of looking at and existing in the world may offer in leading one’s life, individually and collectively, whilst promoting community cohesion.  It also aims to provide opportunities to promote an ethos of respect for others, challenge stereotypes and build understanding of cultures and beliefs.

We believe that it is important for young people to acquire a better understanding of the role that religions play in today’s world. The need for such education will continue to grow as different cultures and identities interact with each other through travel, commerce, media or migration. Although a deeper understanding of religions will not automatically lead to greater tolerance and respect, ignorance increases the likelihood of misunderstanding, stereotyping, and conflict.

Pupils who follow the RE programme in our school gain a deep knowledge and understanding of the teachings, practices and life stories expressed in a variety of ways within Christianity and other principal religions and world views. Through reflection on their own beliefs and values in the light of their learning, they grow in respect for themselves and others.


How do we teach RE?


The aims of teaching Religious Education in our school are to help children to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in UK; to appreciate the way that religious beliefs can shape life and our behaviour, develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about

religious and moral issues and enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Our Religious Education curriculum will:

  • Enable all children to explore many religious beliefs and practices, respect differences and promote a harmonious society.
  • Encourage children to explore the fundamental questions of life raised by human experiences (using P4C as a powerful tool to scaffold discussions and develop vocabulary)
  • Extend children’s thinking and analytical skills and their creative, imaginative and emotional development.
  • Foster mutual understanding between children of differing religious and cultural backgrounds.
  • Build a reflective approach to life in an atmosphere of openness, exploration and enquiry.
  • Promote the spiritual, social, moral, cultural, physical and mental development of all children.


The agreed syllabus outlines the following elements and children are required to complete all the elements of the sequence in order to make sense of what they are studying and its implication for themselves and others:


Communicate their own experience of the concept/word studied

Apply their own beliefs and values to situations in their own and others’ lives

Enquire into religious/non-religious concepts

Contextualise what is being studied in religious practice and belief and specific situations

Evaluate what has been discussed, taught and learnt



Teaching methods are stimulating and engaging, providing all children with access to religious education. Consideration is paid to different learning styles and the differing abilities of children so that all children make progress in their learning. Each half term a concept will be explored and then linked to various religions celebrations or practices – each religion children learn about at Haselworth, has a dedicated box filled with a variety of resources and artefacts.


Teaching and learning strategies include:

  • Visits to places of worship, museums or art galleries
  • The use of representatives from religious traditions as visitors to the class (our school link also has monthly visits, from Christchurch, to deliver a Christian assembly to the whole school)
  • The use of artefacts, big books, posters, videos, artwork (artefacts will be used with great respect as many must be handled with certain ‘rules’ in mind - teachers will inform the children how to handle artefacts carefully before showing them to the class)
  • The use of picture or word cards for matching, classifying, prioritising, sequencing, etc

The use of art and craft to enable children to express their ideas

  • The use of drama, role play, gesture or dance
  • The use of music to create an atmosphere or for expression of ideas and emotions
  • The use of information and communication technology, such as digital cameras, interactive whiteboards, websites for example.




To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in RE, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. RE is taught through a termly ‘concept’ related to a theme or religion.


We carry out the curriculum planning in RE in three phases: long-term, medium term and short-term. The long-term plan maps out the concept covered in each term during the key stage.


We give children of all abilities the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding and so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.


Class teachers complete a weekly plan for all foundation subjects. These list the specific learning objectives for each lesson and show details of how the lessons are to be taught. The class teacher keeps these plans on a staff shared drive.


At Haselworth Primary School we provide a variety of opportunities for RE learning inside and outside the classroom and through educational visits to places of interest or worship. 


We value the religious background of all members of the school community and hope that this will encourage individuals to share their own experiences with others freely. All religions and their communities are treated with respect and sensitivity and we value the links, which are, and can be made between home, school, and a faith community.  We acknowledge that each religion studied can contribute to the education of all our pupils.  We promote teaching in Religious Education that stresses open enquiry and first-hand experiences wherever possible for both staff and children. 


The Foundation Stage

We encourage the development of skills, knowledge and understanding that help reception children make sense of their world as an integral part of the school’s work. Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community.

Therefore, the RE curriculum at Haselworth will offer long and medium term RE planning with concept based units, at an age appropriate level and centred around religious themes and celebrations. This planning will be specifically designed for the children in Early Years, to support the learning and development of this ELG.


Inclusion including Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) / Pupil Premium / Higher Attainers)

All children will have Quality First Teaching. A Haselworth Primary School we teach RE to all children, whatever their ability. RE forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our RE teaching, we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make progress. We do this by setting suitable learning challenges and responding to each child’s different needs. Teachers will also take into account the targets set for individual children in their Individual Education plans.


In all classes there are children of differing ability. We recognise this fact and provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the activities to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies:


  • setting common learning activities that are open-ended and can have a variety of results;
  • setting learning of increasing difficulty where not all children complete all tasks;
  • setting specific learning according to individual needs and targets
  • grouping children by ability and setting different tasks for each group;
  • mixed ability grouping which facilitates peer support
  • providing a range of challenges through the provision of different resources and scaffolds (such as pre-teaching of unfamiliar vocabulary)
  • using additional adults to support the work of individual children or small groups.




All teaching and learning of RE will ensure that every child has the right to be included and supported as far as possible in the knowledge that there is equality in terms of opportunity, social background, race, gender and disability. Religious beliefs of pupils and their families will be respected at all times.


Assessment and Recording


Our RE curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression.  We focus on progression of knowledge and skills and teachers assess children’s work in RE by determining how well each child understands what it means to live a religious life. Each child will have a RE book which will move up through the school with them.
RE planning for each half term identifies which step of the cycle is to be assessed.


We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
  • Summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning.
  • Images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
  • Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
  • Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
  • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.
  • Marking of written work in books.


Throughout the unit of work, teachers make a judgement against the ‘Living Difference’ syllabus Age Related Expectations (found in the Appendices of the syllabus) which is recorded on INSIGHT (The school’s data tracking platform used for all core and foundation subjects). A summative assessment for the subject is made at the end of each unit of learning.


Teachers then use the data that they record to plan the future work of each child and to make an annual assessment of progress for each child, as part of the annual report to parents. Each teacher passes this information on to the next teacher at the end of each year.


Right to Withdraw

RE is provided for all pupils and is inclusive and broad minded. Parents do have the right to withdraw pupils from RE: if they wish to do this, they must make a request in writing and make an appointment with the Headteacher. The school does not support selective withdrawal from RE.


The monitoring of the standards of children’s work and of the quality of teaching in RE is the responsibility of subject leader. The work of the subject leader also involves supporting colleagues in the teaching of RE, being informed about current developments in the subject, and providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school.


The subject leader has time within school to review evidence of the children’s work and undertake drop in visits of RE teaching across the school. The following information outlines how subject leaders monitor, evaluate and review their subject.


  • Subject Leaders use self-evaluation and write clear action plans and ensure that they are understood by all those involved in putting the plans into practice, including staff who are new to the school. These are reviewed termly and contribute to the monitoring, review and evaluation of the school development plan.
  • Subject Leaders develop a cycle of monitoring throughout the school for the academic year, ensuring that they can make judgements about the standards within their subject. This includes learning walks, planning and books looks and  pupil conferencing.
  • Subject leaders report their impact to Governors via reports or attending FGB to present.
  • Subject Leaders ensure that teachers are clear about the teaching objectives in lessons, understand the sequence of teaching and learning in the subject, and communicate such information to pupils.
  • Subject Leaders ensure curriculum coverage, continuity and progression of skills in their subject for all pupils, including those of high achievers and those with special educational or linguistic needs;
  • Subject Leaders establish a clear, shared understanding of the importance and role of the subject in contributing to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development, and in preparing pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
  • Subject Leaders use data effectively to identify pupils who are underachieving in the subject and, where necessary, create and implement effective plans of action to support those pupils;
  • Subject Leaders create a climate which enables other staff to develop and maintain positive attitudes towards the subject and confidence in teaching it.