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West Lynn Primary School


We believe that Religious Education is an integral part of our pastoral curriculum that aims to engage, inspire, challenge and encourage all pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to answer challenging questions, explore different religious beliefs, values and traditions that are followed in our multi-cultural society. We want them to know how religious education promotes tolerance and combats prejudice, producing positive citizens, preparing them for adult life, employment and life-long learning.

Our R.E Curriculum has been designed to be knowledge rich yet taught through an increasingly complex enquiry led approach. We have designed our curriculum to be fully aligned to the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus.

In line with our Core Values, we want to create knowledgeable, inquiring pupils who have a love of learning. We believe that using a progressive enquiry led approach will develop children’s critical thinking skills, their motivation to learn will be heightened and their knowledge and understanding of people and their beliefs will be enhanced.

Through our R.E. Curriculum we aim to:

  • Develop a deep level of religious understanding and knowledge.
  • Heighten engagement with a range of enquiry questions.
  • Encourage pupils to ask significant and reflective questions about religion and demonstrate an understanding of issues related to the value of religion.
  • Develop the ability to think critically for themselves.
  • Develop the ability to link the study of religion and belief to personal reflections on meaning and purpose.
  • A wide knowledge and deep understanding across a wide range of religions and beliefs. 

Religious Education engenders knowledge and understanding which can lead to tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs. It encourages evaluation and critical thinking.

We aim to study the range of religious beliefs and practices by considering them from three different viewpoints: theological (thinking through believing), philosophical (thinking through thinking) and human/social science (thinking through living). Each year group will study two units from a theological lens, two units from a philosophical lens and 2 units from a social / human science lens.

In accordance with the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus, Christianity is taught in each key stage to reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian (Education Act 1988).

Each year, children will have the opportunity to study Christianity and at least one other religion from Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. Islam is taught in Year 2 and again in Year 6 in order to gain a deeper understanding.

Christianity is taught in every year group at Christmas and Easter – the enquiry approach adds challenge throughout the years, requiring children to retain knowledge and apply this to their enquiry question using their critical thinking skills. For instance, in Year 1 at Christmas the children learn about the Christmas story and consider what gifts may have been given to Jesus if he were born in our local area.  In Yr 3, children consider whether, over the years, Christmas has lost its true meaning.  In Year 6, children consider whether the traditions Christians uphold at Christmas actually help them to understand who Jesus was.

Themes within the religions taught will allow for gradual progress in terms of knowledge and understanding, both within and across the year groups.  For example, in Year 2 in the Autumn term, children will learn about how Muslims pray.  This is revisited in the spring term looking at the effect of prayer on a Muslim, along with the concept of Belonging.  In Yr 3, Belonging is revisited again through the religion of Hinduism.  Similarly, in Year 5 children explore commitment through two religions: Sikhism - “How far would a Sikh go for his/her religion?” and Christianity - “What is the best way for a Christian to show commitment to God?”.  Commitment is revisited again in Year 6 through the religion of Islam.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural opportunities ae mapped out throughout every unit along with opportunities to explore British Values.

Each R.E. unit is taught in 4 stages over a period of 6 weeks: Engagement, Investigation, Evaluation and Expression. Engagement – a learning experience that starts in the child’s own world. Investigation – opportunities to learn about / from the religion, thinking evaluatively about the key line of enquiry. Expression – this asks the children to reflect on how the investigation may have altered their initial thoughts. There are opportunities for reflection and expression.

Through R.E. our children are developing an understanding of their own and other people’s beliefs, cultures and ways of life. It helps them develop a clear understanding of the significance religion has locally as well as in the wider world. Children are given the encouragement and skills to question, debate and discuss varying viewpoints, which they are then able to communicate to the wider community.

To view the Curriculum Overview click here