St John’s Church of England Primary School
Religious Education Policy
Together we grow stronger - in our hopes, hearts and mind: so that we may ‘soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint’. (Isaiah 40:31).
This policy has at its core, the above quotation and reflects the need for fairness.
Religious Education (RE) is unique in the school curriculum in that it is neither a core or
foundation subject, however the 1988 Education Act states that ‘Religious Education has equal
standing in relation to core subjects of the National Curriculum in that it is compulsory for all
Religious Education is taught in our school because it makes:
“A major contribution to the education of children and young people. At its best, it is
intellectually challenging and personally enriching. It helps young people develop beliefs and
values, and promotes the virtues of respect and empathy, which are important in our diverse
society. It fosters civilised debate and reasoned argument, and helps pupils to understand the
place of religion and belief in the modern world”. (RE: Realising the Potential, Ofsted 2013).
According to the 2011 Statement of Entitlement to RE in C of E schools, the aims of
Religious Education in church schools are:
- To enable pupils to encounter Christianity as the religion that shaped British
culture and heritage and influences the lives of millions of people today
- To enable pupils to learn about the other major religions, their impact on culture and
politics, art and history, and on the lives of their adherents
- To develop understanding of religious faith as the search for and expression of truth
- To contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual / philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own faith and beliefs
Also from 2014:
- To teach children the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Teaching and Learning about Christianity
Christianity is the major religion which is studied in our school. In line with the Wiltshire Agreed
Syllabus, at least two thirds of our RE teaching will be about Christianity. We also learn about Hinduism, Judaism and Islam throughout the school. These units are mapped out to be revisited to encourage children to know more and remember more. Understanding Christianity and Discovery RE are the main resources that we draw on in planning and delivering our teaching of
Christianity as a living world religion. This ensures that we draw on the richness and diversity
of Christian experience in all its worldwide forms. Pupil’s learning experience should be an
open one which stems from and instils respect for different views and interpretations, and in
which real dialogue and education takes place. Pupils will be enabled to deepen their
understanding of God as encountered by Christians.
Teaching and learning about other faiths and world views:
We have a duty to foster an accurate and increasing understanding of world religions and world
views. As a result, pupils will gain greater insight into the world in which they are growing up.
They will be able to appreciate the faith of others and develop a deeper understanding of their
own beliefs and practices. This learning should contribute to harmonious relationships, whilst
promoting social inclusion without prejudice.
- We deliver RE in line with the locally agreed Wiltshire syllabus and in accordance with the Trust Deed of the school.
- We plan units of work using ‘Understanding Christianity’ as a resource.
- We draw on units of work from Discovery RE when teaching about other world faiths.
- We have developed a curriculum map for RE in order to ensure appropriately balanced coverage and curriculum teaching time.
- We believe that RE is about subject knowledge, critical / evaluative thinking and personal spiritual development.
- RE is an important part of the whole education of the child and threads throughout the curriculum.
- RE will be allocated at least 5% of curriculum time.
- RE will be taught to all pupils unless any parent exercises their right for their child to be withdrawn (see below in ‘Legal Status’).
- RE is sometimes taught in the form of whole school RE Days which cover a unit of work for each class in a creative and engaging way, allowing for a deeper understanding to be explored.
The RE that is taught in classes should reflect the needs of the pupils, and careful planning
should ensure progression in understanding for all. RE will be well planned, adopting a range of
teaching strategies including class, group and individual learning activities. The use of art,
drama, music, story, artefacts, discussion and questioning, reflection, visits and visitors are all
vehicles for effective teaching and learning in RE.
To ensure inclusion for all pupils, teachers will respond to pupils diverse learning needs and set
suitable and appropriate tasks. Provision for children with special needs will be met from the
resources and expertise available within our school in accordance with the Special Needs.
The Governors of St John’s CE VA Primary School are responsible for the Religious
Education policy of the school. The policy has been drawn up by the RE Lead, with the
approval of the staff and Head Teacher. The Religious Education policy for the school follows
the guidelines set out in the agreed syllabus for Wiltshire and those of the Diocesan Board of
Education. Parents have a legal right to withdraw their child from religious education. The
school would require a written request and a discussion with the Head Teacher to make
appropriate arrangements for supervision.
Recording and Assessment
Assessment is part of the teaching and learning process and as such is planned into lessons
as needed. During the academic year summative assessment takes place at the end of each
unit of work and is recorded for planning future lessons. Assessment may take place in a
variety of different ways, including oral question-and-answer sessions based on discussion and
reflections on completed work. Assessment for each child in every class is recorded by RE
teachers in the Class Floor Book (KS1) alongside examples of work, and then transferred to the
school’s tracking documents. This allows teachers to adjust their planning to meet the learning
needs of their pupils and ensure their learning is appropriately matched. Further evidence of
children’s work can be found in their individual RE books from Year 3 onwards.
Role of the Subject Leader
The RE leader is responsible for:
- The monitoring and review of this policy with the staff and Ethos Committee.
- Attending relevant training and providing feedback to staff and governors as appropriate
- Providing CPD from training to meet the needs identified by teachers
- Lead Governors and staff in evaluating RE and Collective Worship
- Assisting staff with the planning and delivery of RE in line with the provision outlined in the curriculum map.
- Completing book scrutinies, pupil conferencing and lesson observations across all year groups.
- Analyse and report on standards of RE across the school, identifying strengths to celebrate and areas for improvement.
Monitoring and Review
The teaching and learning of RE will be monitored and reviewed annually by the RE leader
and governors. The RE lead will observe lessons, complete book scrutinies and conference
pupils. The Governors who form the Ethos Committee will also complete book scrutinies and
The RE Policy is reviewed by the Head Teacher, RE Lead, and Teaching Staff and Governors