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RE - Religious Education

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To become upstanding members of a diverse and awe-inspiring world.   


And so I present you with my learning; I hold it high, so that its light can be seen everywhere, like that of the rising sun.

- Sirach 24:32

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

- 1 Thessalonians 5:11


The principal aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.

What is our intent?

At St John's we aim to ensure that all pupils:

1. Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals
• identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses, offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews
• appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
2. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities
• express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues
• appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.
3. Gain and deploy the skills and disciplinary knowledge needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively, respectfully and with tolerance 
• enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully and with tolerance for the wellbeing of all
• articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.

How do we implement this?

RE teaching is planned using the programme of study in the Derbyshire LA Agreed Syllabus for RE 2020-25, which sets out the requirements for RE teaching at each stage of education, including the EYFS.  Within the Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus three fields of enquiry are followed:

Believing- exploring religious beliefs, teaching, sources; questions about meaning, purpose and truth.

Expressing- exploring religious and spiritual forms of expression; questions about identity and diversity.

Living- exploring relisious practices and ways of living; questions about values and commitments.


The Understanding Christianity syllabus was introduced in 2017 and Christianity is mainly taught using the units of work from this. The aims of UC are:

• To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living world faith, by exploring
core theological concepts.
• To enable pupils to develop knowledge and skills in making sense of biblical texts and
understanding their impact in the lives of Christians
• To develop pupils’ abilities to connect, critically reflect upon, evaluate and apply their learning to
their own growing understanding of religion and belief (particularly Christianity), of themselves, the world and human experience.


The approach in RE is to revisit the core concepts throughout the different key stages (a spiral curriculum), deepening pupils’ understanding and making the links to the overall ‘big story’ or ‘salvation narrative. The Big Frieze illustrates seven of the eight core concepts that are explored in the Understanding Christianity materials. This presents a view of the ‘big story’ of the Bible. It can be used to make pupils aware of the wider context of each concept, unit and text studied in Understanding Christianity. It helps to build up a coherent understanding of the core concepts and the relationship between them.


RE teaching is:

-clear about the RE curriculum object

-well matched to prior knowledge

-supports recall of knowledge of the RE curriculum.


We aim to reduce barriers that pupils with specific needs may face in accessing the RE curriculum, eg: teachers considering in greater detail the building blocks of knowledge that specific pupils need accross the RE curriculum. Additionally, considering the most appropriate ways for specific pupils to learn aspects of the curriculum.


Visits to places of worship, handling artefacts and receiving visitors help pupils to remember what they have learned and deepen understanding.

RE overviews



The Big Frieze

What impact does this have?

In determining the impact of the RE curriculum, we are essentially asking the question 'How well have pupils met the aims described in our Intent'? We use two main methods to determine this, assessment and feedback from pupils, their parents and other stakeholders. Teachers assess both formatively and summatively. Formatively, enabling teachers to adapt their teaching responsively as they implement the curriculum to address misconceptions and gaps in knowledge. Summatively, assessment at the end of each unit using the Learning Outcomes, the big ideas and skills that need to be taught, repeated and built upon over time so that learning is progressively deepened. This supports teachers in identlfying areas of strength and areas that may need additional support during the next teaching opportunity. We also value feedback from the pupils themselves and from other stakeholders. These are captured informally (during lessons) and also more formally too eg, through questionnaires, pupils voice discussion and comments submitted to school.

Nobody Stands Nowhere- World Views

Curriculum Design in Religious Education

Links for our Church school, Collective worship, Courageous Advocacy and PSHE web pages.

We have strong links with St. Peter's church in Belper. Reverend Anne Stratton is a frequent visitor to our school. She takes termly acts of collective worship and is on our governing body. There are also regular services at St. Peter's led by children from different year groups to celebrate particular festivals or events in the life of the school. As well as regular services our children also frequently visit St. Peter's for educational visits when we discover more about christian worship and faith.


A welcome from Rev. Anne

A copy of our latest SIAMS report

Link to our Vision and Ethos web page including our 5 year plan.