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Our RE Curriculum

RE is a subject, which explores big questions about life, to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can make sense of religion, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.

Our Definition of RE

Who leads RE and what is their vision?

The RE leader at our school is Lesley Sellars - who is also a teacher in Class 3.  For further information about the RE curriculum, or for other support, she can be contacted via email.

The subject leader's vision for RE is that through the study of RE as a subject within school, children will be equipped with the knowledge and understanding of the 7 main world religions that are represented by many people within Derbyshire. Although our school is not culturally diverse, it is vital that our pupils gain an understanding of world religions and beliefs, so they can live alongside people with different beliefs and values to their own. This can promote critical thinking and questioning skills – some of the core abilities in our curriculum intent. It can also help to promote the fundamental British Values – particularly tolerance.

British values are defined as follows:

  • The Rule of Law
  • Democracy
  • Individual Liberty
  • Mutual Respect
  • Tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs 

Links to our core abilities

We have identified seven core abilities that we hope to develop through our curriculum offer.  

  • Questioning and curiosity
  • Critical thinking and open-mindedness
  • Perseverance and resilience
  • Communication
  • Independence
  • Team work
  • Creativity 

We can develop many of these core abilities through effective RE teaching, but we particularly focus on developing:

  • Questioning and curiosity
  • Critical thinking and open-mindedness

Why is it important to find out what other people believe?

As theologians, we want children to consider challenging questions about the meaning of life from the viewpoint of different world religions. Children will learn about the beliefs of the main world religions and non-religious world view. Children will gain an understanding of themselves, their own beliefs and how this influences their culture and personal development. This will then be considered in relation to their own community and the wider world and how these values contribute to a tolerant and open-minded society. 

To enhance children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, they will develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues.

No matter what we believe personally or individually, by understanding the beliefs of others, we can become more tolerant and less ignorant.  It will help us to live in harmony alongside people from different faiths and cultures. In addition to this, it also helps us to think critically about our own beliefs and values.

RE Curriculum Intent

The aims of religious education are to help children:

  • To develop an awareness of spiritual and moral issues in life experiences.
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other major world religions and value systems found in Britain.
  • To develop an understanding of what it means to be committed to a faith and follow traditions.
  • To be able to reflect on their own experiences and to develop a personal response to fundamental questions of life.
  • To develop an understanding of religious traditions and to appreciate cultural differences.
  • To develop investigative and research skills, enabling children to make reasoned judgements about religious and world issues.
  • To have respect for other peoples’ views and to celebrate diversity in society. 

In order to achieve this, we have developed our curriculum intent under 3 broad headings : 

  1. To know about and understand a range of religions and world views.
  2. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and world views.
  3. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and world views.


Below is our Curriculum Intent document for RE:

SPS RE Curriculum Intent V5 (PDF)

How is RE Implemented?

At Scarcliffe, we follow the Derbyshire-and-Derby-City-Agreed-Syllabus-2020-2025 for RE. We use this guidance and format in order to adapt the planning to meet the needs of children in our school . The planning is worked on a two year cycle due to us having mixed year group classes. Meaning that one year we teach a cycle of units, then the following year, they change so that the learning is covered over the two years. 

In line with the Derbyshire agreed syllabus, we believe that:

'RE, when taught well, provides a safe space to discuss, experience and respond well to difference – a space where students can engage with controversial issues and learn to disagree respectfully with each other. This can play a key role in fostering good relationships between different groups within the school and in later adult life.'

RE as a subject is broken down into year groups and each key stage (FS, KS1, LKS2, UKS2) works through a range of religious themes. Each unit focuses on a BIG QUESTION, often relating to one of the main religions or themes. Throughout the term, children will access lessons which enable them to gain knowledge in order to answer the BIG Question. 

RE is taught through a discrete weekly RE lesson and children are able to take part in a range of activities, lessons and discussions relating to their BIG QUESTION for the unit of work. All schools are required to include RE as part of the curriculum for all pupils from Foundation stage to Key Stage 4. However, parents have the right to withdraw their children from religious education and / or collective worship. If you have any issues with RE lessons and wish to withdraw your child, please contact the RE subject coordinator on the email at the top of this page to discuss them. 

(Please see attached link for more information and reference - Religious education (RE) and collective worship in academies and free schools - GOV.UK ( )

Before a unit is taught, teachers identify the core knowledge which they hope the children will retain from the topic. This is all recorded on a Knowledge organiser and shared with the pupils at the start of the unit. The Knowledge Organiser is created to provide the children with all the main knowledge they need and is referred to continuously throughout the unit. 

At the start of a unit, every child completes a pre-learning task.  This assesses what their knowledge of the unit is before teaching commences. The same task is given at the start and end of the unit in order to see the starting point and progress made throughout each unit. This helps children and teachers to understand what pupils already know and what they need to learn.  As children move through our school, they become increasingly able to reflect on their learning needs and our older children often set themselves clear targets to achieve by the end of a unit of work. 

We understand that children need lots of opportunity to revisit prior learning, so it is not forgotten.  We have designed 'Can you still?' activities which happen in every class very frequently.  These 'Can you still?' activities systematically revisit key learning points at carefully thought out intervals, sometimes verbally, or used through teaching slides or printed out versions used in books. 

Within school, we use a learning journey document to outline the journey through each unit of work. This really breaks down the unit into small steps based on each lesson. Children assess themselves at the end of each lesson based on their confidence in that lesson and their achievement against that particular lesson's outcome. 

At the end of a unit of work, children complete a post-learning task.  Children (and staff) can then reflect on the progress the children have made since the start of a unit. 

Our Curriculum Overview

As mentioned above, we follow the Derbyshire-and-Derby-City-Agreed-Syllabus-2020-2025 for RE as a framework for our curriculum.  That said, the amount of time we spend on particular units and questions (or areas within a unit) is dictated by the needs of each class, so this may vary slightly according to the outlined overview.  

The subject leader has developed a curriculum overview for RE - see below: 

SPS Curriculum Overview for RE (PDF)


Knowledge Organisers and Learning Journeys in RE

We currently create knowledge organisers and learning journeys for all our RE units. Examples of the structure for these documents can be found below. However, each teacher creates these documents for their own individual classes and the format/structure may differ slightly. 


SPS Example of RE Learning Journey 1 (PDF)

SPS Example of RE Learning Journey 2 (PDF)

SPS Example of RE Knowledge Organiser (PDF)

Monitoring the impact of teaching in RE

We understand the importance of teaching high quality RE lessons to all children and leaders monitor the impact of teaching in a variety of ways. 

Importantly, the subject leader spends time in classes - seeing what the children are learning, talking to pupils about their understanding and views about RE and talking to staff about the learning sequence they are following in RE. 

The subject leader likes to carry out book looks alongside pupils to gather information about their learning, to see what they enjoy about the subject, things they find difficult and to see what they view as their successes and the work they are proud of. 

A range of further methods are used to gather information about the impact of teaching in RE.  This is collated and shared with staff.

Assessment Data

Staff assess children against the curriculum intent statements each year.  Information is centred around determining which children are not yet at the expected standard and who are very secure within the expected standard.  This provides us with information to inform our future teaching.  

RE at home

At Scarcliffe Primary, we really value the lessons taught through RE, which provide children with the tools to deal with differences and how to approach situations involving differences with a mature, respectful and kind approach.

So, what can parents do to support learning at home? Be there to talk. RE lessons often have lots of time for children to talk with their partner or table about ideas. In RE, we are not expected to have the answers, just well explained ideas. Some concepts have been debated for thousands of years with no absolute answer. This is one of the times, as a parent, you can be pleased to not have all the answers, just your ideas and experiences. Encourage your child to explain their thinking. 

It is important in life to take a moment to pause, think and reflect. It is good for the mind and the soul. You do not need to be religious to find RE an interesting and engaging subject, or even just to learn about something new. Children are filled with wonder and curiosity about the world: as teachers and parents, we can help them to continue to explore their questions and ideas whilst at home.