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National Curriculum Aims for Religious Education


Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus 2017 states that:


‘The principal aim of religious education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.’


The three-fold aim of the RE syllabus elaborates the principal aim.  The curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Make sense of a range of religious and non-religious beliefs – identifying and making sense of core religious and non-religious beliefs and concepts; understanding what these beliefs mean within their traditions; recognising how and why sources of authority (such as texts) are used, expressed and interpreted in different ways, and developing skills of interpretation.
  •  Understand the impact and significance of religious and non-religious beliefs – Examining how and why people put their beliefs into action in diverse ways, within their everyday lives, within their communities and in the wider world.
  • Make connections between religious and non-religious beliefs, concepts, practices and ideas studied Evaluating, reflecting on and connecting the beliefs and practices studied; allowing pupils to challenge ideas studied, and the ideas studied to challenge pupil’s thinking; discerning possible connections between these and pupils’ own lives and ways of understanding the world.



The Purpose of Religious Education


The Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus asserts the importance and value of religious education for all pupils, with on-going benefits for an open, articulate and understanding society.  The following purpose statements underpin the syllabus, which is constructed to support pupils and teachers in fulfilling them:

  • Religious education contributes dynamically to children and young people’s education in schools by provoking and challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
  • In RE pupils learn about religions and beliefs in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
  • Pupils learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response and to agree or disagree respectfully
  • Teaching therefore should equip pupils with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and beliefs, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.
  • RE should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society, with its diverse religions and beliefs
  • Pupils should gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence.  They should learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.




Religious Education Rationale


Religious Education should engage, question, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to explore difficult philosophical questions, develop an understanding of different religious beliefs and also encourage them to reflect on their own ideas and way of living.  RE helps children to combat prejudice, appreciate diversity and promotes the integral values of tolerance and respect.  In this way, the RE curriculum contributes towards establishing British values and aids children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.  RE has an essential role in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and lifelong learning.

At Lydbrook School our RE curriculum enables pupils to develop a knowledge and understanding of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Humanism.  Through high quality RE teaching, children will develop a wide range of skills including enquiry, interpretation, evaluation and reflection.  Pupils are encouraged to participate in philosophical discussions and explore their own ideas and beliefs.  The three core elements – Making sense of beliefs, Making connections and Understanding the impact – underpin all RE teaching in a classroom environment where the children feel they are heard, respected and understood.







At Lydbrook School we believe that all children should have the opportunity to learn about a variety of faiths and religious customs.  The syllabus is multifaith and reflects the fact that the religious traditions in the UK are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in the UK. Throughout their primary school career, children will also learn about other religions such as Islam, Judaism and Hinduism.  To ensure that the complexity of religion and belief in our society today is reflected through our RE curriculum, it is important that children learn about non-theistic beliefs such as humanism, and have the opportunity to explore and question spirituality in a safe environment.


















Throughout the school we use the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus.  This is based around a key question approach, where the questions open up the content to be studied, from EYFS through all the key stages. These are followed by detailed unit outlines which are designed to support the delivery of high-quality RE that enables coherence and progression.  Unit outlines give structured support in terms of learning outcomes and suggested content, to enable good planning and progression.  We also aim to give children an opportunity to visit places of worship and learn from visitors of different faiths.

To be reviewed at the end of EYFS, KS1 (Y2), LKS2 (Y4) and UKS2 (Y6), as well as at the end of each academic year.







Enquiry in RE


Children are encouraged to ponder philosophical questions and express their views, with the assurance that sometimes there is no answer and that believing without fully understanding is in fact the essence of faith.  They are also encouraged to learn and think about the importance and significance of worship and devotion, and their cultural context within different faiths.  



Creativity in RE


RE encourages children to reflect upon their own ideas and beliefs and to explore how different religions and non-religious beliefs link or contrast with their own ways of living.  Children have opportunities to explore religious rituals, ceremonies and customs through drama, role play, food-tasting, cooking, art, poetry and music.



Assessment in Religious Education


Tracking children’s progress throughout their school life is vital in order to establish their acquisition of knowledge and skills.  At Lydbrook learning starts by finding out the children’s prior knowledge and any misconceptions they may have.  RE teachers decide on the most appropriate age related way of obtaining this information, and misconceptions that arise throughout the unit are identified and addressed appropriately by the teacher.  The Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus includes an assessment outline which gives teachers examples of end of phase assessments as well as unit outcomes which show how pupils are expected to make progress towards the end of phase outcomes. 


Click to Download Lydbrook School RE Long Term Plan 2 [pdf 422KB] Click to Download