Religious Education (RE) at Hartwell Primary School

Subject co-ordinator: Mrs J Pardon

Our Vision for Religious Education (RE) at Hartwell:

The principal aim of RE is to enable pupils to hold balanced and informed conversations about religion and belief.

The principal aim (intent) incorporates the following aims of RE, for children to:
• Know about and understand Christianity as a diverse global living faith through the exploration of core beliefs, using an approach that critically engages with the biblical text;
• Gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and world views, appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and world views being studied;
• Engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience;
• Recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places;
• Explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways living, believing and thinking.

By the time children leave our school in Year 6, we expect that all children are religiously literate and are able to do the following in an age appropriate manner:
• Give a theologically informed and thoughtful account of Christianity as a living and diverse faith;
• Show an informed and respectful attitude to religions and non-religious worldviews in their search for God and meaning;
• Engage in meaningful and informed dialogue with those of other faiths and none;
• Reflect critically and responsibly on their own spiritual, philosophical and ethical convictions

The Subject Leader:

As RE Subject Leader at our school, it is a pleasure to see how our children engage inquisitively with the RE curriculum. I love to see the process of how children learn about the origins, beliefs and practices of a religion. Children then move on to how this religion or belief is present in the modern world and the impact that this has on followers’ lives and the lives of others.

To ensure that children receive high quality RE teaching and learning, as subject leader, I am responsible for the following:
• Preparing policy documents, curriculum plans and schemes of work for the subject.
• Reviewing changes to the locally-agreed curriculum and advising teachers on their implementation.
• Monitoring the learning and teaching of RE, providing support for staff where necessary.
• Ensuring continuity and progression from year group to year group.
• Encouraging staff to provide effective learning opportunities for pupils.
• Organising the deployment of resources and carrying out audits of all related resources.
• Communicating developments in the subject to all teaching staff and the senior leadership team (SLT) as appropriate.
• Leading staff meetings and providing staff members with the appropriate training.
• Organising, providing and monitoring CPD opportunities regarding RE.
• Ensuring common standards are met for recording and assessing pupil performance.
• Advising on the contribution of RE to other curriculum areas, including cross-curricular and extra-curricular activities, e.g. PSHE lessons.
• Collating assessment data and setting new priorities for the development of RE in subsequent years.

Pupil Voice:

We consider it important to gather the pupil’s views throughout the school year. The view the latest pupil surveys and the analysis generated from them please click below:
Pupil Voice – coming soon

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development in RE

What we now call SMSC has long been part of education. The notion of developing not just academic and practical skills but also self-knowledge, moral courage, a capacity for imaginative sympathy for others has long been a desired outcome of education.


RE has always been an SMSC rich curriculum subject, to give further detail to this in the context of RE, please see below:

Spiritual Development in RE: refers to the aspects of the child’s spirit which is enhanced by school life and learning, and may well describe the ‘spirit of determination, sharing or open-mindedness’. The ‘spiritual’ should not be confused with ‘religious’.


RE provides opportunities for children to reflect on their own views and how they have been formed, as well as the views of others. It also encourages children to ‘wonder’, and consider ideas that touch the ‘other’: ideas that consider there being something greater than material human existence.

Moral Development in RE: is about exploring and developing children’s own moral outlook and understanding of right and wrong. It is also about navigating moral diversity in the modern world. RE is extremely well suited to exploring social and personal morality in significant ways.

RE offers children the opportunity to explore differing moral outlooks such as religious texts about right and wrong, codes for living, treatment of animals and the environment and so on.

Social Development in RE: develops children’s understanding of social situations and contexts, and promotes exploration of the society we wish to create in the future.

An aspect of social development that RE provides opportunity for is on social insight: a chance to learn about and reflect upon significant social and political issues which affect individuals, groups and the nation.


Cultural Development in RE: is about developing a child’s ‘own culture’ and to gain an understanding of ‘wider culture’. Firstly this refers to each child’s own home culture and background, whether religious or not, and secondly the term describes our national culture and its place within the world.

RE is the perfect subject in which to explore Britain’s rich diversity of religious, ethnic and geographical cultures.

Please click here to see our RE School Development Plan 2021/22

The RE Curriculum at Hartwell:

As a curriculum subject, RE is locally determined, not nationally, and in a Church School, such as Hartwell, RE has the status of a core subject. Every child has an entitlement to RE as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, which we belief our RE curriculum provides. Our curriculum for RE is from EYFS – Year 6.

Our school is part of The Diocese of Peterborough and therefore we follow ‘The Diocese of Peterborough Syllabus for Religious Education 2019-2024’. The curriculum sets out a clear model for teaching and learning in RE. There are three clearly defined, yet linked, elements to the teaching of RE as suits the religion, concept and question being explored:
1. Making Sense of Beliefs – Identifying and making sense of core religious and non-religious concepts and beliefs; understanding what these beliefs mean within the context of their traditions; recognising how and why sources of authority are used, expressed and interpreted in different ways, and developing skills of interpretation.
2. Understanding the Impact – 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.
3. Making Connections – Reasoning about, reflecting on, evaluating and connecting the concepts, beliefs and practices studied; allowing children to challenge ideas and the ideas to challenge children’s thinking; discerning possible connections between these ideas and children’s own lives and ways of understanding the world.

In a Church of England Primary School, Christianity is taught for 2/3 of the curriculum with other religions taught for the remaining third. For the RE Curriculum Long Term Map, click here.

When teaching Christianity, we use ‘Understanding Christianity’ and ‘The Emmanuel Project’ to support the teaching other world religions. Both resources are recommended for use by The Diocese of Peterborough. Both resources support a progressive curriculum in RE.

Click here for the RE language progression document – this gives detail of the specific and theological language children in each year group children should know and understand.

Useful Weblinks:
The Diocese of Peterborough
Understanding Christianity

Photos of RE at Hartwell – coming soon

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