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Clerkenwell Parochial CofE Primary School

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Religious Education

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At CPS, Religious Education is a core subject within which we aim to:

  • Develop children’s knowledge, understanding and awareness of Christianity, its stories, traditions, festivals, worship and teachings, giving them the opportunities to learn both about it and from it.

  • Provide opportunities for children to explore and experience their own spiritual nature.Developing their ability to reflect, make belief and value choices and share insights through RE teaching and collective worship.

  • Develop a sense of Christian morality; explored through our Christian values of wisdom, grace, koinonia, endurance, service and compassion- values which provide a structure to teaching throughout the school.

  • Develop children’s knowledge, understanding and awareness of other principle religions and their beliefs, values and practices.

  • Develop a respect and sensitivity towards other people and their beliefs and philosophies, reflecting the diversity of our multicultural society.We recognise that our school community includes families from a variety of Christian groups, as well as people of other or no faith groups; we respect each child’s experience.


    The legal position of religious education

    Our school curriculum for religious education meets the requirements of the 1988 Education Reform Act (ERA). The ERA stipulates that religious education is compulsory for all children, including those in the reception class who are less than five years old. The ERA allows parents to withdraw their child from religious education classes if they so wish, although this should only be done once the parents have given written notice to the school governors. The ERA also allows teachers to refuse to teach religious education, but only after they have given due notice of their intention to the school governors. The religious education curriculum forms a vital part of our school’s spiritual and moral teaching and promotes both citizenship and PSHE.


    We aim to provide a religious education curriculum based on the main five aspects (see above) with the emphasis on the Christian dimension and calendar (approximately 80%). The ERA states that the RE syllabus should reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are, in the main, Christian but that it should, at the same time, take account of the teachings and practices of other major religions. This also accords with LDBS guidelines and the locally agreed syllabus (RBK&C SACRE). Children are taught religious education every week.


    Teaching and learning style

    We believe that good teaching in RE should allow children to extend their own sense of values and develop their spiritual growth through their discussion, reflection upon, questioning and responses to a variety of religious ideas and concepts. Where possible, religious teaching links to our curriculum themes and values.  Children’s thoughts are recorded not only in RE books but through a range of media such as clay, photography, film, art work, displays and Wonder books. This approach develops a much deeper understanding of RE – getting beyond simply learning facts to handling ideas and questions more effectively. Learning in RE may be shared at assemblies and at festivals celebrated in both the school and church.


    Through a variety of teaching methods, we aim to differentiate the RE curriculum and promote inclusion in a variety of ways including:

  • setting of open-ended tasks;
  •  setting tasks of increasing difficulty;
  • grouping children in a variety of ways;
  •  providing resources to support or challenge as appropriate ;
  •  Using adult or peer support ;


  • Drama and retelling stories ;
  • Visit places of worship, museums and galleries;
  • Meet and engage with people of other faiths; and
  •  Using stimulus to develop questioning and discussion.



Curriculum planning and assessment in religious education

Clerkenwell’s curriculum is designed to give the children breadth, balance, coherence and challenge.  It has developed through different schemes of work (LDBS, Solihull, St Albans and RE Today resources) and has been adapted to suit the school. It aims to develop the pupils’ expertise in their religious literacy, challenge their ideas and enable them to grow as individuals. There is an emphasis on enquiry.  Each lesson starts with an enquiry question rather than a learning objective and higher order thinking strategies are built in to challenge and extend pupils’ thinking.  The curriculum concentrates on developing a detailed and thorough understanding of Christianity, together with a broad range of religious beliefs from other faiths.


Each unit follows a theme that builds towards an assessment task and lessons are therefore planned towards this end point. A variety of media across are used to bring the subject to life. The enquiry questions, key learning, suggested assessment task, resources and link to school values are summarised on a curriculum overview sheet which teachers use to plan lessons.


The relationship between the Christian character of the school and the teaching of RE is clear. Our six Christian values are looked at on a half termly basis, with one lesson per half term built into RE teaching.  The key enquiry questions for these have been planned to show progression throughout the school.  These are referenced in separate overview sheets.


Each year group also has its own focus for Christmas and Easter and will look at a different theme in depth.  Further information about the teaching of Easter and Christmas and their links with our school values is shown in a separate planning document.

The RE policy at CPS can be viewed by clicking the 'policies' link below.

The information below provides a broad description of the topics taught in the RE curriculum.
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