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Religious Education


At Wadhurst CE Primary School & Nursery, we are dedicated to celebrating the preciousness of every individual and ensuring that all our children flourish academically, emotionally and spiritually. Religious Education is a valued part of our curriculum offer, inclusive of opportunities for spiritual growth and reflection, which is woven into all that we do. All children leave Wadhurst with the knowledge they need to be confident in their own sense of identity and belonging, and curious and respectful of the diverse world in which they live.

Our coherently sequenced spiral curriculum allows core concepts to be revisited and knowledge to be embeded as children move up through the school. An enquiry based approach means children are empowered to be critical thinkers with a motivation to acquire a rich, deep knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs and practice. High quality resources support children in their own religious, spiritual and/or philosophical ways of seeing, living and thinking, believing and belonging. Lessons are designed to promote meaningful and informed dialogue with a range of religions and worldviews whilst engaging with challenging questions of meaning and purpose. Children become religiously literate; theologians, social scientists and philosophers. Their increasing knowledge gives them the confidence they need to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief, informing and developing the skills in which evaluation can take place.

Adults are supported to have a secure subject knowledge and in turn are confident in providing a safe space for children to ask difficult questions; challenge their thinking and the thinking of others, navigating and challenging cultural and religious stereotypes, prejudice and extremism. In developing a knowledge of the world around them children feel that they are connected and a valued member of the community; encouraging all to live well together. Their knowledge and understanding of, empathy with people and their beliefs, religious or otherwise, will be enhanced. They are developing into compassionate citizens who are prepared for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain.

Why do we use the scheme we use? At Wadhurst we work on a two year cycle where we develop the children's knowledge through a 'spiral curriculum'. This means that children's knowledge of world religions are revisited and deepened each year as they progress through the school. At Wadhurst  the teaching of RE is based on the East Sussex Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. We use two schemes to support our planning and teaching of RE; Understanding Christianity and the Emmanuel Project. 

Understanding Christianity is based on the use of core concepts of Christian belief, as expressed in the Bible and lived out in the lives of Christians today. The core concepts reflect a view that the Bible tells a ‘big story’ of salvation. The approach in RE is to revisit the core concepts throughout the different key stages, deepening pupils’ understanding and making the links to the overall ‘big story’ or ‘salvation narrative’. This is not the only way to describe Christian thought and practice, and of course there is real diversity within Christianity itself, but it sets a good foundation for understanding the heart of the Christian faith.

The Emmanuel Project complements Understanding Christianity, providing units on other world faiths and Humanism. 

Our teaching and learning approach enables pupils to think like Theologists, Social Scientists and Philosophers by using the idea of different lenses to help us to look at things in different ways. This is mapped through our disciplinary knowledge and enables children to engage with a variety of sacred texts in order to explore how different religions understand their core concepts. We explore ways in which different people might live in the light of these texts, within their religious community and in their individual lives. Pupils are encouraged to reflect on some of the questions and puzzles that arise from their texts, and to consider any implications or connections with their own lives and ways of understanding the world.


Both schemes are adapted to follow an enquiry cycle which allows lessons to be planned following a clear structure where different areas of each faith can be covered. The enquiry cycle allows teachers to break down each unit into 6/7 structured lessons. This approach enables children to build their 'religious literacy', something which is very important to us at Wadhurst. This religious literacy then helps them understand the nature of religion and belief in the world in which they live.

RE Lesson Sequence

The materials we use incorporate activities that explore response(s) to the religious texts, as well as the pupils’ own responses, whether they are Christian, atheist, agnostic, or from a faith tradition other than Christianity.

Religious education (RE) should make a major contribution to the education of children and young people. At its best, it is intellectually challenging and personally enriching. It helps young people develop beliefs and values, and promotes the virtues of respect and empathy, which are important in our diverse society. It fosters civilised debate and reasoned argument, and helps pupils to understand the place of religion and belief in the modern world.” Ofsted

As a school through our RE curriculum we provide the children with opportunities to encounter a wide range of cultures and beliefs:
EYFS - Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism
KS1 - Christianity, Islam and Judaism
LSK2 - Christianity, Islam and Hinduism
UKS2 - Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Humanism
Opportunities to further deepen and diversify their knowledge and understanding of world religions and cultures are also built across the curriculum e.g. History, Art and Geography

Our Principles For Great Teaching In RE

RE Principles of great teaching

If our children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the reflection on what they know and remember in regards to our mapped knowledge goals for each year group, tracking knowledge in pre- and post-learning challenges and through ongoing formative assessment opportunities in and across lessons. The impact of our RE curriculum is that our pupils are equipped with the knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the next stage of their curriculum and for life as an adult in the world outside the classroom.

We expect that when children leave Wadhurst children will be able to:
  • Identify and make sense of core religious and non-religious beliefs and concepts.
  • Understand what beliefs mean to religious groups and within their traditions.
  • Recognise how and why sources of authority (such as texts) are used, expressed and interpreted in different ways, and use skills of interpretation.
  • Evaluate, reflect on and connect beliefs and practices.
  • Challenge ideas and be open to being challenged.
  • Make possible connections between ideas and their own lives and ways of understanding the world (their personal worldviews).
  • Exam how and why people put their beliefs into action in diverse ways, within their everyday lives, within their communities and in the wider world.
We will be able to evidence that children have achieved this through.......
  • Recorded  learning 
  • Discussion tasks
  • Carefully designed lessons that provide opportunities for adults to continually assess for understanding both in RE and across the curriculum
  • Questioning and feedback to support small steps in learning
  • Beginning and end of unit assessment tasks e.g. Quizes, hexagon tasks, enquiry questions 

Beyond Wadhurst
We believe that when children leave Wadhurst CE Primary they will be philosophers, theologists and social scientists. They will be curious to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that they 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. They will therefore be equipped to continue their learning journey at Secondary School and beyond to become confident and respectful citizens in the wider world.

Unit Overview
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