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Religious Education Curriculum Intent

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, 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.


As a school we focus on a wide range of cultures and beliefs:

EYFS - Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hindusim, Buddhism and Sikhism

KS1 - Christianity, Islam and Judaism

LSK2 - Christianity, Islam and Hinduism

UKS2 - Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Humanism

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. We use two schemes to support our planning and teaching of RE; Understanding Christiniaty and the Emmanuel Project. Both of which you can find more information below.

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

Unit Overview

Understanding Christianity


The Aim

  • To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living world faith, by exploring core theological concepts
  • To enable pupils to develop knowledge and skills in making sense of biblical texts and understanding their impact in the lives of Christians
  • To develop pupils’ abilities to connect, critically reflect upon, evaluate and apply their learning to their own growing understanding of religion and belief (particularly Christianity), of themselves, the world and human experience.

The Approach

The approach developed for 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 teaching and learning approach enables pupils to engage with a variety of Bible texts in order to explore how Christians understand the core concepts. It explores ways in which Christians might live in the light of these texts, within the Christian community and in their individual lives. It allows pupils to reflect on some of the questions and puzzles that arise from the Bible, and to consider any implications or connections with their own lives and ways of understanding the world.

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

The approach and resources offer a wealth of ideas and materials for a serious engagement with Christianity in RE, in a coherent and systematic way.

The Emmanuel Project


The Emmanuel Project complements Understanding Christianity, providing units on other world faiths and Humanism. We follow the 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 which follow this pattern:

Engage –  Engaging with the key concept in their own lives

Enquire – Enquire into the religion and how it relates to the key concept

Explore – Explore the faith through these three elements; Text, Community Practice and Living

Evaluate – Evaluate their learning on the key concept

Express – Express their understanding of the key concept

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.

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