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Bishop Wilson C. of E. Primary School

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
1 Peter 4:10




Religious Education is unique in the school curriculum in that it is neither a core subject nor a foundation subject but the 1988 Education Act states that ‘Religious Education has equal standing in relation to core subjects of the National Curriculum in that it is compulsory for all registered pupils’.

Religious Education is taught in our school because it makes:

“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”. (RE: realising the potential, Ofsted 2013).

This fits with our school vision that is guided by “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10). As a Church of England school, our values are rooted in Christian theology, as we provide our children with the skills and attributes to become valuable and respectful members of our society.

Bishop Wilson Church of England Primary School is a Church of England Voluntary Aided School. We deliver RE in line with the Discovery RE programme.

By following Discovery RE at Bishop Wilson Church of England Primary School, we intend that Religious Education will:

· adopt an enquiry- based approach as recommended by Ofsted, beginning with the children’s own life experience before moving into learning about and from religion.

· provoke challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs, the self, and issues of right and wrong, commitment and belonging. It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, and religious traditions that examine these questions, fostering personal reflection and spiritual development.

· encourage pupils to explore their own beliefs (religious or non-religious), in the light of what they learn, as they examine issues of religious belief and faith and how these impact on personal, institutional and social ethics; and to express their responses.

· enable pupils to build their sense of identity and belonging, which helps them flourish within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society.

· teach pupils to develop respect for others, including people with different faiths and beliefs, and helps to challenge prejudice.

· prompt pupils to consider their responsibilities to themselves and to others, and to explore how they might contribute to their communities and to wider society. It encourages empathy, generosity and compassion.

· develop a sense of awe, wonder and mystery.

· nurture children’s own spiritual development

· Ensure that our Religious Education helps to develop religiously literate pupils as per the 2018 SIAMS inspection framework.





Discovery RE covers all areas of RE for the primary phase, Christianity is taught in every year group in three half-termly blocks, alongside three other religions in the remaining half terms (this is amendment that Bishop Wilson has made to the Discovery RE suggested curriculum to ensure diverse and balanced teaching of other religions).


Discovery RE is an enquiry-based scheme of work, covering the 6 principal world faiths in a progressive way. In the early years, the learning is closely matched to Development Matters to contribute meaningfully to your child’s holistic development. Throughout all the enquiries, the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural education is carefully considered.

Each enquiry lasts for half a term and begins with a “big” question such as “What is the best way for a Christian/Jew/Muslim etc. to show commitment to God?” The children then start discussing the theme of the enquiry (in this case, commitment) from their own experience. What have they shown commitment to? Brownies? Cubs? Their sporting team? Playing an instrument?

Only when the children fully understand the concept they are considering, do they then move on to investigating what the people following the studied religion believe about it. They will spend approximately 3 lessons on this, learning in a variety of ways, so they can adapt their responses and come to a measured conclusion. In week 5 they will complete an activity which can assess their learning, by answering their “big” question. The assessment activities are child friendly and can be answered in a variety of ways, as long as the child can justify their view with the knowledge they have gained throughout the enquiry. This demonstrates the level of critical thinking that the children can apply – a valuable skill for them throughout the school curriculum.

The final week in every enquiry gives the children time to reflect on what they have learnt about the concept and apply to it their own lives, thus allowing them to form their own beliefs and identity. For example, learning that Sikhs share their food with all who attend has taught me … about sharing that I would like to take forward with me. These lessons are often very creative and children have opportunities to make items to express themselves in ways other than just writing.




Teachers are eager to ensure children are making progress with their learning throughout their RE. Therefore, each enquiry has built-in assessment. This task is the formal opportunity for teacher assessment of the children’s knowledge of that religion, depth of critical thinking, and ability to answer the enquiry question. This stand-alone evidence is used in conjunction with other evidence such as records of discussions and annotations from other lessons within the enquiry to assist the teacher in assessing whether a child is working at the expected level or towards or beyond it. Children are assessed over three aspects of learning:

· a personal resonance with or reflection on the material/religion being studied to answer the enquiry question.

· knowledge and understanding of the material/religion being studied to answer the enquiry question.

· evaluation/critical thinking in relation to the enquiry question

These are tracked throughout the planning stage so that teachers can utilise the appropriate evidence accordingly. In line with non-statutory guidance issued by the RE Council in 2013 (cited on

page 1) descriptors of these aspects utilise age–related expectations of working towards, working at the expected attainment and working beyond.

In addition, Bishop Wilson has designed an end of unit check. This provides an opportunity for children to reflect on what they have learned and what they ‘wonder’ based on the enquiry. We aim to encourage children to think about how they will use their new knowledge and gifts to serve their wider community, putting our school ethos into practice. Class teachers then use these end of unit checks to assess half termly against the given progress statements. These statements are digitally recorded on our online progress tracker.

Religious Education Overview

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