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St Elisabeth's CE Primary School

St Elisabeth's CE Primary School

Religious Education

 Intent: RE

  The purpose of RE

  • Religious education contributes dynamically to children’s and young people’s education in schools by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. 
  • In RE pupils learn about and from religions and world views in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions. 
  • Pupils learn to evaluate wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response, and to agree or disagree respectfully. 
  • Teaching therefore should equip pupils with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and world views, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities. 
  • It should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue, so that they can participate positively in society, with its diverse religions and world views. 
  • Pupils should gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence. 
  • Pupils should be given opportunities to reflect upon their own personal responses to the fundamental human questions to which religious and non-religious world views respond. 
  • Pupils should learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.

This broad purpose of RE is captured in the principal aim, which is intended to be a shorthand version for day-to-day use. Teachers should use it for short-term and long-term planning, to remind them of the purposes articulated above. 

Principal aim

The principal aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own. 

For example: ‘RE explores big questions about life, in order to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can make sense of religion and worldviews, and reflect on their own ideas and ways of living.’    

Ofsted 2019

The 2019 Ofsted Framework shows the importance of the ‘intent’ of the curriculum. This refers to ‘the extent to which the school’s curriculum sets out the knowledge and skills that pupils will gain at each key stage’ (paragraph 168). This purpose and principal aim of RE helps to set out the intent of your RE curriculum, alongside the knowledge and skills your pupils will gain at each key stage in RE, which are set out in section C in this syllabus.            

The aim(s) of RE

The threefold aim of RE elaborates the principal aim.  

The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils: 

  1. Know about and understand a range of religious and non-religious worldviews, so that they can:  
    • describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals 
    • identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered, by some of the sources of wisdom found in religious and non-religious worldviews 
    • appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning. 


  1. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religious and non-religious worldviews, so that they can:  
    • explain, using reasoned arguments, their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities 
    • express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues 
    • appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.


  1. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religious and non-religious worldviews, so that they can:  
    • investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively 
    • enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all 
    • articulate clearly beliefs, values and commitments in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.  




 The phrase ‘religious and non-religious worldviews’ is used in this document to include what are sometimes called ‘organised’ religions (e.g. Buddhism, Christianity, Hindu Dharma, Islam, Judaism, Sikh) and ‘organised’ non-religious worldviews (e.g.

Humanism). It also incorporates the implication that people have personal worldviews, which may reflect any organised tradition to which they belong, but also contain individual and personal elements. See p. 19 for more on worldviews.  

The sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews will include the key texts, the teachings of key leaders, and key thinkers from different traditions and communities. Examples include the Bible, the Torah and the Bhagavad Gita; the Buddha, Jesus Christ, the Prophet Muhammad, Guru Nanak and humanist philosophers. Other sources of wisdom might come from texts, thinkers, leaders and scientists in the contemporary world as well as from experience and informed personal reflection and conscience.

 The RE Programme of Study usually refers to ‘religious and non-religious world views' to describe the field of enquiry. Here, however, the aim is to consider religion itself as a phenomenon which has both positive and negative features, and is open to many interpretations: in this aspect of the aims, pupils are to engage with the concept of religion and non-religion, not merely with individual examples, and similar critiques should apply to both.

Religious Education (RE) is an integral part of the children’s education at St Elisabeth’s CE.  In our teaching of RE , we are always striving for excellence, reflecting the school’s distinctive Christian character.  St Elisabeth's CE Primary School is a Voluntary Controlled Church School and as such the management of Religious Education is a distinctive role of the Governors and Head Teacher.   The teaching of Religious Education at St Elisabeth's maintains a balanced approach between Learning about Religion (Attainment Target 1) and Learning from Religion (Attainment Target 2).   Our vision is to promote tolerance, understanding and respect for all religions. We embed Bible stories from EYFS to KS1, including personal reflections and thoughts and introduce our children to other major religions.  Moving into KS2, the curriculum focuses on many areas in Christianity and other major religions, such as values, historical studies and important social lessons. Each week, every class is taught Religious Education for about one hour and will include critical reflections as a class and individually. This will facilitate a personal journey of faith, values and morality for each child.  

In our daily worship time, Christian values and morals will explored and the children will be expected to uphold these values in their school life in the classroom and with their peers and the adults they work with.

Throughout the R.E. curriculum, other religions and beliefs are studied, which include Judaism and Hinduism. The children will compare and contrast these beliefs against the core Christian roots St Elisabeth’s CE upholds.

Parental Rights of Withdrawal 

The Worship and Religious Education provided by the school is in accordance with the Church of England.  This foundation is also reflected in the curriculum and the whole life of the school community.  Since the conduct of the school as a whole reflects the Church of England ethos, removal of pupils from Worship and/or Religious Education (as parents are legally entitled to do) cannot insulate them from the religious life of the school.

Collective Worship

At St Elisabeth's Church of England Primary School, the daily act of collective worship is viewed as an integral and important part of school life. Through this and in the general ethos of the school we seek to promote our mission statement, where all pupils belong, believe and become.

It is a time where we come together to share our love of God based on promoting the Christian values which permeate the ethos of the school. As such, the contributions of staff, pupils, church clergy and other visitors are valued highly. We also actively seek to encourage the attitudes of awe, wonder and reflection. We have regular contributions to assembly. In accordance with Manchester Diocesan Guidelines, our school ensures that every child is entitled to an opportunity for daily worship.

Withdrawing Pupils from Collective Worship

The 1996 Education Act gives parents the legal right to withdraw their children from collective worship.  This is upheld under the 1998 Act. 

As an Anglican school we hold great value in the power of collective worship to formulate, enhance and celebrate the power and wonder of our Christianity Faith.  This said, if parents wish to withdraw their child from collective worship we request that the reasons be put in writing and submitted to the Headteacher.