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RE at Thaxted Primary school will be provided in line with the legal requirements. These are that:

  • RE teaching reflects the fact that religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking into account the teachings and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.
  • The RE provided is in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus for Essex (Explore)
  • An agreed syllabus or school curriculum is not designed to convert pupils or to urge a particular religion or religious belief on pupils.  

Parents can choose to withdraw their child(ren) wholly or partly from RE, and teachers have the right not to teach this subject.

Statement of Intent

Religious Education has a significant role for the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It promotes respect and open-mindedness towards others with different faiths and beliefs and encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging through self-awareness and reflection. The principle aim of RE is to engage pupils in an enquiry approach where they can develop an understanding and appreciation for the diversity of beliefs, cultural practices and influence of principle religions and worldviews in the local, national and wider global community.

Within the framework of the law and the Agreed Syllabus, our aims in RE are for pupils to:

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religions and in turn teach pupils to develop respect and open-mindedness for others, including people with different faiths and beliefs.
  • to encourage pupils to explore their own religious and moral beliefs (whether they are religious or non-religious).
  • Enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by provoking challenging questions and reflection upon the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs, the self and the issues of right and wrong.
  • It should encourage understanding, empathy, generosity and compassion in children towards other people who hold views and beliefs different from their own, and towards a society of diverse religions and beliefs
  • RE provides a key context to develop young people’s understanding and appreciation of diversity, to promote shared values and to challenge racism and discrimination.

The RE curriculum at Thaxted

The key aims for religious education are reflected in the two attainment targets from the Essex Agreed Syllabus

Attainment Target 1- Learning about region and belief - enquiry, knowledge and understanding

Attainment target 2- Learning from religion and belief – reflection, interpretation and evaluation


Learning in RE at the EYFS is about knowing who you are, where you belong and the things that are important in your life. It is also about recognising what things are important to others and developing respect for others, their culture and their religion.

A number of key learning experiences have been identified which should be regarded as entitlements for all pupils in the EYFS:

  • Activities based on first-hand experience.
  • Opportunities for play and learning that acknowledge children’s particular religious and non-religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds.
  • Activities that help children to become aware of, explore and question issues of difference in religion and culture.
  • Activities that promote emotional, moral, spiritual and social development alongside intellectual development.
  • Positive images in, for example, books and displays that challenge children’s thinking and help them to embrace differences in religion and culture.

Key Stage 1

Throughout Key Stage 1, learning focuses mainly on Christianity but aspects of other principal religions are also covered. The intention is to enable children to become aware that people in this country and across the world belong to many different religions.

During Key Stage 1, children learn:

  • about different beliefs about God and the world around them. They encounter and respond to a range of stories, artefacts and other religious materials.
  •  to recognise that beliefs are expressed in a variety of ways and begin to use specialist vocabulary.
  • to understand the importance and value of religion and belief, especially for other children and their families.
  • to ask relevant questions and develop a sense of wonder about the world, using their imaginations. They talk about what is important to them and others, valuing themselves, reflecting on their own feelings and experiences and developing a sense of belonging.

KS1 curriculum is broken down into 6 different units for Year 1 and Year 2.

• Special people • Special places • Special words and stories • Special things in nature

 • Special symbols and objects • Special ways of living

Please see KS1 Curriculum Plan

Key Stage 2

At Key Stage 2, pupils learn about and from Christianity, other principal religions and Humanism, recognising the impact of religion and belief on individuals and society locally, nationally and globally.

Throughout KS2 children:

  • make connections between different aspects of religion and consider various forms of religious expression, including the use of symbols.
  • They consider some of the beliefs, teachings, practices and ways of life that are central to religion. They learn about sacred texts and consider their meanings.
  • They begin to recognise diversity in religion, learning about similarities and differences both within and between religions and belief systems.
  • They extend the range and use of specialist vocabulary.
  • They recognise the challenges involved in distinguishing between ideas of right and wrong, and valuing what is good and true. They communicate their ideas, recognising other people’s viewpoints. They engage at a personal level with important life questions. They consider their own beliefs and values and those of others in the light of their learning in RE

At KS2 there are 6 different areas to study over a 2-year cycle.  In Years 3 and 4 the children learn about basic features of different religions (a systematic approach) before progressing to a more detailed examination of similarities and differences between different religions in Years 5 and 6 (a thematic approach).

Please see KS2 cycles