RE is an acronym for Religious Education.

For more information, please contact Mrs Ord (RE Leader), Mrs Corr (Humanities Leader), Mr McAvoy (Deputy Headteacher) and/or your child's/children's teacher(s).


Clavering Primary School appreciates that RE is not designed to proselytize children, but rather engage children about questions related to religion and, therefore, is an extremely important curriculum area for a wide range of reasons, including the following:

  • RE is an academically rigorous subject which makes a distinctive contribution to pupils’ overall knowledge.
  • RE contributes dynamically to pupils’ 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 religious and non-religious worldviews in order to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
  • In RE, pupils learn to interpret, analyse, evaluate and critically respond to the claims that religious and non-religious worldviews make.
  • In RE, pupils learn to express their insights and to agree or disagree respectfully.
  • RE offers opportunities for personal reflection and pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development as it encourages pupils to examine the significance of their learning in relation to themselves and others.
  • RE enables pupils to explore their own beliefs (whether they are religious or not), ideas, feelings, experiences and values in the light of what they learn.
  • RE encourages empathy and respect.
  • RE enables pupils to develop their own sense of identity and belonging.
  • RE promotes respect for the right of others to hold different beliefs, values and ideas.
  • RE should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society with its diverse religious and non-religious worldviews.
  • RE enables pupils to have a nuanced and informed understanding of political, social and moral issues that they will need to face as they grow up in an increasingly globalised world.
  • RE helps pupils deal positively with controversial issues, to manage strongly held differences of belief and to challenge stereotypes and prejudice.
  • RE is central to good local, national and global citizenship, making a significant contribution to the active promotion of mutual respect and tolerance of others’ faiths and beliefs (a fundamental British value).
  • RE prepares pupils for life in modern Britain.

Aims of the Clavering Curriculum for RE

The Clavering Curriculum for RE (in line with the Hartlepool Agreed Syllabus) aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop deepening knowledge and understanding about a range of religious and non-religious worldviews so that they can:
    • describe and explain beliefs and theological concepts;
    • describe and explain some sources of authority and teachings within and across religious and non-religious traditions;
    • describe and explain ways in which beliefs are expressed;
    • know and understand the significance and impact of beliefs and practices on individuals, communities and societies;
    • connect these together into a coherent framework of beliefs and practices.
  • Gain and deploy deepening knowledge and understanding of specialist vocabulary and terms.
  • Develop deepening knowledge and understanding about religious diversity within the region, as well as nationally and globally.
  • Develop deepening knowledge and understanding about how religion can be defined and what is meant by the term ‘religious and non-religious worldviews’ and with increasing clarity know that these worldviews are complex, diverse and plural.
  • Gain and deploy skills that enable critical thinking and enquiry in relation to the material they study.
  • Have opportunities for personal reflection about their own thoughts, feelings, experiences, ideas, values and beliefs with increasing discernment.

Learning Foci for RE

The Hartlepool Agreed Syllabus for RE sets out the ‘Fundamentals of RE’:

Three Elements:

1. Knowledge and Understanding of RE; 2. Critical Thinking; 3. Personal Reflection

Four Concepts:

1. Belief; 2. Authority; 3. Expressions of Belief; 4. Impact of Belief 

Five types of Enquiry Questions:                 

1. Theological Questions (questions about religious beliefs)

2. Phenomenological Questions (questions about how religion is practised)

3. Philosophical Questions (ultimate questions that affect all of humanity)

4. Ethical Questions (questions about people’s values and actions)

5. Sociological Questions (questions about the impact of religion in society)

The Three Elements of RE

Pupils will build religious literacy by:

  • developing knowledge and understanding of religious and non-religious worldviews;
  • becoming increasingly able to respond to religious and non-religious worldviews in an informed and insightful way;
  • reflecting on their own ideas and the ideas of others.

In the Clavering Programme of Study for RE (in line with the Hartlepool Agreed Syllabus), these are called the three elements of RE and cover the aims of RE:

  • Knowledge and understanding of religion;
  • Critical thinking;
  • Personal reflection.

These elements are interlinked and enable pupils to make good progress in RE.

Knowledge and understanding of religion

Pupils will develop knowledge and understanding of what is meant by religion and the term ‘religious and non-religious world views’ and the impact these have for individuals and communities. It involves investigation of and enquiry into the nature of religion and differing belief systems. Pupils will develop their knowledge and understanding of individual religions and some non-religious worldviews. They will apply this to considering ways in which these are similar to and different from each other. Older students will be able to connect significant features of religion together in a coherent pattern. All pupils will enquire into ultimate questions and ethical issues through their study of religious and non-religious worldviews.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking (impersonal evaluation) requires pupils to use reason to analyse and evaluate the claims that religious and non-religious worldviews make. Through learning in this way pupils have the opportunity to give opinions, support their ideas with reason, consider alternative arguments, weigh up evidence and listen to and respond to the views of others, so developing the ability to articulate their own views and form their own opinions.

Critical thinking requires pupils to be open minded and to value the varied reasons and ideas people use when exploring an issue and giving their views. These views can be based on a variety of resources and can include personal experience and intuition.

Critical thinking in RE is accessible to pupils of all ages and can be formally assessed. Pupils can demonstrate progress through the quality of their ability to analyse various viewpoints, explain or justify their opinion and evaluate the opinions of others. It is not the opinion itself which is assessable (e.g. some pupils may state opinions which affirm or deny religious faith; both are acceptable in the RE classroom) but the process of developing and justifying opinions.

Personal reflection

Personal reflection (personal evaluation) develops pupils’ ability to reflect on religious and non-religious worldviews in relation to their own beliefs, values and experiences and the influence of these on their daily life, attitudes and actions.

Personal evaluation is introspective, subjective and private. Pupils can make personal progress through reflection, empathy, developing respect and appreciation of others but this should not be assessed by teachers. Pupils could partake in some private self assessment if they wished, but this would not be included in reporting their progress in RE. Personal reflection in RE makes a significant contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.


Knowledge and understanding of religion and Critical thinking are assessable for all pupils. Personal reflection is not formally assessed.

The Four Concepts in RE

  • The following four concepts are one way in which a religion can be defined.
  • Non-religious worldviews could also be classified in this way.
  • Each concept conveys a fundamental idea for understanding what religion is and how religion works.
  • As well as each concept being distinctive, each relates to the other concepts.
  • Each concept is capable of exploration at different levels and depth depending on the age and ability of pupils.
  • Pupils can learn about each concept separately but can also analyse how they link and connect to develop a coherent understanding of how religious and non-religions worldviews can be defined.


  • What people believe, e.g. about God, meaning of life, the natural world, life after death.
  • Questions of meaning, purpose and truth, e.g. in relation to God, human life, reality.
  • Key beliefs of particular religions, e.g. love, forgiveness, equality, justice, salvation. 


  • How people from different traditions know what to believe and how to act.
  • Different sources of authority, e.g. holy books, founders, leaders, teachings, tradition, spiritual encounters and experiences.
  • How sources of authority may be understood differently by groups within a religion or belief system.

Expressions of belief

  • How people express beliefs, feelings, identity, belonging and commitment through worship, ceremonies, rituals and symbols.
  • Private and public expressions of belief including worship in religious buildings (or other places where people meet to share and express beliefs).
  • Differing forms of expression, e.g. creeds, prayer, ritual, ceremony, use of music, objects, art, drama, story, poetry.
  • What beliefs and feelings such as love, devotion, awe, gratitude, salvation can be expressed.

Impact of belief

  • How beliefs and worship affect what people feel and think and how they act and behave.
  • How rituals, ceremonies and symbols (e.g. religious dress) can make a difference to individuals and communities.
  • How values, attitudes and actions are affected by beliefs.
  • Differing views on the impact of faith within and across religious and non-religious traditions.
  • Controversial issues affecting individuals, local and global communities e.g. diversity, living together, media portrayal of religion, religious extremism, religious dress, religious prejudice.

Topics studied in each year group

Year 1:

Term 1:

Christianity: What is harvest and why is it celebrated by Christians?

Christianity: What can we learn about Christianity from visiting a church?

Christianity: Christmas: Why are gifts given at Christmas?

Term 2:

Christianity: What do Christians believe about God?

Christianity: Why is Jesus special to Christians?

Christianity: Easter: What is the Easter story?

Term 3:

Hinduism: What do Hindus believe about God?

Hinduism: How do Hindus worship?

Hinduism: How do Hindus show belonging?

Year 2:

Term 1:

Christianity: Why is the Bible special to Christians?

Hinduism: What can we learn from the Hindu stories of Divali and Raksha Bandhan?

Christianity: Christmas: How and why is light important at Christmas?

Term 2:

Christianity: What can we learn from the story of St Hilda?

Christianity: What does it mean to belong to Christianity and what is the impact of this belief?

Christianity: Easter: How do Christians celebrate Easter?

Term 3:

Diversity unit: Religious diversity in Hartlepool: How are the concepts of belief, authority, expressions of belief and impact of belief similar and different in Christianity and Islam?

Year 3:

Term 1:

Christianity: What can we learn about Christian worship and belief by visiting churches?

Christianity: Christmas: How and why is Advent important to Christians?

Term 2:

Sikhism: What do Sikhs believe?

Sikhism: Why are the Gurus important to Sikhs?

Christianity: Easter: What do Christians remember on Palm Sunday?

Term 3:

Sikhism: How do Sikhs express their beliefs and values and show their faith through actions?

Year 4:

Term 1:

Christianity: What do Christians believe about Jesus?

Christianity: Christmas: Why do Christians call Jesus the light of the world?

Term 2:

Christianity: What is the impact of local Christian places of significance and what can we learn from the lives of the northern saints?

Christianity: Easter: Why is Lent such an important period for Christians?

Term 3:

Christianity: What do we know about the Bible and why is it important to Christians?

Thematic unit: How do people’s beliefs impact how they care for the environment?

Year 5:

Term 1:

Christianity: What do Christians believe about God?

Christianity: Christmas: What are the themes of Christmas?

Term 2:

Islam: What do Muslims believe?

Islam: Why is Muhammad and the Qur’an important to Muslims?

Christianity: Easter: Why is the Last Supper so important to Christians?

Term 3:

Islam: How do Muslims express their beliefs and values and show their faith through actions?

Diversity unit: Religious diversity in Hartlepool: How are the concepts of belief, authority, expressions of belief and impact of belief similar and different in Christianity and Islam?

Year 6:

Term 1:

Thematic unit: How and why do people pray?

Thematic unit: Why do people travel to sacred places?

Christianity: Christmas: What do the gospels tell us about the birth of Jesus?

Term 2:

Thematic unit: How do people’s beliefs impact their moral codes?

Christianity: Easter: Why are Good Friday and Easter Sunday the most important days for Christians?

Term 3:

Christianity: So, what do we now know about Christianity?