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Religious Education

Our Religious Education (RE) curriculum is based on the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Richmond Upon Thames 2014. It is designed to

  • provoke challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human
  • develop knowledge, understanding and awareness of Christianity and other major world faiths, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism as well as ethical non theistic traditions, such as Humanism
  • offer opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development and contribute to a search for meaning and purpose in life
  • enhance awareness, understanding of and responses to religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religious and other beliefs on individuals, families, communities and cultures
  • encourage learning from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while reflecting on, considering, analysing, interpreting and evaluating issues of truth, faith and ethics and communicating responses
  • enable the development of a sense of identity and belonging and the ability to flourish within pluralistic societies, locally, nationally and internationally
  • offer preparation for adult life, employment and lifelong learning
  • foster respect for, and sensitivity to, individuals and communities of different faiths and beliefs
  • recognise the significance of interfaith dialogue and the important contribution religion can make to community cohesion by promoting discernment and combating religious prejudice and discrimination


Overall Aims

Our RE curriculum (overview PDF below) has eight separate dimensions:

Spiritual Dimension – Children will explore this through

  • discussing and reflecting on key questions of meaning and truth such as the origins of the universe, life after death, good and evil, beliefs about God and values such as justice, honesty and truth
  • learning about and reflecting on important concepts, experiences and beliefs that are at the heart of religions, other belief systems and various traditions and practices
  • considering how beliefs and concepts may be expressed through the creative and expressive arts and sciences, thereby contributing to personal and communal identity
  • exploring how religions and other world views perceive the value of human beings and their relationships with one another, with the natural world and where appropriate, with God
  • appreciating the value placed on relationships with others and developing a sense of belonging
  • developing their own views and ideas on religious and spiritual issues
  • recognising the importance of feelings and emotions and the way in which personal experiences can influence the actions and beliefs of individuals and communities
  • providing time and space for silence and reflection

Moral Dimension – Children will explore this through

  • encountering diversity and offering contexts in which to engage with issues of justice and truth
  • developing awareness of the influence of family, friends and various media on moral choices
  • growing in understanding of how society is influenced by beliefs, teachings, sacred texts and guidance from religious and secular leaders
  • considering what is of ultimate value to themselves and others, including members of faith communities, through studying the key beliefs and teachings of different religions and belief systems
  • studying a range of ethical issues, including those that focus on personal integrity
  • reflecting on the importance of rights and responsibilities and developing a sense of conscience

Social Dimension – Children will explore this through

  • considering how religious and other beliefs lead to particular actions
  •  investigating social issues from religious and other perspectives, recognising the diversity of viewpoints within and between religions and other belief systems as well as the similarities they share
  • articulating their own views and those of others on a range of contemporary social issues

Cultural Dimension  - Children will explore this through

  • highlighting the diversity within different religions and belief systems n encountering people, literature, the creative and expressive arts and resources from differing cultures
  • considering the relationships between religions and belief systems within different cultures and reflecting on how they contribute to cultural identity
  • promoting racial and interfaith harmony and respect for all, combating discrimination and prejudice and contributing positively to community spirit
  • raising awareness of how cooperation between different communities and cultures can serve the common good

Citizenship Dimension – Children will explore this through

  • developing pupils’ knowledge and understanding about the diversity of national, regional and ethnic identities, as well as religious and non-theistic world views both in their own locality and in the United Kingdom as a whole
  • fostering mutual respect and understanding
  • enabling pupils to think about contemporary spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues, including the importance of resolving conflict peacefully and fairly
  • exploring the rights, responsibilities and duties of citizens locally, nationally and globally
  • enabling pupils to justify and defend orally, and in writing, personal opinions about issues, problems and events

Personal, Social & Health Dimension – Children will explore this through

  • developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of their abilities
  • learning about what is fair and unfair, right and wrong and being encouraged to share their opinions
  • adopting a healthy, safer lifestyle by learning about religious and other beliefs and teachings on drug use and misuse, food and drink and leisure
  • learning about relationships and human sexuality, the purpose and value of religious and other beliefs and sensitivities in relation to sex education and enabling them to express their own views in relation to these
  • establishing and maintaining good relationships and respecting the differences between people
  • becoming aware of the diversity of different ethnic, religious and other groups and the destructive power of prejudice n challenging racism, discrimination, offensive behaviour and bullying of all kinds
  • being able to talk about relationships and feelings, considering issues of marriage and family life
  • encountering people whose beliefs, lifestyles and views are different from their own

Community Dimension Our RE curriculum includes opportunities for a study of the ways in which co-operation and mutual understanding and respect are promoted through dialogue between people of different faiths and beliefs, as well as an acknowledgement of the conflicts which can result when such dialogue does not exist. Children will develop their understanding of similarities and differences within and between religions and beliefs and will see religions not simply as separate, historical entities, but as living, changing faiths that have important and ongoing dialogue with one another.

Children will

  • share their views and experiences of different faiths and beliefs
  • meet and talk with visitors representing different faiths and beliefs
  • visit places of worship in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
  • explore the portrayal of religion in the local media
  • visit places of worship of national significance
  • interview representatives of a range of different faiths and beliefs from around the country and beyond, either in person or by other means
  • develop projects on the place of faiths and beliefs in the wider community
  • acquire an understanding of the variety of faiths and beliefs in the UK
  • consider and analyse the portrayal of religion and belief in national and international media
  • investigate the place of religious and other beliefs in different countries and how they influence cultures and lifestyles
  • reflect on the impact of religious and other beliefs on global life

Gender Dimension – Children should be encouraged to sensitively challenge sexist practices and ideas by

  • raising awareness of gender issues and promoting positive images of both men and women within religions and other belief systems
  • presenting religion and religious traditions in ways that include both traditional and non-traditional examples
  • exploring concepts and images that are both patriarchal and non-patriarchal
  • using inclusive language wherever possible


Key Stage 1

Children will explore Christianity and also Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism as well as non-religious belief systems such as Humanism. They will learn about different beliefs about God and the world around them. They will encounter and respond to a range of stories, artefacts and other religious materials. They will learn to recognise that beliefs are expressed in a variety of ways, and begin to use specialist vocabulary. They will begin to understand the importance and value of religion and belief, especially for other children and their families. Children will ask relevant questions and develop a sense of wonder about the world, using their imaginations. They will talk about what is important to them and to others, valuing themselves, reflecting on their own feelings and experiences and developing a sense of belonging.

When learning about religious beliefs, they will

  • talk about people and things that are special and important to them and to others
  • use religious and non-religious words and phrases to recognise and name features of religious and non-religious life and practice
  • recall religious and non-religious stories, identify religious and non-religious objects, artefacts and symbols which are important to different people
  • experience what it means to be religious and non-religious through art, drama, and music and evaluate and reflect upon those experiences

When learning from religious beliefs, they will

  • give reasons for their likes and dislikes and identify what has an influence on their lives and on the lives of others
  • begin to be able to express and explain another person’s point of view
  • apply to their own lives the moral ideas that they have had, heard about and discussed in class
  • share things they find interesting, or puzzling


Key Stage 2

Children will learn about Christianity and Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, as well as non-religious belief systems such as Humanism, recognising the impact of religion and belief locally, nationally and globally. They will make connections between differing aspects of religion and belief and consider the different ways in which these are expressed. They will consider the beliefs, teachings and practices and ways of life central to religion and other life stances. They will learn about sacred texts and other sources and consider their meanings. They will begin to recognise diversity in religion, learning about similarities and differences both within and between religions and beliefs and the importance of dialogue between them. They will extend the range and use of specialist vocabulary. They will recognise the challenges involved in distinguishing between ideas of right and wrong and valuing what is good and true. They will communicate their ideas, recognising other people’s viewpoints. They will consider their own beliefs and values and those of others in the light of their learning in Religious Education.

When learning about religious beliefs, they will

  • identify the key aspects of religious and non-religious beliefs, especially the people, stories and traditions that influence the beliefs and values of others
  • analyse the variety of practices and ways of life in religious and non-religious belief systems, and understand how these stem from and are closely connected with particular teachings
  • recognise and comment upon the similarities and differences within and between religions
  • investigate the significance of religion in local, national and global communities
  • consider the meaning of a range of religious and non-religious expressions of belief, understand why they are important and note links between them
  • describe and begin to respond to religious and non-religious responses to ultimate, moral and ethical questions
  • use specialist vocabulary in communicating their knowledge and understanding
  • locate and interpret information about religious and non-religious life stances from a range of sources

When learning from religious beliefs, they will

  • reflect on what it means to belong to a religious or non-religious community, communicating their own and other responses
  • respond to the challenges of commitment both in their own lives and within religious and non-religious traditions, recognising how commitment to a religion or other belief system is shown in a variety of ways;
  • discuss their own and others’ views of religious and non-religious truth and belief, expressing their own ideas
  • reflect on ideas of right and wrong and their own and others’ responses to them
  • reflect on sources of inspiration in their own and others’ lives