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Connect Education Trust

Religious Education



RE makes a valuable contribution to pupils’ personal development, school and British values, understanding of the wider world and preparing pupils for life in modern Britain. 

Our inquiry-based model develops children’s critical thinking skills, their motivation to learn and their knowledge and understanding of and empathy with people and their beliefs, religious or otherwise. 

Our approach takes seriously that children are free to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief. RE does not try to persuade but rather to inform and develop the skills with which evaluation can take place. 

Through our approach we aim for pupils to develop: 

● an outstanding level of religious understanding and knowledge. 

● a thorough engagement with a range of ultimate questions about the meaning and significance of existence. 

● the ability to ask significant and highly reflective questions about religion.

● an excellent understanding of issues related to the nature, truth and value of religion. 

● a strong understanding of how the beliefs, values, practices and ways of life within any religion cohere together. 

● exceptional independence; the ability to think for themselves and take the initiative in, for example, asking questions, carrying out investigations, evaluating ideas and working constructively with others. 

● significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity, which are shown in their responses to their learning in RE. 

● the ability to link the study of religion and belief to personal reflections on meaning and purpose. 

● a wide knowledge and deep understanding across a wide range of religions and beliefs.



We use Enfield's agreed syllabus for Religious Education to support the planning and delivery of an engaging, enquiry approach to exploring the world’s principal religions. The syllabus explains the value and purposes of RE for all pupils and specifies for teachers what shall be taught in each age group. It provides a coherent framework for setting high standards of learning in RE and enabling pupils to reach their potential in the subject. This agreed syllabus requires that all pupils study Christianity in each key stage. In addition, pupils will study the principal religions represented in the UK, in line with the law. These are Islam, Hindu Dharma, Sikhi, Buddhism and Judaism. Furthermore, children from families where non-religious worldviews are held are represented in almost all our classrooms. Non-religious worldviews, including ‘organised’ examples such as Humanism, will also be the focus for study.

● Every unit (enquiry) is based around a key question. The key question for the enquiry is such that it demands an answer that weighs up ‘evidence’ (subject knowledge) and reaches a conclusion based on this. This necessitates children using their subject knowledge and applying it to the enquiry question, rather than this knowledge being an end in itself. Discovery RE focuses on critical thinking skills, on personal reflection into the child’s own thoughts and feelings, on growing subject knowledge and nurturing spiritual development. 

● The children start from their own experience to ensure understanding of the concept being studied then move into investigating that concept in depth from the point of view of the chosen religion. 

● This continues over several lessons of investigation and discussion, which embeds subject knowledge. These lessons not only support the children with embedding their RE knowledge, but also contribute to their oracy and critical thinking skills. Exposure to and analysis of religious texts can also enhance their reading, comprehension and inference skills. 



● The curriculum is the progression model. If pupils are able to demonstrate they are able to know and remember more against our curriculum expectations they are making good progress and attaining expected standards. 

● During and/after lessons, pupils are assessed through informal assessment techniques: questioning, conferencing, reviewing written work against learning objective/success criteria, short retrieval activities, flashbacks. 

● Pupils are given opportunities to explore and understand both the knowledge being  shared as well as the different ways of knowing. The teaching and learning activities, and the assessment of these activities will demonstrate pupils’ engagement with:
• substantive knowledge, that is the factual and conceptual content of the curriculum
• disciplinary knowledge or ways of knowing, that is the methods, procedures and tools that are part and parcel of RE
• personal knowledge, that is pupils’ own world views and how they shape their encounters with the content of RE.
This syllabus is designed to give pupils such opportunities. For instance, in Unit 1.6, How and why do we celebrate special and sacred times? Primary pupils are encouraged to consider Christmas and other religious festivals from different perspectives. In this unit, pupils develop substantive knowledge around major festivals in Christianity and another religion: its origins, what believers celebrate and how it developed. Then pupils are encouraged to develop skills of analysis and evaluation, acquiring disciplinary
knowledge by considering festivals from different perspectives.