Religious Education enables pupils/students to develop deepening knowledge and understanding about a range of religious and non-religious world views 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 understanding of specialist vocabulary and terms.

  • Know and understand about religious diversity within the region, as well as nationally and globally.

  • Know and understand 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.

Reflect on their own thoughts, feelings, experiences, ideas, values and beliefs with increasing discernment.


The purpose of study:


Religious Education contributes dynamically to pupils/students’ 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/students learn about religious and non-religious world views in order to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions. They learn to interpret, analyse, evaluate and critically respond to the claims that religious and non-religious world views make.


Pupils/students learn to express their insights and to agree or disagree respectfully. Teaching therefore should equip pupils/students with knowledge and understanding of what is meant by the terms ‘religion’ and ‘world view’ as well as systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religious and non-religious worldviews. Teaching should enable pupils/students to appreciate that world views are complex, diverse and plural and have influence on individuals, communities, societies and cultures.


Religious Education offers opportunities for personal reflection and pupils/students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development as it encourages pupils/students to examine the significance of their learning in relation to themselves and others. It enables pupils/students to explore their own beliefs (whether they are religious or not), ideas, feelings, experiences and values in the light of what they learn. Religious Education encourages empathy and respect. It enables pupils/students to develop their own sense of identity and belonging. It also promotes respect for the right of others to hold different beliefs, values and ideas.


The Legal Requirement for RE


‘In the UK, parents still have the right to withdraw their children from RE on the grounds that they wish to provide their own RE. This provision will be the parents’ responsibility.  This right of withdrawal exists for all pupils/students in all types of school, including schools with and without a religious designation’. NATRE Guidance with dealing withdrawal from RE p3, 2020


If you wish to do this, make an appointment with the Head Teacher / RE subject leader.


Our school’s Religious Education curriculum is based on the agreed syllabus for Religious Education in Durham with a commitment to deepening study of 2 religions each year with a focus given to promoting tolerance and understanding.


The fundamentals of RE are based around 3 elements: Knowledge and understanding of religion, personal reflection and critical thinking.  Four concepts: belief, authority, expression of belief and impact of belief. Five types of enquiry questions: philosophical, theological, ethical, sociological and phenomenological.


Teaching and learning styles:

We base our teaching and learning style in RE on the key principle that good teaching allows our pupil’s both to learn about religious traditional and to reflect on what the religious ideas and concepts mean to them. Pupils/students are encouraged to think about their own views and values in relation to the themes and topics covered in the Religious Education curriculum.


Pupils/students carry out research into religious themes and topics and we use their experiences at religious festivals such as Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Passover, and to develop their thinking and understanding. We organise school visits to local places of worship and invite representatives of religious groups to come into school and work alongside the pupils/students. We involve our pupils/students in the planning and delivery of whole school assemblies and invite parents or carers to come and join in with our celebrations.


At Villa Real School we recognise that all classes have pupils/students of widely different abilities, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities and resources to match the challenge of the task to the ability of the individual student. We achieve this in a variety of ways, for example by: 

  • Providing resources of different complexity, adapted to the ability of the individual student. 

  • Using support staff to work closely alongside individual Pupils/students or small groups.

Using picture symbols, Makaton signing, PECs book, sensory stories, objects of reference and ICT.


Villa Real School use the RE National Curriculum and Durham Local Authority’s Agreed Syllabus as a benchmark for our lessons, expanding this to meet the needs of our pupils/students.   Teachers use their professional judgement when planning RE, so that provision allows for continuity and progression and is accessible, meaningful, and meets the varying needs and abilities of all pupils/students irrespective of age.


We ensure that the topics or themes studied build upon prior learning and prepare pupils/students for the next step in their learning. The RE Co-ordinator will provide each key stage Teacher with a 3 year Long Term Plan that maps out the topics to be studied in each term.  Teachers will use ‘Cornerstones’ for curriculum content and lesson plans for each unit of work for each term.  Teachers will differentiate the breadth of study to suit the individual needs of our pupils/students. As we have mixed key stage classes, at the end of each topic the objectives are highlighted to ensure year groups do not repeat topics.    


In the Foundation Stage Religious Education objectives are set out in the Early Years Outcomes of developing a pupils/students’ knowledge and understanding of the world and to develop personal qualities.  Work is recorded, monitored and assessed in Early Years Journals and Earwig.


In key stage 1 and 2 pupils/students will build on their prior learning and deepen their factual knowledge of religious beliefs. Pupils/students’ progress is recorded on ‘Earwig’ and individual work books. 


In Key Stage 3 pupils/students will build an increasingly sophisticated knowledge and depth of understanding of religion and beliefs.  Pupils/students’ progress is recorded on ‘Earwig’ and individual books.  Assessments are for B-Squared, which is updated and reviewed twice yearly.


In Key Stage 4 and 5 some pupils/students are taught Religious Education through accredited qualifications.  ASDAN Towards Independence or ASDAN Short Courses in Beliefs and Values.  ASDAN provides a framework of activities through which personal, social and independence skills can be developed and accredited.  Towards Independence offers formal recognition for small steps of achievement towards a larger goal. Modules can be used separately and accumulated to build a record of personal achievement. ASDAN Sensory qualifications are offered to pupils/students studying an informal curriculum.


The Religious Education Co-ordinator is responsible for monitoring the standards of pupils/students’ learning and the quality of the curriculum. This is achieved through monitoring teachers medium term plans, learning visits, work scrutiny, Earwig and observations of whole school events and festivals.   Every year the Religious Education overview, policy and accreditation is reviewed and all school staff updated.


In Villa Real School we have boxes of artefacts, sensory stories, books, and DVD’s about Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity all teachers have access to ‘Cornerstone on line’ which includes lesson plans, power points and stories.  We also have a copy of the updated Durham Agreed Syllabus 2020..


Assessment at Villa Real School is continuous and of the whole REAL curriculum. Assessment is during and after learning and to ensure and assure progress for all. Assessment starts at each child’s unique starting point. Our assessment schedule focuses on moving our pupils/students/students onto the next stage of their learning and moving between key stages and pathways; and for life beyond school. Assessment is based on EHCP REAL objectives.


Standardised Assessment of all pupils/students/students learning is recorded and monitored using B squared; both Progression and Engagement Steps.  


Summative assessments of pupils/students’/students’ levels are carried out on a six monthly basis in order to track attainment and progress at an individual, group, class, year group, Key Stage and whole School level.  This information is also used to identify pupils/students/students who need additional support.  

Entry Level exams are assessed by AQA.