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Our ambitious Religious Education curriculum is mapped from EYFS to Key Stage 5. This enables pupils/students to develop a 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 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.



Religious Education must be provided for all registered pupils/students in maintained schools, including those in from EYFS to Key Stage 5.  

Each Local Authority (LA) must have a SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) to advise the LA on matters connected with Religious Education. The SACRE may require a review of the Agreed Syllabus at any time.


The Education Act 1996 states that an Agreed Syllabus must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the teachings and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. It must be nondenominational and must not be designed to convert pupils/students or to urge a particular religion or religious belief on pupils. Teaching about denominations is not prohibited.


‘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 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, differentiated in a bespoke way to meet the needs of the individual pupils/students unique starting points.  . 


The fundamentals of Religious Education 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.


We base our teaching and learning style in Religious Education on the key principle that good teaching allows our pupils/students 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, values, ideas, beliefs, experiences and feelings 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 critical thinking and knowledge 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 pupil/student. We achieve this in a variety of ways, for example by: 

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


Teachers' planning ensures that pupils/students take part in activities which are meaningful and interesting for them and through which they address relevant and challenging learning outcomes. This enables all pupils/students to maximise their progress.  Teachers use their professional judgement when planning Religious Education, 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. Components are built upon to deepen knowledge and then knowledge is applied.

We ensure that the topics or themes studied build upon prior learning and prepare pupils/students for the next step in their learning. The Religious Education Co-ordinator will provide each Key Stage Teacher with a 4 year Long Term Plan that maps out the topics, key questions to be studied and explored in each half term.  Teachers will use Cornerstones or exemplar plans for Key Stage 1 and 2 for curriculum content and lesson plans.  Teachers will differentiate the breadth of study to suit the individual needs of our pupils/students.    


At Villa Real School, the EYFS pupils have a bespoke curriculum set out in their individualised file.  Objectives in each of the learning strands are set that builds upon their unique starting point, and follow the sequential developmental pathways set out in Development Matters (the non-statutory curriculum guidance for EYFS). In our Early Years classes at Villa Real School, we deliver the curriculum through a themed /topic approach so that learning is cross curricular and covers all areas of the EYFS Curriculum. (Please see EYFS Curriculum overview).  The statutory EYFS Framework (Sept 2021) Educational Programmes for Understanding the World, Literacy and Mathematics.


Literacy and Numeracy across the curriculum is embedded by use of key vocabulary, communication, writing across the curriculum, number across the curriculum, early reading and numeracy skills and daily reading of specific texts.


In Key Stage1, pupils will be introduced to some of the beliefs, features of a religion, and begin to use basic subject specific vocabulary. Pupils/students will have the opportunity to reflect on their own ideas and feelings in relation to their learning.

In Key Stage 2, pupils can build on their learning at Key Stage1 as they develop, extend and deepen their knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs and practices and range of specific subject vocabulary.


In Key Stage 3, pupils will build an increasingly sophisticated knowledge and depth of understanding of religion and beliefs.  Building on prior learning pupils/students can study religious and non-religious views using a wide range of subject specific vocabulary.   


In the 14-19 provision pupils are taught Religious Education through accredited qualifications.  For example, ASDAN Transition Challenge, ASDAN Transition Sensory Challenge, Key stage 4 & 5 overview in Religious Education and for the most able NOCN Level 1/2/3 Award in General Religious Education.  


The Religious Education curriculum at all Key Stages allows for continuity and progression as appropriate, and units of work/topics may appear more than once in order to allow for consolidation of learning.



Learning in the EYFS is recorded and assessed through formative assessments, daily observations captured alongside their individualised bespoke curriculum plan.  Progress in the EYFS is tracked on BSquared using the explicit EYFS section, which then feeds into the following Engagement Steps and Progression Steps accordingly, as they move into Year 1 onwards. From September 2021, those that are able, will take part in the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment taken in the first six weeks in which a pupil starts reception. In relation to RE pupil’s early communication, knowledge & understanding, language and literacy will be assessed.  

From September 2020 the Engagement Model is statutory for all pupils/students working below the Pre-Key Stage Standards. The Engagement Model has 5 areas of engagement, these are:

  1. exploration

  2. realisation

  3. anticipation

  4. persistence

  5. initiation


Each of the 5 areas are interrelated and are used when assessing pupils who are not engaged in subject-specific study. Villa Real School use the Engagement Steps and Progression Steps, via Bsquared assessment tool to track attainment and progress.  Religious Education for pupils/students working on Engagement Steps will be delivered through the use of sensory stories, sensory experiences, exploring key artefacts and visits or visitors to and from places of worship.  


Assessment at Villa Real School is continuous and of the whole REAL curriculum. Assessment is during and after learning to ensure and assure progress for all. Assessment starts at each pupils/students unique starting point. Our assessment schedule focuses on moving our pupils/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 and REAL objectives.


Summative assessments of pupils/students levels are carried out on a termly 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 who need additional support.


Every class uses ongoing assessment to identify pupils/students who fall behind. Swift interventions and support plans are put in place accordingly.


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 and Key stage 1 and 2 exemplar plans produced by the LA which includes lesson plans, power points and stories.  Teachers have access to a variety of contact details of places of worship covering all religions.  School has two paper copies of the revised Agreed Syllabus 2020 and access to this online.


The Religious Education Co-ordinator is responsible for monitoring the standards of pupils/students learning, the quality of the ambitious curriculum and resource.  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 updated.

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