Religious Education


This document outlines the knowledge, language and concepts that should be taught in religious education. It includes:

  • A summary of the RE knowledge and principles that underpin our approach
  • Long Term Sequence (curriculum map) for RE



Our RE curriculum precisely follows the Doncaster Locally Agreed Syllabus to plan RE lessons throughout the school.  It is our intention that through studying Religious Education pupils at Sandringham will have the opportunity to engage in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address.  

Pupils will develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own. RE explores big questions about life, to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can make sense of religion, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living. Learning about religion and learning from religion are important for all pupils, as religious education helps pupils develop an understanding of themselves and others. RE promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of individuals and of groups and communities. The RE curriculum prepares the children and young people for active citizenship in a diverse and rapidly changing world, exploring some aspects of British Values in relation to religions and worldviews. Our aim is for young people to come to an informed and empathetic understanding of different groups which will help promote cohesion and integration. Parents have the right to choose whether or not to withdraw their child from RE. Where parents have requested that their child is withdrawn, we will respect their right and discuss the arrangements with parents or carers to explore how the child’s withdrawal can be best accommodated.

RE contributes to our vision of excellence in the following ways:

  • STRETCHING THE MIND:  By planning opportunities to consider other people’s points of view and opinions relating to faith.  Learning about other religions found in our school.  Celebrating the difference through knowledge and awareness of others’ differences and similarities. 
  • ENRICHING THE IMAGINATION: By looking at wisdom texts and stories from religious books to experience the awe and wonder behind the words.  What would it look like if faith were applied? What would be your dream for yourself, school, Intake, our world? 
  • STRENGTHENING THE BODY:  Looking at religious texts to see which lifestyles are recommended, e.g. the 10 commandments. Considering and discussing how poor choices alter our self-worth and mental health? 
  • NOURISHING THE SPIRIT: By offering the children the security and space to question and debate how they feel and what they experience of life. Children should be able to have time and support to think and debate these issues through. They should have opportunities to learn from good quality religious texts to broaden their thinking and to develop their spiritual questions and may be to help them find spiritual answers. 
  • ENCOURAGING THE WILL TO DO GOOD: Opportunities should be planned to cover and discuss the consequences of the good and bad choices that we make and that we see in the world at large. Using local and world events to discuss the pros and cons of our choices and their effects on our environment. How to use social media to support and encourage others. 
  • OPENING THE HEART TO OTHERS: Building relationships with peers. How can we resolve tensions?  How can we support each other?  How can we build a secure environment to enable the children to open up, to be able to tell the truth and to be concerned for each other?  



Lesson Structure

Lessons in the wider curriculum are typically split into six phases:

  • CONNECT This provides an opportunity to connect the lesson to prior learning from a previous module or lesson. Teachers return children’s attention to the previous lesson’s intended learning/the big idea for the learning module, including key vocabulary. Retrieval practice allows all pupils to take time to remember things and activate their memories. Quizzing allows questions to be asked and allows pupils to carry out retrieval practice. Cumulative quizzing, allows for a few questions to be asked each lesson, which are built upon the previous lesson.
  • EXPLAIN This is the explicit teaching that needs to take place. Teachers should ensure they are clear what they want children to know and remember. They plan for and explicitly address common misconceptions so they can address these in lessons as they arise. They should be clear about the substantive knowledge and the vocabulary that they want children to understand in the session.  This can be developed using key information, facts, and images so that explanations are precise.
  • EXAMPLE Providing pupils with high-quality examples is essential for learning. Pupils need to see worked examples. My turn, our turn, your turn is a technique that can be used to explicitly teach vocabulary and new concepts.  Prepared examples should be carefully planned and need to be evident in teaching. An example in geography could be demonstrating how to label a map, before labelling a map together.
  • ATTEMPT Guiding pupil practice allows pupils to rehearse, rephrase and elaborate their learning. Children need the chance to attempt and verbalise their understanding. Children’s own attempts are what help them to secure their understanding. Children need to have time to struggle and understand for themselves. This is not necessarily something that is recorded in books. This phase provides opportunities for teachers to check in with pupils to see who may need more challenge/support/scaffolds and if any misconceptions have arisen that need to be addressed. Extending the previous geography example, pupils could practice labelling a map.
  • APPLY This is where pupils would typically begin to record in books. The number of scaffolds may vary.
  • CHALLENGE Teachers get the children to interrogate their learning - summarise, explain, compare and contrast. Tools are built into routines to reduce overload and allow for hard thinking. These can be adapted for children based on their individual needs.

Long Term Sequence

Year Group Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Which stories are special and why? – Believing

The Nativity

Which times are special and why? - Expressing

What difference does it make to believe in ahimsa, grace and/or Ummah?



Which people are special and why? – Believing

Mary, Jesus, The Magi

What places are special and why? - Expressing

Being special: where do we belong? - Living

Year 1

Who is a Christian and what do they believe?



What makes some places sacred?


What does it mean to belong to a faith community?


Year 2

How and why do we celebrate special and sacred times?



Who is a Muslim and what do they believe?


What can we learn from sacred books? Believing

How should we care for our world and why does it matter?


Year 3

What do different people believe about God?


What does it mean to be a Christian in Britain today?


Why are festivals important to religious communities?


Year 4

Why is Jesus inspiring to some people? Believing

What does it mean to be a Hindu in Britain today?


What can we learn from religions about deciding what is right and wrong?


Why do some people think life is like a journey and what significant experiences mark this?


Year 5

Why do some people think God exists?


What does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain today?


If God is everywhere, why go to a place of worship?


Year 6

What do religions say to us when life gets hard?



What matters most to Christians and Humanists?


What difference does it make to believe in ahimsa, grace and/or Ummah?


Is it better to express your beliefs in arts and architecture or in charity and generosity?




In order to identify the impact our curriculum is having on our pupils, we check the extent to which learning has become permanently embedded in children’s long-term memory in addition to looking for excellence in their outcomes. We use four main tools to quality assure the implementation and impact of our curriculum:

  • Learning observations help to evaluate subject knowledge, explanations, expectations, opportunities to learn, pupil responses, participation and relationships.
  • Professional growth models help to improve staff subject knowledge and evidence informed practice such as retrieval and spaced practice, interleaving and explicit instruction techniques.
  • Assessment and achievement articulate the outcomes from tasks and tests, how well the content is understood and what the strengths and limitations are; it informs what to do next.
  • Pupil Book Studies help to evaluate curriculum structures, teaching methods, pupil participation and response through a dialogic model.

When undertaking these we ask the following key questions:

  • How well do pupils remember the content that they have been taught?
  • Do examples of work and pupil discussions radiate excellence?
  • Does learning ‘travel’ with pupils and can they deliberately reuse it in more sophisticated contexts?

Teachers employ a range of strategies both at and after the point of teaching to check the impact of their teaching on the permanence of pupils’ learning. These include: retrieval practice, vocabulary use and application, deliberate practice and rephrasing of taught content, cumulative quizzing within the learning sequence, summarising and explaining the learning question from the sequence, tests and quizzes.  Teachers use information from tasks, tests, pupil book studies and other monitoring to support learning by responding to the gap between where pupils are and where they need to be.  In lessons, they adapt explanations and examples to address misconceptions and provide additional practice or challenge where required.  After lessons, they analyse pupils’ responses to identify shared and individual gaps in learning and misconceptions. Teachers then adjust subsequent planned teaching in response.

We use summative assessment is ‘to provide an accurate shared meaning without becoming the model for every classroom activity’ (Christodolou, 2017). If our curriculum is effective, it will lead to improvements in summative assessments over time. Teacher assessment judgements are against an agreed assessment model (the curriculum). We make summative judgements annually, this is recorded on OTrack.

Pupil book study is used as a method to quality assure our curriculum by talking to the children and looking in pupils’ books. We do this after content has been taught to see the extent to which pupils are knowing more, remembering more and able to do more.  In preparation, we review the planned content, knowledge and vocabulary, so that conversations with pupils are meaningful and focused on what has been taught. When looking at books, we look at the content and knowledge, teaching sequence and vocabulary. We also consider pupils’ participation and consider the explanations and models used, the tasks the pupils are asked to do, the ability to answer carefully selected questions and retrieve information and the impact of written feedback.  We ask careful questions that probe their knowledge, understanding and skills.

The Subject Leader undertakes a range of activities to understand what the curriculum looks like across the school and how well pupils know more, remember more and can do more as a result. In addition to the above tools, they use learning walks, planning reviews and book looks.  They use their findings to support teachers to improve how they implement subjects and to make recommendations about the suitability of the intent for their subject.  The Subject Leader formally reports on impact of the curriculum termly to the Curriculum Leader, Principal and Governors.