Religious Education (RE) at Colden

Intent: what are we trying to achieve with our curriculum?

RE ‘should explore the important role that religious and non-religious worldviews play in all human life. This is an essential area of study if pupils are to be well prepared for life in a world where controversy over such matters is pervasive and where many people lack the knowledge to make their own informed decisions. It is a subject for all pupils, whatever their own family background and personal beliefs and practices.’ Commission on RE, September 2018.

This syllabus is called Believing and Belonging because it includes two key elements. First, it is about beliefs and values. It aims to develop pupils’ understanding of world faiths and other beliefs, exploring their commonality and diversity. A good curriculum will ensure that there is both depth of study (some areas investigated in detail) and breadth (an overall general understanding of the faiths and related philosophical and ethical questions).

Secondly, it is about ‘belonging’. It aims to nurture pupils’ awareness of the treasury of diversity as well as sensitivity to the questions and challenges that different views and cultures can present. Ultimately, we all share a common humanity and we share this patch of the Earth. Human beings are strengthened and empowered by learning from each other. So, through experience and culture, it is possible to explore the opportunities, challenges and purpose of our individual lives and communities.

Engaging and stimulating RE helps to nurture informed and resilient responses to misunderstanding, stereotyping and division. It offers a place in the curriculum where difficult or ‘risky’ questions can be tackled within a safe but challenging context. Primarily, RE’s purpose is to give pupils a broad understanding of Christianity, world faiths and nonreligious beliefs; this is sometimes referred to as religious literacy.

It is essential that the curriculum ensures that there is both depth of study (some areas investigated in detail) and breadth (an overall general understanding of the faiths and related philosophical and ethical questions). Properly taught, RE is a rigorous academic subject, supporting problem solving and critical thinking skills.

There are additional benefits from the balanced study of RE. It nurtures SMSC development and pupils’ understanding of diversity. A universal RE entitlement means it must aim to help pupils to understand diversity, empathy and cohesion alongside developing their own views and beliefs. This syllabus therefore deliberately integrates religious studies with aspects of philosophical questions and ethical issues. It also embraces the reality that beliefs are not always linked to faith a transcendent deity.

RE can contribute dynamically to children and young people’s education 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.

A holistic approach to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC), British Values, and Believing and Belonging: The Local Agreed Syllabus for RE in Calderdale, Kirklees and Leeds, 2019 Community Cohesion focuses on preparing pupils for life in the 21st century, engaging them in a contemporary and relevant context. RE develops pupils' knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other religious traditions and world views and explores their responses to life's challenges. This gives pupils the knowledge and skills to flourish both within their own community and as members of a diverse and global society.

RE plays an important role in preparing pupils for their future, for employment and lifelong learning. It enhances their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:

  • Developing awareness of the fundamental questions raised by human experiences, and of how religious teachings can relate to them;
  • Responding to such questions with reference to the teachings and practices of religions and other belief systems, relating them to their own understanding and experience;
  • Reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their study. 


Colden is an inclusive school. For those children with SEND and/or deemed ‘vulnerable’, adjustments are made based upon individual needs. These may be to the curriculum itself or to access arrangements. At the same time, the importance of fostering independence and developing the confidence and ability to meet appropriate challenges is understood and promoted.

Implementation: how do we deliver our curriculum?

Teachers use the Agreed Syllabus which includes a progression document plus the long-term plan as a basis from which to plan units of work according to our children’s needs.  These documents set out the objectives, namely the knowledge and skills that pupils will gain by the end of the topic.  It sequences the learning and sets out key vocabulary that pupils will learn.  This process ensures that the curriculum matches the intent.  The school understands the importance of consolidating key subject skills and knowledge before moving on to the next topic.  Regular recaps to previous lessons and units of work support children to commit what is learnt to their long-term memories.

Whilst cross-curricular links when used effectively can further consolidate children’s learning, these are not forced or used to support core subjects to the detriment of the RE curriculum.

Pupils’ learning is recorded in the RE floor book in Reception/Year 1 and in their individual RE books from Year 2-6. These books show how children progress in their learning. They are also used as tools with which to regularly recap on their prior learning.

Where possible, members of different faiths are invited to provide face-to-face or virtual question and answer sessions with children, so that they can deepen their understanding in a memorable and engaging way. Similarly, where possible, trips to places of worship are arranged to provide children with valuable, real-life experiences.

In order to ensure that all children are able to access lessons and make progress, the curriculum is adapted where necessary. Those children showing a high level of skills and knowledge will need greater challenge whilst others may require scaffolded support or reasonable adjustments.  Scaffolds by teachers and or support staff should be with the intention of providing the minimum help necessary in order to allow the pupils to work independently. 

Impact: what difference are we making to pupils?

Teachers assess children’s progress against the expectations of the curriculum intent via questioning, contributions in discussions and through children’s work.  They reflect regularly on whether children are able to demonstrate the requisite skills and recall and apply knowledge. If not, planning is adapted to allow for further consolidation or reasonable adjustments are made.

RE books are scrutinized by leaders and by the whole staff to help moderate teachers’ assessments and to check that the curriculum intent as detailed above is borne out in children’s work and in pupils’ interviews.

Leaders use these moderations to guide the constant strive to ensure that the quality of RE education being provided by Colden is of the very best quality possible.

Equal Opportunities

The school is committed to providing equal opportunities for all, regardless of race, faith, gender or capability in all aspects of school. We promote self and mutual respect and a caring and non-judgmental attitude throughout the school.