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Being a Philosopher (Religious Education)

“When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.” Dalai Lama


Lead Philosopher: Katherine Jenkins



As a Church of England School Religious Education (RE) is central to the understanding of education and mission that we have at Christ Church Infant VC School. The aim of RE at Christ Church Infant School (CCI) is:


  • To enable pupils to encounter Christianity as the religion that shaped British culture and heritage and influences the lives of millions of people today.
  • To enable pupils to learn about the other major religions, their impact on culture and history, and on the lives of their adherents.
  • To develop understanding of religious faith as the search for and expression of truth.
  • To contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual/philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own faith and beliefs.


All primary schools need to “raise the status of RE” (Ofsted) and provide an RE curriculum which promotes respect and empathy. 




At CCI, RE is considered to be a vital part of a child’s education because it allows young people to develop their beliefs and values.  It helps children understand the place of religion and belief in the world.  The teaching of RE is also important because it contributes educationally to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils. The aims of RE teaching at CCI are that all pupils:


  • Think critically and explore ultimate questions.
  • Reflect critically on the truth claims of Christian belief.
  • Develop the skills to analyse, interpret and apply the Bible text.
  • Recognise that faith is a particular way of responding to God and the world.
  • Analyse and explain the varied nature and traditions of the Christian community.
  • Make a well informed response to Christianity.
  • Respect those of all faiths in their search for God.
  • Reflect critically on areas of shared belief and practice between different faiths.



 At CCI we use the South Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus of Religious Education together with Understanding Christianity to deliver the content of our RE.


Christianity is the main faith studied each year with a minimum of 60% of the RE curriculum devoted to it. However, all children will experience at least four other major world religions these include Islam, Judaism and Sikhism as well as others. From Reception through to year 2 the children are given the opportunity to not only learn about the individual religions but are encouraged to discuss and think about their similarities and differences.

The children will have opportunities to take part in Experiential experiences e.g. Experience Church, Experience Easter, Experience Harvest which will enable them to make connections to the learning they have been doing. 


How is it taught across the school?


The children receive weekly timetabled lessons of R.E. There is a key or BIG question that is presented at the start of each term and this question is explored and discussed throughout the term. R.E. is taught by year group and there is different weekly planning for each year.


Image sourced from South Gloucester Agreed Syllabus RE


When planning lessons, teachers at Christ Church consider other subjects and endeavour to make cross-curricular links.  

For example, writing tasks are incorporated into lessons so that children have an opportunity to write down their ideas, opinions and views in a structured task (diary entries, letters or even stories). Teachers also encourage drama work to reinforce teaching points and to allow children to express themselves about a particular topic.  These drama activities can increase pupil confidence, allow ‘pupil voice’ and provide valuable opportunities for personal and spiritual exploration. 


There are no presumptions made as to the religious backgrounds, beliefs and values of the children and the staff.  We value the religious background of all members of the school community and hope that this will encourage individuals to share their own experiences with others freely.  All religions and their communities are treated with respect and sensitivity and we value the links which are made between home, school, and a faith community.  We acknowledge that each religion studied can contribute to the education of all our pupils.  We promote teaching in Religious Education that stresses open enquiry and first-hand experiences wherever possible for both staff and children.



R.E is carefully planned to ensure progression of skills, knowledge and exploration throughout the school. We assess the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:


  • Work in R.E scrap books
  • Photographs and videos of children’s work
  • Displays of children's work
  • Pupil conferencing
  • Thorough planning that has clear WALT’s and skills being taught
  • Planning scrutiny
  • Specific subject assessments every other term
  • Monitoring of R.E scrap books by Lead Philosopher and Foundation Governor


When do we assess and how is the data used?

We use teacher judgement to assess at the end of each term to explore how well a child has mastered the objectives that have been covered in their response to the BIG question. This information is recorded and added to our assessment system three times a year. This information is also used to monitor subject coverage and plan next steps. We feedback to parent and carers about their child as an artist in a written report three times a year.