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Connect Education Trust

Religious Education



RE makes a valuable contribution to pupils’ personal development, school and British values, understanding of the wider world and preparing pupils for life in modern Britain. 

Our inquiry-based model develops children’s critical thinking skills, their motivation to learn and their knowledge and understanding of and empathy with people and their beliefs, religious or otherwise. 

Our approach takes seriously that children are free to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief. RE does not try to persuade but rather to inform and develop the skills with which evaluation can take place. 

Through our approach we aim for pupils to develop: 

● an outstanding level of religious understanding and knowledge. 

● a thorough engagement with a range of ultimate questions about the meaning and significance of existence. 

● the ability to ask significant and highly reflective questions about religion.

● an excellent understanding of issues related to the nature, truth and value of religion. 

● a strong understanding of how the beliefs, values, practices and ways of life within any religion cohere together. 

● exceptional independence; the ability to think for themselves and take the initiative in, for example, asking questions, carrying out investigations, evaluating ideas and working constructively with others. 

● significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity, which are shown in their responses to their learning in RE. 

● the ability to link the study of religion and belief to personal reflections on meaning and purpose. 

● a wide knowledge and deep understanding across a wide range of religions and beliefs.



● We use ‘Discovery RE’ to support the planning and delivery of an engaging, enquiry approach to exploring six of the world’s principal religions. 

● Every unit (enquiry) is based around a key question. The key question for the enquiry is such that it demands an answer that weighs up ‘evidence’ (subject knowledge) and reaches a conclusion based on this. This necessitates children using their subject knowledge and applying it to the enquiry question, rather than this knowledge being an end in itself. Discovery RE focuses on critical thinking skills, on personal reflection into the child’s own thoughts and feelings, on growing subject knowledge and nurturing spiritual development. 

● The children start from their own experience to ensure understanding of the concept being studied then move into investigating that concept in depth from the point of view of the chosen religion. 

● This continues over three lessons of investigation and discussion throughout Step 2, which embeds subject knowledge. These lessons not only support the children with embedding their RE knowledge, but also contribute to their oracy and critical thinking skills. Exposure to and analysis of religious texts can also enhance their reading, comprehension and inference skills. 

● In Step 3, they complete an assessment activity to evaluate the question again in light of their new knowledge, and have further opportunities to embed their own reflections on the learning in Step 4. 

● The recommended Discovery RE model for Key Stages 1 and 2, of studying Christianity plus one other religion in each year group, means both religions have multiple enquiries (or 6 week units) per year. This ensures that the children revisit prior learning for both religions throughout the year to build on the previous enquiries, and Christmas and Easter enquiries are built on year-on-year throughout the child’s primary school journey.



● The curriculum is the progression model. If pupils are able to demonstrate they are able to know and remember more against our curriculum expectations they are making good progress and attaining expected standards. 

● During and/after lessons, pupils are assessed through informal assessment techniques: questioning, conferencing, reviewing written work against learning objective/success criteria, short retrieval activities, flashbacks. 

● Clear overarching learning objectives and the key- coloured boxes within the planning allows teachers to be mindful of the assessment elements within that step that can formatively help them pitch and plan subsequent lessons, and also the content which can contribute to the overall summative assessment completed in Step 3 and when the unit is completed. 

● The three colour-coded aspects: 

Green: personal resonance with or reflection on the subject content in relation to the enquiry question. 

Blue: knowledge and understanding of the subject content in relation to the enquiry question 

Red: evaluation/critical thinking in relation to the enquiry question.