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St Ethelbert's Catholic Primary School and Nursery

High expectations for all, in the light of Christ

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Religious Education

As a Catholic school, religion is not just another subject in the curriculum, but it is a way of life.  It permeates everything we do. Placing RE at the core of the curriculum in Catholic schools helps the school to fulfil its mission to educate the whole person. 


We follow the The Way, The Truth and The Life RE Curriculum. We ensure that this programme of study is enriched with a variety of activities that include history, geography and art.  Giving an historical perspective of the time in which Jesus lived, and the traditions followed, allows us to give the children a greater and deeper understanding of the stories we study in the Bible.  The children will also examine famous paintings that can give a fresh insight into Jesus's time and teachings.  We study maps, for example of Egypt and Israel, to gain a better insight into where these stories took place.


At the heart of our classroom RE curriculum is the 'Big Question'. This links to the other embedded curricular approaches in particular Philosophy for Children and Thinking Skills. Each year group has a Class Reflection book to record the discussions and learning that takes place.


Big Questions are the ones that don’t have an easy answer. They are often open and difficult; they may even be unanswerable or there may be more than one answer. The aim is to encourage deep and long conversations, rather than finding easy answers.


These questions encourage children to offer theories, work collaboratively, use reason and think critically. Big Questions aren’t just about getting the ‘right’ answers, but about learning the methods and skills needed to find the answers.


Why do we ask Big Questions?

  • To encourage children to think beyond the obvious.
  • To encourage children to think of as many possibilities as they can, before deciding upon the best or most appropriate answer.
  • To increase their understanding of a topic.
  • To encourage children to articulate their thoughts​.

The Way, The Truth and The Life Planning Overview

The RE Curriculum is reviewed each year to ensure it meets the needs of all pupils and is fit for purpose. RE levels are assessed using assessment descriptors/questions at the end of each term, as with other core curriculum subjects. Attainment grades will be recorded on class assessment data sheets and will be tracked during SLT/Class teacher termly Pupil Progress Meetings.

Children will be given opportunities to complete a variety of assessment activities during the year including self and peer assessment activities. Assessment tasks are included on “The Way, The Truth and The Life” planning and the marking codes, learning aims and success criteria used in English and other curriculum subjects are also used in RE activities.

Expectations regarding marking, presentation, teaching and learning and the learning environment are the same as for other core subjects and align with those policies. Parents receive a written report annually where there are clear indications of what their child has learnt, understood and achieved in RE.