Religious Education provided in Thornaby Church of England Primary School is developed from the framework of the York Diocesan Agreed Syllabus. 

“Religious education in a Church school should enable every child to flourish and to live life in all its fullness. (John 10:10). It will help educate for dignity and respect encouraging all to live well together.”

Our RE curriculum links closely with our school vision of ‘Walking and Learning with faith in the footsteps of Jesus’ and aims; and is laying the foundations for pupils to flourish and ‘live life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10).


The aims and objectives of R.E. in a church school (according to the Church of England) are:

• To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a diverse global living faith through the exploration of core beliefs using an approach that critically engages with biblical text.
• To gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews, appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews being studied.
• To engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience.
• To recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places.
• To explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways, living, believing and thinking.


“In all Church schools religious education must be considered an academic subject. All pupils are entitled to religious education that is delivered in an objective, critical and pluralistic manner. Pupils are entitled to a balanced RE curriculum which enquires into religions and worldviews through theology, philosophy and the human and the social sciences. It should be a coherent curriculum that enables progress through ordered and sequential learning developing both knowledge and skills. There should be a clear curriculum vision and intent, a structure for implementation and provision and a process for evaluating impact.”


At Thornaby Church of England Primary school, RE:

• is a core curriculum subject
• is a non-confessional, academic subject which reflects the diverse community in which our school is based
• is an ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum poised between: human and social sciences, philosophy and theological aspects of Religious Education
• is an integral part of all areas of the curriculum, linking SMSC, core Christian Values and fundamental British Values.
• supports pupils in developing their understanding and their ability to hold balanced and informed conversations about religions and beliefs.
• is innovative and imaginative
• allows children to gain knowledge of different world views and religions
• is structured for progression, and to allow enquiry based learning
• encourages the development of free thinking, and compassionately aware adults


RE contributes to the school vision by:
• igniting pupils with a passion for learning and a curiosity to foster life-long learning which will continue beyond our school
• enabling pupils to develop their confidence, be determined, persevere and show resilience
• creating opportunities for pupils to develop wisdom, knowledge and skills which they can demonstrate across local and global communities. This links to pupils’ cultural capital to succeed in life and the Church of England’s character education
• encouraging children to show dignity and respect towards the beliefs of others and the environment
• having the Christian Values at the heart of our learning
• involving parents/carers in learning


Our curriculum is implemented in line with our intent. Year groups and teams work together to create an exciting and purposeful curriculum through the learning opportunities for our pupils.
As a core curriculum subject area, there is an expectation that RE is taught for 5% of curriculum time, this includes RE projects, visits and experiences.
It is supported and shaped by the Diocese of York and Leeds Agreed Syllabus and Understanding Christianity documentation. Lessons are planned in an ordered way including both the systematic learning of specific faiths and world beliefs and thematic learning exploring some of the ‘Big Questions’ in life. Every opportunity is used to relate the messages from the Bible to the everyday lives of the children.

Christianity and other world views are studied as living and diverse faiths with an appreciation of differing denominations and global differences. The curriculum is structured to allow opportunities to revisit learning and deepen understanding and thinking over time. Children learn about other faiths and are given opportunities throughout the curriculum to raise questions about faith and the various religions of the world.

The syllabus is underpinned by three core elements, which are woven together to provide breadth and balance within teaching and learning about religions and beliefs. These elements are: Making sense of beliefs, Making connections, Understanding the impact.

Assessment is an ongoing task within RE and teachers provide feedback to children on their progress through:
• marking and reflective questioning
• verbal feedback
• constructive conversations

Teachers record progress in terms of:
• Notes of comments/ conversations
• Assessment for learning notes
• Attainment of end of phase outcomes