Religious Education

.Religious Education


At Whirley, we aim to develop children’s respect and tolerance of a range of cultures and religions to enable them to live in a diverse and ever changing world.  Our children will be given opportunities to investigate, question, enquire and respond within meaningful religious contexts.

Following a logical progression, their knowledge about religion will be developed, building on their own experiences, making links to prior knowledge and introducing new ideas and information; thus deepening their understanding of world religions.

In order to engage and enthuse children, quality stimulus and artefacts will be used, and where possible, visits and visitors, in order to provide the children with hands on, real life experiences to provide a context for learning about religion.   We will capitalise on the local area but also explore wider areas to ensure diversity.



Children are introduced to the word religion and what it means to many people across the world. Children are encouraged to ask questions about themselves and others, they share their own stories and learn that not everyone follows or celebrates events in the same way as them. The concept of differences is to be celebrated and enjoyed; this is paramount to every aspect of their enquiry in RE.  They participate and learn about the Christian celebrations of Harvest, Christmas and Easter as well as the Chinese New Year.

Yr 1-

In Year 1, we build on our Reception understanding of knowing that some people follow a particular religion.  We use our prior knowledge that Christianity is a religion and we focus on this throughout the year.  We think about God being a creator and think about how the world began by discussing our own thoughts and views. We then move our learning on to think about belonging and what ‘groups’ we belong to and how this relates to how Christians feel part of God’s family. Moving on from our understanding of belonging, we further our learning to think about values and how love and forgiveness are important to us as Christians. In keeping with our understanding of ‘importance’ we then start to think about why the church is an important place to Christians. 

Yr 2-

Having developed an early understanding of Christianity in Year 1, the children are introduced to the bible early in this academic year, learning why it is a special book to Christians. Recognising that Christians read the bible to learn about God’s teaching, the children will explore famous stories from the bible, including David and Goliath, the Good Samaritan and the Pharisee and the tax collector. The children will form opinions and identifying morals about the stories they learn. In the Christmas season the children learn about the importance of community, exploring the traditions in this country and around the world.

In the spring term the children focus on the story of the lost sheep. This helps to teach and discuss the key values of honesty, love and forgiveness. During the Easter season the concepts of salvation, resurrection and discipleship are explored in an age appropriate manner.

In the summer term the children are introduced to the religion of Judaism for the first time. The children learn that Jewish people have their own beliefs and that there are similarities and differences with Christianity. The children develop an understanding that Christians and Jewish people feel part of God’s family and a community and that people can be friends across all faiths. The children specifically learn about  Shabbat and what it means to Jews.


Yr 3-

Building on from Year 2, we will ‘bridge back’ to our understanding that a Bible is a special book. We will continue to learn about the Holy Bible and the importance it plays in the Christian faith. We will explore the Bible in further detail and read about the special miracles that occur throughout. We will explore what miracles are and role play some of the miracles that are found in the Bible. Moving on, we will learn about; identity, diversity and belonging in the wider church. We will develop an understanding that Christians feel part of God’s family and a community and we will investigate why there are different types of churches and how they are different.

In Year 3, we will discover that most countries are populated with people from several religions. During our time in Year 3, we will revisit the religion of Judaism and we will explore different key festivals and celebrations.  We will also be introduced to the religion of Islam where we will discover the values and commitments of what God is like for a Muslim.


Yr 4-

In Year 4, children will continue to build upon their understanding of the Christian, Jewish and Islam religions. At the beginning of the year, we will focus our learning on the Jewish family. We will explore family celebrations including; Bar Mitzvahs and weddings and will use a range of evidence to support learning by comparing Jewish families to Christian families. 

Exploring Christianity further, we use a range of art to understand how images and symbols relate to the Christian faith and debate the true meaning of Christmas. We will reflect using drama, dance and songs to explore a range of parables and use this learning to compare what we can take from these parables and use in modern day life.

Building on learning from Year 3, we will explore the Islamic religion. Children will understand values and commitments within an Islamic family and explore what is important to them. They will use family trees to discuss their own family and extended family and explore the belief of angels and their roles.


Yr 5-

In year 5, children will build on their prior knowledge of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Children will begin by deepening their knowledge of Islam- learning the beliefs, teaching and sources, considering roles models: why they are important, what makes a good role model and why Muhammad is important to Muslims. Throughout the remainder of the Autumn term, year 5 will reflect on how different religions express meaning with a special focus on their Sacred Texts and why they are important.

Within the spring term, the children will deepen their knowledge of Judaism and Christianity. First, within Judaism, the children will study how the religion can build a sense of belonging, identity and diversity through their places of worship and why it is important to Jews before learning the values and commitments of Jesus’ teachings and the impact these have on people.

Finally, within the Summer term, the children further their knowledge of Christianity. They will investigate the practice and ways of life through worship, considering if worship makes you happy and whether it is an important part of life and then, reflect on their learning and consider whether Christian’s beliefs make a difference to their lives and apply this to their own personal beliefs. Whenever appropriate, the children’s learning and reflections will be linked to our Whirley Charter throughout the year.

Yr 6-

In year 6, the children will continue to build on their knowledge of Christianity from year 5. They will learn key Christian values and beliefs and understand why these are important to Christians. These include: honestly, love, forgiveness, charity and service.  The year 6 children will explore, in depth, how a person's religious values affect their own and other's lives. The children will read key Christian teachings and realte these to contempory examples of the topic. 

Throughout the summer term, the children will learn about the life of Jesus. Throughout these lessons, the children will identify how Jesus and his teachings have affected the lives of people today. Through interviews with Christians and a local vicar, the children will understand how Jesus's values are still present in the modern day. 

As well as Christianity, the children will learn about Islam throughout the Spring term. They will learn about the five pillars, prayer and how they express their beliefs. The curriculum will encourage the children to make comparisons between these beliefs and their own lives, asking how they express their own beliefs and whether they live by their own set of values/beliefs. 

In the Summer term, children will further explore Judaism. They will research and discuss Jewish values, specifically learning about the importance of Moses as an important figure in Jewish history. The children will end their RE curriculum through comparing and contrasting the three faiths: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. They will look at similarities and differences between the faiths, as well and discovering who lives in their local community of Macclesfield. 

Assessment in RE

When creating the short-term plans for the teaching and learning, essential knowledge, as cited on the curriculum maps, is referenced and retrieval practices implemented  – to know more and to remember more. 

Over the period of study the children will be encouraged to ‘bridge back’ retrieving their prior learning and over time, being able to explain links and develop a deeper understanding of the RE learned across key stages.

At the end of a unit of study the children are tasked with completing a low stakes quiz – these may be multiple choice or short answers. These quizzes will be revisited later to ensure retention is true. The scores will determine whether the child has been able to know more and remember more. 

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Whirley Primary School

Whirley RoadMacclesfield, Cheshire SK10 3JL

Rebecca Gregory | SEN Contact

01625 783815