Pittington Primary School | Hallgarth Lane, Durham, County Durham DH6 1AF

0191 3720314

Pittington Primary School

Welcome to our school

Religious Education Curriculum Intent

Our RE Lead is: Ms Powers

Our RE Link Governor is: Mr Fox

"Religious Education contributes dynamically to pupils’ education in schools by provoking challenging questions about the meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human."

 Durham Agreed Syllabus 2020


At Pittington Primary School, we have designed our R.E. curriculum with the intent that our children will become resilient, accepting, mindful and inquisitive learners. Our R.E. curriculum allows children to discover and gain an insight into religions within the world that we live which in turn, fosters respect and understanding. We see the teaching of R.E. is vital for children to understand others beliefs and make connections between their own values whilst also respecting non-religious views. Our teaching of RE is never to seek to convert pupils to a certain religion or denomination.

By gaining knowledge of different faiths, children are armed with a deeper understanding of why different rituals and customs are carried out, which in turn, leads to open-mindedness. As pupils develop understanding and appreciation of our diverse society and world they are equipped to challenge prejudice and discrimination. Thus Religious Education has a significant role for the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging through self-awareness and reflection.


Religious Education can make a significant contribution to inclusion, particularly in its focus on promoting respect for all and has a vital role in challenging stereotypical views and appreciating differences in others. It enables pupils to consider the impact of people’s beliefs on their own actions and lifestyle and can develop pupils’ self-esteem.

Ethnic, Cultural and Religious Groups

We intend our policy to be sensitive to the needs of different ethnic, cultural and religious groups. We encourage parents /carers to discuss any concerns with the Head teacher.

Pupils with Special Needs

We will ensure that all pupils have access to the curriculum and we will offer provision appropriate to the needs of all our pupils, taking specialist advice where necessary.

Equality Statement

Pittington Primary School is committed to giving all of our pupils every equal opportunity in all aspects of school life.  Our aim is to offer an inclusive curriculum that is relevant and adapted to the needs and abilities of all pupils.  We ensure inclusive opportunities for raising self-esteem and celebrating success so that all learners can reach their true full potential.

At Pittington Primary School we are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers irrespective of race, religion, gender, disability, belief, sexual orientation, age or socio-economic background.  We provide an environment which enables every pupil to feel safe, encourages good health and wellbeing, and promotes relationships that are trustful and respectful.  We believe that every teacher is a teacher of all children including those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) and it is our duty to value each individual child to enable them to enjoy learning through an inclusive curriculum.  It is our aim to continue to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all those connected to the school feel proud of their identity, where all children have the ability to participate fully in school life, and where children are confident learners both for now and for their futures. 

We tackle any type of discriminatory behaviour or prejudice through the positive promotion of equality, by challenging bullying and stereotypes and by creating an environment which champions respect for all.  We provide all our pupils with the opportunity to succeed and to reach the highest level of personal achievement. We work in partnership with parents, carers, staff, governors and local services within our community to prepare children from Pittington Primary School for life in a diverse society.  We believe that diversity is a strength, which should be reflected and celebrated by all who learn, teach and visit Pittington Primary School.

Fundamental British Values

British Values is defined by the Department for Education as:

  • Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
  • Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies to England
  • Support for equality of opportunity for all
  • Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
  • Respect for and tolerance of difference faiths and religious and other beliefs

At Pittington Primary School, we ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and permeate the ethos and work of the school. The curriculum provides a vehicle for furthering and deepening an understanding of these concepts.

We actively encourage the children at our school to be unique, creative, independent and open-minded individuals who respect themselves and others in our school, the local community and across the wider world.

Our aim is to nurture our children on their journey through primary school so that they can grow into caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who can, and will make, a positive difference to society across Britain and the world.

Pittington Primary School is committed to giving all of our pupils every equal opportunity in all aspects of school life.  Our aim is to offer an inclusive curriculum that is relevant and adapted to the needs and abilities of all pupils.  We ensure inclusive opportunities for raising self-esteem and celebrating success so that all learners can reach their true full potential.


Although Pittington Primary School is located within a largely Caucasian setting, we desire children in our school to not only be aware of, but to celebrate the diversity of religions and ethnicity in our country and in our world.  We follow the Durham Agreed Syllabus which has recently been adapted to pay more attention to Islam in order to eradicate negative stereotypes which have particularly emerged locally and nationally towards the Islamic faith. Religious Education is a component of the basic curriculum, to be taught alongside the National Curriculum in all maintained schools. It must be taught according to a locally Agreed Syllabus, which is the statutory order.

Our RE is based on the skills of:

  • Knowledge and Understanding of Religion
  • Critical Thinking
  • Personal Reflection

Religious Education teaching at Pittington embeds 4 concepts in RE which are:

  1. Belief,
  2. Expression of Belief
  3. Authority
  4. Impact of Belief.

RE in Early Years

During the Early Years Foundation Stage, children begin to explore the world of religion in terms of special people, books, times, places and objects. They listen to and talk about stories and reflect on their own feelings and experiences. They use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation and wonder of the world in which they live.

RE in Key Stage 1

At Key Stage 1 children are introduced to some of the beliefs and features of a religion. In relation to their learning about these religious beliefs and practices, children are given the opportunity to express their views and reflect on their own ideas and feelings. Christianity and Buddhism are the core religions studied but children will learn about these religions separately.

RE in Key Stage 2

The core religions studies in KS 2 are Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism.  During this key stage, pupils are taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through deeper enquiry into known religions and encounter secular world views. Pupils in Year 5 and Year 6 consider the impact of beliefs and practices in greater detail and respond to more philosophical questions.

There are no presumptions made as to the religious backgrounds and beliefs and values of the children and the staff.  We value the religious backgrounds of all members of the school community, whilst appreciating that some may have no faith. 

Enrichment opportunities at Pittington Primary School

  • handling artefacts
  • exploring scared texts
  • using imaginative play or drama to express feelings and ideas
  • responding to images, games, stories, art, music and dance
  • meeting visitors from local religious communities
  • making visits to religious places of worship where possible, and where not, making use of videos and the internet
  • taking part in whole school events
  • participating in moments of quiet reflection
  • using ICT to further explore religion and belief globally
  • comparing religions and worldviews through discussion
  • debating and communicating religious belief, worldviews and philosophical ideas and answering and asking ultimate questions posed by these

Religious Education is taught in Pittington in a whole-class setting, by the class teacher or a HLTA.  Enrichment is offered through visits to places of worship and inviting visitors from different faiths into our school. We are extremely lucky that we have close links with St Laurence’s Church and St John’s Baptist Church situated within our village.  To enhance our RE, we visit the churches to help understand Christmas and Easter celebrations. We also welcome the Reverends into school to help us know more and remember more.


 At Pittington Primary School, we envisage the RE curriculum impacting the pupils in the following ways:

  • extend their knowledge and understanding of religions and beliefs
  • develop a religious vocabulary and interpret religious symbolism in a variety of forms
  • reflect on questions of meaning, offering their own thoughtful and informed insights into religious and secular world-views
  • explore ultimate questions of beliefs and values in relation to a range of contemporary issues in an ever-changing society

Ongoing and throughout the year, teachers make formative assessments upon the children within their class and twice a year, judgements are made and imputed into SIMS. This data is analysed by the subject lead, who also carries out learning walks, book scrutinies and lesson observations to monitor the delivery of RE. Feedback from this is given to teachers. The impact our RE curriculum is also sought directly from the pupils as we gather pupils’ voice on this subject.  The outcome from all of these are combined to develop an annual action plan written by the subject lead and submitted to the SLT.

Aims:  Within our school, RE is taught so as to:

  • provide pupils with accurate factual information as a means of developing a deeper understanding of religion as opposed to uninformed bias and prejudice. 
  • enable pupils to develop a reflective approach to life, to make sense of the world about them and how they relate to it.
  • enable pupils to be aware of and understand contemporary religious matters and issues in the context of the media and everyday life.
  • seek to encourage and foster a set of core attitudes and values so that pupils develop:
  • an enquiring and responsive approach to life generally and in particular to the fundamental and religious questions which it presents
  • a personal, intellectual and moral integrity
  • a sensitive but critical approach towards religious beliefs, practices and institutions
  • a respect for the world in which they live
  • an awareness of, a concern for and a readiness to respond to the needs of others

Religious Education is based on knowledge and understanding of religion, critical thinking and personal reflection.  Children are able to investigate and reflect on fundamental questions asked by people of faiths and no faith.  Our children learn from religions as well as about religious traditions in Great Britain, gaining a sound knowledge and understanding of Christianity, which has a greater influence upon most of their current environment and culture, while taking account of the teachings and practices of other principal religions represented in Great Britain. It is never taught so as to convert pupils nor to urge a particular religion or religious belief on pupils.

Right of Withdrawal

According Education Reform Act 1988 parents/carers have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of Religious Education lessons, but owing to the nature of the primary curriculum, there may be circumstances where questions of a religious nature arise, not specifically in Religious Education. 
Parents should be aware of this and realise in such cases it is impossible to withdraw children.  Religious Education is integrated within the whole curriculum using opportunities as they arise to discuss issues that related to the RE curriculum, as is done with curriculum subjects.

Collective Act of Worship

Although Collective Worship is separate to the teaching of RE, strands of Collective Worship may be used to enhance the RE curriculum.  Where there is an act of collective worship either in the form of thinking and reflection sessions within the classroom, or alternatively as a whole school assembly, then they are broadly Christian in character, yet where applicable, promote respect, tolerance and understanding of other faiths.


RE within Pittington is planned using the Durham Agreed Syllabus and takes on board an investigative approach linked with a focus on three elements, which are Knowledge and Understanding of Religion, Critical Thinking and Personal Reflection.  These in turn are studied with a focus on four concepts, which are Belief, Authority, Expressions of Belief and Impact of Belief.

The element of Critical Thinking is planned so that there are opportunities for pupils to use reason to analyse and evaluate the claims that religions make.  They will have the opportunity to give opinions, support their ideas with reason, consider alternative arguments, weigh up evidence and listen to and respond to the views of others, so developing the ability to articulate their own views and form their own opinions.  Through this process, pupils develop the tolerance to be open minded and to value different types of reasoning.

Throughout their time at Pittington, pupils are given the opportunity to share their own feelings and experiences, learn to listen to and appreciate the points of view of others, explore their own values and values of others, appreciate silence and the value of stillness, ask ‘I wonder’ questions about life and living, demonstrate care and responsibility for the environment, raise money for local, national and international charitable causes.

(For the full requirements of the Religious Education Curriculum, please request to view the Durham Agreed Syllabus.)

At Pittington, we carry out the curriculum planning in Religious Education in three phases: long term, medium term and short term. The long term plan maps the RE topics studied in each term during each key stage. Long Term plans also ensure continuity and progression throughout the school, enabling pupils to progress in terms of religious concepts, knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Medium term plans focus upon the areas of progression set out in the long term plans and incorporate resources, links with Maths and English and enrichment opportunities for the children.  

Short term plans break down the learning objectives into weekly lessons. It is the class teacher’s responsibility to ensure that children enjoy a rich and varied learning experience supported by a range of resources to stimulate interest.  They employ techniques appropriate to the age and ability of the pupils concerned thus enabling all pupils to achieve their full potential. 

In addition to planned Religious Education and Collective Worship sessions, teachers take advantage of impromptu situations to discuss moral, social and spiritual issues concerned with developing an understanding of the world and its people.

Christianity is taught as a core religion in all key stages.


Religious Education is an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. We relate the Religious Education aspects of the pupils’ work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals, which underpin the curriculum planning for pupils aged three to five. We also follow the direction given within Durham’s Agreed Syllabus.


Children in Key Stage 1 are able to identify some beliefs and features of religion, giving simple reasons for their views and reflect on feelings including those of others.  Christianity and Buddhism are the core religions to be studied


Lower KS2: Years 3 and 4

Children can describe some of the beliefs and features of religion, have an awareness of the views from others, and provide plausible reasoning for their views.  When reflecting on their own feelings, they will also accept that others may have differing feelings. Christianity and Hinduism are the core religions.

Upper KS2: Years 5 and 6

Children will demonstrate an understanding of some of the beliefs and features of religion, provide reasoning for their view and be able to provide reasons to support differing views.  During reflection, pupils will be able to empathise with others that have alternative feelings. Christianity and Islam are the core religions to be studied.

Role of the Subject Leader

The role of the Subject Leader is to provide leadership and direction for their subject area and ensure that it is managed and organised to meet the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum as well as those of the school. The Subject Leader, in conjunction with the Senior Leadership Team, has the responsibility for securing high standards of teaching and learning in their subject area as well as playing a major role in the development of school policy and practice. Throughout their monitoring activities, the Subject Leader ensures that practices improve the quality of education provided, meet the needs of all children, raise standards of achievement across the school as well as raising the aspirations of all children. The Subject Leader should liaise with the SENCO to ensure that children with special educational needs are able to fulfil their full potential within the curriculum.

The Subject Leader plays a key role in supporting and motivating teachers, and other staff, across the school. Subject Leaders assist the Senior Leadership Team to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and learning to inform future priorities and targets for the subject area. The Subject Leader should lead by example, by setting high standards in their own teaching.

Subject Leaders are allocated time to monitor their subject areas. These times include staff meeting time, twilight CPD sessions and non-contact time within the school day. Monitoring activities include:

  • Observing lessons
  • Work samples
  • Talking to staff
  • Talking to pupils
  • Monitoring planning
  • Analysing data
  • Monitoring displays – this includes wall displays, Learning Journeys
  • Auditing resources
  • Questionnaire
  • External review from an eternal professional

The Subject Leader identifies needs in their own subject area and recognises that these must be considered in relation to the overall needs of the school. The Subject Leader must understand how their subject area contributes to whole school priorities and to the overall education and achievements of all pupils. There are opportunities throughout the year for Subject Leaders to discuss the strengths and weaknesses within their subject areas to a governor who is specially linked to the subject area as well as meeting with the Curriculum Committee.

Health, Safety and Well-Being

Visits to places of worship are encouraged as an important part of developing a child’s understanding of the role religion plays in communities.

Staff will ensure that the context of the learning that will take place during the visit, will not undermine a child’s own faith or challenge their belief and will only be presenting a knowledge base about a faith. We also endeavour to invite members of different faiths to come into school to talk about their personal beliefs.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Assessment

At the end of each term, teachers assess the children's knowledge and progression in RE. Teachers have uniquely designed ‘End Point’ sheets which they use as a guide to assess children’s current attainment. These sheets are also a guide for educators to know where the children are expected to be by the end of each term. Assessment will be used to support teaching and learning and bi-annually, these judgements are recorded on the SIMS software package. Every year, data from this is collated and analysed by the RE leader.  The findings from this helps form for the subject action plan.

The subject leader will monitor continuity, progression and attainment throughout the school and the ordering and maintenance of equipment and resources.

Monitoring will be undertaken regularly and will include looking at planning, talking to pupils, and scrutinising books. Lesson observations are also a way of monitoring the subject. The work of the subject leader involves supporting colleagues and informing teachers about current developments in the subject, as well as celebrating good practice and sharing it on our school’s website.

As RE involves a process of personal development and emerging/changing views, assessment is focussed on what pupils know about religions, what their attitudes are to religions and how well they are able to express their own views and feelings towards other religions.  This ongoing process of formative assessment for learning will be used to inform future planning. Children are categorised as working towards age expected, age expected or above age expected.

At the end of the academic year, parents/carers will be informed about their child’s progression in RE.

The subject lead is developing a portfolio of work produced throughout the school to celebrate what we have achieved in RE.  

If you would like more information about our Religious Education Curriculum please contact Mrs Lee, Headteacher by clicking here