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At Merrylands Primary School and Nursery, we believe that the teaching of Religious Education is essential in developing children’s understanding of the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs and values about God, an understanding of world religions, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.  Religious Education contributes to developing the whole child’s personal development and well-being as well as community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society.  It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It also enables children to articulate their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences whilst respecting others viewpoints.


Religious Education is taught throughout all year groups from EYFS to Year 6 following the Religious Education agreed syllabus for Essex (SACRE).  We use a comprehensive scheme of work created by the Saffron Academy Trust (SAT).  This is an enquiry-led, multi-faith syllabus viewed, considered and explored through three distinct lenses:

Theology - Thinking through believing. It is about asking questions that believers would ask. It requires children to think like theologians, exploring questions and answers that arise from inside religions and worldviews.

Philosophy - Thinking through thinking. It is about asking questions that thinkers would ask. It requires children to think like philosophers or to look at concepts through a philosophical lens.  Children will explore questions and answers raised through considering the nature of knowledge, existence and morality.

Human/Social Science - Thinking through living. It is about asking questions that people who study lived reality would ask. It requires children to think like human and social scientists. Children will explore questions and answers raised in relation to the impact of religions and worldviews on people and their lives.

The syllabus is weighted slightly more towards Christianity due to Christianity being the most prevalent religion in Essex (47.9%) followed by a variety of other religions.  It is planned to be purposeful, engaging and promote progression across the school.  

We start each Religious Education topic with an enquiry question and find out what the children already know.  Each enquiry question has the structure of: engage, enquire and explore, evaluate and express. Each lesson recaps prior learning and also teaches key vocabulary.  The SAT scheme also links with other curricular approaches such as: art, music, English and drama.  We also plan school trips and visitors to school to enhance the children's understanding and experiences further in this area of learning. 


Through the delivery of our Religious Education curriculum, by the end of Key Stage 2, children will be able to explain how beliefs and teachings make contributions to the lives of individuals and communities and begin to understand the complex world in which they live as well as consider their own values and views and their place in the world.  The multi-disciplinary approach adopted through the Religious Education scheme of work enables children to become religiously literate and effectively prepares the children for their studies in the next stage of their education and beyond.

Achievement in Religious Education is assessed throughout each unit of study using the Merrylands assessment grid and this information is used to inform future planning.  The subject is monitored regularly to measure the impact of the Religious Education curriculum content, design and delivery and the outcomes of this monitoring are used to lead improvement within the subject.