The RE Curriculum at West Jesmond

Curiosity, Confidence, Creativity and Community

RE Curriculum Aims

Our aim at West Jesmond is for our pupils to have opportunities to be curious and explore different religions and cultures, whilst building the confidence to be able to express their beliefs and worldviews. In both a city and country as diverse as ours, it is vital that the curriculum promotes understanding and awareness of these different worldviews. This, in turn, will promote compassion and tolerance in our community. Our teaching and learning will be inclusive and encourage community cohesion. We want to provide the children with both disciplinary and substantive knowledge and give them plenty of opportunities to demonstrate retrieval of this knowledge.

Our ultimate goal is for our pupils to become confident and knowledgeable young people with a compassionate awareness and understanding of the world around them and the different communities that exist within it. We promote their personal development and resilience, and this curriculum will provide them with opportunities to express themselves creatively and allow them to develop their own worldview. Our curriculum will be accessible to all learners and will be scaffolded and adapted when necessary. This will enable our pupils to leave West Jesmond as confident individuals with the qualities and attributes needed to understand and tolerate a multicultural and diverse world and to participate effectively in society.


The RE curriculum at West Jesmond follows the statutory guidance from the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education for Newcastle (SACRE).  We have used the latest guidance from SACRE and other forms of research to create an engaging and ambitious curriculum that allows our pupils to meaningfully explore and learn about the principal religions and Humanism. At West Jesmond we will use Big Questions and key topics to provide anchors for our units of learning and promote pupils’ curiosity, knowledge and understanding. Where possible, we link our learning to significant religious festivals as a further engagement tool.

As informed by the SACRE requirements, we will cover Christianity and the principal religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. We will also cover non-religious worldviews, namely Humanism in Year 6.

We will creatively explore worldviews through our concepts:

  • People of Importance
  • Beliefs & Practices
  • Festivals & Celebrations
  • Stories, Religious Texts & Symbols
  • Places of Importance
  • Personal Values*

*This strand will run alongside every topic and concept, allowing the pupils to develop their confidence and ability to express themselves and their personal values, whilst understanding and tolerating other views.

We will record our learning in class Big Books which allows us to reflect upon our learning and these will be passed up with the class to really encourage our pupils to make links with their prior knowledge and learning and provide opportunities to recap when necessary.

As multicultural and diverse school children’s lived experiences and the mantle of the expert are some of our most valuable approaches  when teaching RE. Where possible and appropriate, teaching will include videos or interviews with pupils who want to share their beliefs and worldviews, particularly when it comes to festivals, traditions and practices. For example, Year 3 filmed an interview with Hindu and Sikh pupils to explain what Diwali was and how they celebrated it. Fieldtrips to places of worship or cultural significance also offer ideal opportunities to explore different worldviews and every year group will visit a place of worship at least once. We also have some excellent artefact resources for the principal religions, and these will be utilised when teaching about those worldviews.

What you will see in a West Jesmond RE Lesson

  • Lessons are relevant to the children, their life and the wider world.
  • Teaching covers principal religions in a non-denominational approach.
  • High-quality questioning to assess children’s prior knowledge, during and throughout a unit of work.
  • Lessons are well-structured, engaging and stimulating.
  • An emphasis on correct and ambitious vocabulary, particularly Tiers 2 & 3.
  • High-quality verbal feedback is provided throughout activities and sessions.
  • It is expected that during RE lessons, an emphasis will be placed on active learning through planned discussions, artefact investigations, stories, role-playing/hot seating, group work and research.
  • Sequenced lessons/sessions/activities which deepen understanding and are meaningful in their delivery and impact.
  • Sensitive use of comparing and contrasting different worldviews. Emphasis to be placed on commonalities and careful and considered approach to be taken when highlighting differences.
  • Use of the class Big Book to record learning with an emphasis on pupil-ownership of their learning. In KS2, increased opportunities for pupils to record in the Big Books.
  • Opportunities for enrichment activities (e.g., trips to places of worship).
  • Mantle of the expert to be utilised as a teaching and learning tool where possible and appropriate.
  • Big Books to be on display in the classroom and used as recap tools in flashbacks.
  • Achievement and Inclusion for all: All activities are planned, scaffolded and adapted where needed to ensure every child at West Jesmond can engage with the learning. Adaptive teaching, including careful scaffolding, to be used when necessary.


Progress in our curriculum is measured by children knowing more and remembering more.

In RE we will use varied methods of assessment tools when carrying out our teaching. Prior knowledge will be assessed through different activities or strategies such as word clouds, post-its, mind-maps, hot seating, sorting exercises, inference activities etc. We can often repeat these activities at the end of a unit to assess progression and improved knowledge. Staff use assessment tools to understand where pupils’ learning is in relation to our key stage milestones.

Class teachers will also gather evidence of any RE learning that takes place in a Big Book and this can be used by the RE lead to assist children in their discussions. Pupils have opportunities to reflect on their learning throughout the unit of work using the Big Book as a reference point.