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Intent for RE

At Oakfield Primary School, one of our curriculum drivers is for pupils 'to gain greater knowledge of the wider world - places, people and cultures'.  We want pupils to explore and develop their life experiences outside of where they live, to learn about other cultures and modern religions so that they gain a greater understanding to prepare them for life in modern Britain.


We believe in teaching every child to find their place in a world that is ever changing.

Remembering the words of Anne Frank, “If we cannot learn to live with each other regardless of race, religion or colour, to respect each other, to understand and enjoy what makes us different as much as what makes us the same, then we will never have peace and we will eventually destroy ourselves.”


At Oakfield Primary School we have a broad and balanced curriculum which 'promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, social, mental and physical development of pupils and of society, and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life'.

Through spiritual development, we aim for pupils to develop:

  • the ability to be reflective about their own beliefs
  • a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning
  • a willingness to reflect on their experiences.

By exploring the concept of religion and belief, pupils develop moral awareness and social understanding. They learn that not everybody is the same, and why this is okay.


RE plays and important part in personal development and well-being in helping pupils to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.

RE provides opportunities to promote fundamental British values, defined as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different beliefs. Through these lessons, our pupils gain an understanding of how to challenge stereotypes, racism and discrimination. They learn to celebrate diversity. This contributes to promoting a positive and inclusive school ethos that champions democratic values and human rights in the context of modern Britain. 


At Oakfield Primary School, we plan and deliver our RE lessons around the locally agreed Essex syllabus ‘Explore’ (September 2015).

In Early Years our Reception children begin to explore the world of religion by learning about special places, books, occasions, places and objects and by visiting places of worship. They listen to and talk about stories.  They learn to respect themselves and others, consider their own and others’ cultures and ask many questions to deepen their understanding of the world around them.


In Key Stage 1, learning focuses mainly on Christianity and aspects of other principal religions are covered. In Year 1, pupils build on their new skills relating to the RE curriculum by discussing the people that are special to them. They learn about special symbols and objects and special things in nature. In Year 2, pupils learn about special places (including places of worship), special words and stories and special ways of living.


They learn that people in this country and across the world adhere to many different religions, each with their own beliefs, practices, special stories, places of worship, holy men and women, and festivals. Pupils are encouraged to ask appropriate questions and develop a sense of wonder about the world they live in. They talk about what is important to them and other, valuing themselves, reflecting on their own feelings and experiences and developing a sense of belonging. They begin to understand the importance and value of religion and belief, especially for other children and their families.


As they move into Key Stage 2, pupils focus on different religions at greater depth, looking at Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and Humanism. They consider the impact of religion and belief on society and develop an awareness of the ways in which beliefs may change depending on life experiences. Making connections between the various religions, pupils learn a degree of empathy for different believers. They are encouraged to communicate their ideas, understanding the importance of recognising other people’s viewpoints and engaging with important life questions. Through their learning in RE lessons, pupils consider their own beliefs and values.


In Year 3, pupils begin by learning about Buddhism, learning about Buddha’s life story. When thinking about Christianity, they learn about churches and what happens inside them. Pupils in Year 3 are also taught about Hindu gods and goddesses, Moses’ story (Judaism), the importance of the Qur’an in Islam and the Bible in Christianity. In Year 3, our pupils learn to make connections between the different religions.


In Year 4, pupils build on their new knowledge of different religions further. They consider what it means to live as a Hindu and learn the teachings of Jesus. They observe the values of Sikhism by looking at the first and last human Gurus, the Khalsa and ‘the five Ks’, and learn about holy places in Islam.


In Year 5, pupils extend their knowledge of Buddhism by thinking about what it means to live as a Buddhist. They focus on Christianity, learning about the Creation Story in Genesis 1. Pupils also look at the Jewish story, Brahman, Trimurti and creation stories (Hinduism), the importance of the Guru Granth Sahib and the Gurdwara to Sikhs, and the five pillars of faith in Islam.


In Year 6, pupils revisit the five pillars of faith and the Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah. They also find out about Humanist beliefs. Pupils learn about the importance of the synagogue to Jewish people, as well as the last week of Jesus’ life (Christianity). They build on their previous knowledge of living as a Hindu. Year 6 pupils also consider Christianity in the local community and beyond.


In Key Stage 2, Oakfield pupils deepen their RE understanding in a variety of ways. They visit religious places as well as enjoying visits at school, engage in personal reflection and response and discuss religious and philosophical questions as a class. By the time they leave Oakfield Primary School pupils have learned to be respectful, tolerant and to embrace diversity. Through their RE lessons, they have gained an understanding of different religions and beliefs and why they exist, as well as considering their own values and views and their own place in the world.


Some useful links: (EYFS and KS1) (KS2) - for information about Buddhism - for more information on Judaism - for information on Islam - for more information on Hinduism - for information on Sikhism


Local places of interest:

Wickford and Runwell Parish

South Essex Islamic Trust

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Southend-on-Sea

Westminster Abbey

Greek Orthodox of Cathedral of St Sophia

The Jewish Museum

The National Gallery