Thornham St. James C of E Primary School

Religious Education Policy 



RE at Thornham St James School will be provided in line with the legal requirements. These are that:

  • The basic curriculum will include provision for Religious Education for all pupils on the school roll.
  • The content of RE should reflect the fact that religious traditions in the UK are in the main Christian, while taking into account the teaching and practices of other principal religious traditions represented in the UK.
  • The RE taught is in accordance with the Oldham Religious Education Syllabus 2020-2025 (Thinking, Enquiry, Creativity, Response);
  • Reference to page 3 of the document mentioned above will also be closely followed (purposes of RE);
  • RE will be seen as a curricular discipline in its own right and not simply a subsection of another subject. Nonetheless there are common links between RE, PHSE, Citizenship and SMSC.


Within the Framework of the law and the Agreed Syllabus, our school aims in RE are:

  • To enable each child to explore our shared human experience and the questions of meaning and purpose which arise from our experiences.
  • To enable children to know about and understand the beliefs and practices of some of the major religions of the world, particularly those represented in Oldham and the UK. Among these religions, Christianity has a particular place, and is taught in each year of the primary phase. Islam is also taught in each key stage.
  • To promote respect, sensitivity, and cultural awareness by teaching about the religions represented in the region and the country.
  • To affirm each child in his or her own family tradition, religious or secular.
  • To provide children with opportunities for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
  • To develop the ability of pupils to think about and develop for themselves, beliefs and values by which they can live through studying concepts like celebration, the sacred, authority, religious belief and lifestyle, and through exploring the fundamental questions of life.
  • We recognise the inter-relationship between pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and the leading role in which the RE curriculum plays in some of these areas.
  • In accordance with the law and Oldham Agreed Syllabus (page 9) 36 hours per year will be dedicated to RE at Key Stage One, and 45 hours per year for Key Stage Two. This equates to 5% of total curriculum time. RE curriculum time does not include assembly or collective worship, even where the assembly provides a starting point for curricular work.


Scheme of Work

At Thornham St James Primary we will teach the Oldham Agreed Syllabus. This follows an enquiry based framework, stated on pages 20 and 21 of the agreed document. In Reception and Key Stage One pupils explore Christianity and at least one other principal religion. In our school Islam will be the other major religion studied. At Key Stage Two children will learn mainly about Christianity, but also at least two other principal religions. In our school Years 4 and 5 study Islam and Judaism in depth, with Year 3 studying Hinduism. Year 6 then look at all 4 religions alongside Humanism and what impact they have in the community.

RE can benefit from teaching approaches, which bring the subject together with literacy, creative arts, History, PSHE and many other subject areas. We plan to implement the Agreed Syllabus through a mixture of both direct teaching and cross curricular teaching and learning where appropriate, recognising a need for such integrated teaching to have regard to the quality of RE and other subjects in a partnership that is mutual. A range of teaching styles will be used including enquiry, exploration, discussion, role play, drama, asking and answering questions, using a range of sources including computing, works of art, artefacts, visits and visitors.



The school will endeavour to provide a range of appropriate books, artefacts and materials, which are up-to-date and are well maintained and of high quality. From these, children will learn to respect and value the materials and the symbolism or religious significance behind them, and will be further motivated to produce a high standard of responses in lessons.

The provision of resources is reviewed regularly. Teachers are responsible for identifying resource needs, including artefacts, pictures, textbooks and teaching materials. In addition the library contains a good selection of reference books.

Resources will be stored in appropriate areas of the school. The maintenance of the stock is the responsibility of the RE Lead with the contribution and help of class teachers and support staff, and the support of the Headteacher.


Role of the RE Leader

Working collaboratively alongside the Headteacher, governors and whole staff:

  • to help monitor and evaluate pupil learning and the implementation of the policy / scheme of work across school, giving feedback and discussing next steps as appropriate
  • to keep up-to-date with current views in terms of RE practice via training and disseminating this to colleagues via INSET/discussion
  • to demonstrate good practice within own class teaching
  • to be responsible for the purchase and organisation of resources within budgetary constraints


Role of Governors

To participate in the development and review of this policy, monitoring its effectiveness across school.  Questions might include: Is the policy being implemented across school? Are children actively engaged in and enjoying RE activities? Are pupils developing an awareness of other religious beliefs?



Families who send their children to this school are in the main from Christian backgrounds, with many from practising Christian families. In addition there are children who are from religions other than Christianity and some from non-religious backgrounds. RE is concerned with ‘learning about religions” and “learning from religion” and it is not the practice of this school to preach or convert the children. The faith background of both the staff and child’s family is respected at all times.

Teachers will be sensitive to, and aware of, the distinctive needs of individual pupils. Pupils’ activities should be differentiated so that pupils of all abilities are enabled to consolidate their learning.

Gifted and talented children can be easily stimulated by RE, through critical analysis, interpreting and evaluation of their work. Higher order thinking skills fit easily alongside the RE curriculum.



Assessment for learning is continuous in RE as in other subjects. We report on pupils’ progress and attainment in RE to parents, as required by law through the end of year school reports. We report on their attainment to the Head teacher on a tracking form.


Monitoring and Evaluation 

The RE leader, in consultation with the headteacher, governors and staff, will monitor the effectiveness of this policy via monitoring of planning, and teaching and learning (through lesson observations). Pupils’ work may be scrutinised and pupils will be encouraged to get involved in discussion about their work. 



Parents have the right to withdraw their children from the teaching of RE. We aim to provide an open curriculum which can be taught to all pupils, by all staff. If parents do wish to exercise their right to withdraw their child from the teaching of RE, there is no requirement to provide a reason and the school must comply with their request.

There are no pupils withdrawn from RE at present.


Date:                      September 2020

Review Date:         Autumn Term 2022