RE at Holystone



RE Intent

At Holystone Primary School we believe that RE has a vital role to play in providing our children with an opportunity to explore their own spirituality and those of others within our community and the wider world.

The school’s core values of Respect, Resilience, Independence and Community underpin our teaching within this subject as through teaching the knowledge and understanding of the different religions, we ensure our children value diversity and respect the beliefs, actions and differences within us all.

Our curriculum is designed to encourage our children to be independent, to develop their own views and ideas on religions and at the same time nurture morals and values such as truth justice and honesty.

Pupils will explore Christianity and at least two other principle religions in this country, learning about people’s different beliefs in God. They will encounter and respond to a range of stories artefacts and other religious materials. Older learners will also know about non-religions such as Humanism.

Our aim is to have pupils ask relevant questions, express their views simply and reflect on their feelings to develop a sense of wonder and appreciation for their world.

RE Implementation

By the end of EYFS-

By the end of Key Stage 1

Children at Holystone, having studied Christianity, Buddhism and a local diverse religion will be able to provide an answer to these enquiry questions:

What can we learn about Christianity from visiting a church?

What do Christians believe about God?

Why is Jesus special to Christians?

Why is the Bible special to Christians? 

What does it mean to belong in Christianity?

What can we learn from the story of Cuthbert? 

What can we find out about Buddha?

Why did Buddha leave home?

How is Buddha special to Buddhists?

How do Buddhists express their beliefs?

How do Buddhists worship?

How do Buddhists express their beliefs in practice?

What can we find out about our local faith communities?

By the end of Key Stage 2

Children at Holystone, having studied Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Diversity in the local area will be able to provide an answer to these enquiry questions:

What can we learn about Christian symbols and beliefs by visiting churches? 

What do Christians believe about Jesus? 

What do Christians believe about God?

What is the Bible and why is it important?

Why do people visit Durham Cathedral today (incorporating work about the Northern Saints)

Why is Christmas celebrated? (whole school) 

Why is Easter celebrated? (whole school)

What do Hindus believe?

How do Hindus worship at home? (includes worship in the home and mandir and Divali celebration)

What is the Torah and why is it important to Jewish people?

How do Jewish people worship at home and in the synagogue?

How do Jewish people express their beliefs through practices?

Why is Moses important to Jewish people?

What can we learn about religious diversity in our area?

What can we find out about a local Muslim community? (Special Study)

This is how it works

Our RE curriculum enables children to access and enhance their understanding of their home, their town and the wider community, developing their cultural capital and giving them opportunities and choices about their future. This will help them become successful members of modern British society, preparing them for the challenges and opportunities they will face. Our R.E.  curriculum allows opportunities to explore British Values and Our Vision at Holystone:

British Values

  • Democracy
  • Rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of different faiths & beliefs


Holystone Vision

  • Resilience
  • Respect
  • Independence
  • Community Spirit

Every Year group will study Christianity and have a particular focus for Christmas and Easter, in line with the Durham 2020 agreed SACRE syllabus for RE.  

The children will progress through the programmes of study as they move up the school. Topics are presented as a question for the children to investigate.

By the time the children leave Year 6, they will have covered a wide range of religions, faiths, and beliefs, enabling them to build their own views, opinions, and beliefs.

Thematic Questions – based on at least 3 religious and non-religious worldviews from the following questions:

How and why do people show care for others? 

How and why do people care for the environment? 

Why do people use rituals in their lives? 

How do people express belonging?

Why do people travel to sacred places?

How and why do people pray?


All children at Holystone Primary School will get the opportunity to go on various trips to develop local, regional and national religious experiences.

Links with other areas of the curriculum are embraced to provide a more meaningful learning experience.


Lessons may be taught discreetly or as a block of lessons. A written outcome is not expected.


Our pupils will demonstrate an understanding of the significance of different religious buildings and places in terms of belief, community, architecture, culture, geography and history.

They will understand some of the purposes of such buildings and the impact they have had and continue to have on their communities and beyond.
Our children will develop an appreciation for different religious expressions as well as a sense of awe and wonder through viewing and possibly visiting places of worship.

This is what adults do

All adults in school act as facilitators for R.E. Adults in school are role models promoting tolerance and respect for all.

Lessons are planned to engage and share the beliefs and views of the World’s rich diversity of people. They are based around enquiry questions to focus their discussion to create links to themselves.

Teachers source religious artefacts and toys, books, photographs and people of faith. Visits to places of worship happen.

The R.E. subject leader monitors planning and progression of learning throughout the school through regular book scrutiny, pupil voice and audits. The R.E. leader provides adults in school with religious knowledge.

This is how we support

Children are given clear learning intentions. They are taught in whole class, small groups and 1:1 situations where required. Assessment of R.E. to support learning is seen in its broadest sense and is not limited to measures and testing. Facts and knowledge statements of different religious and non-religious groups are assessed.

This is how we challenge

Children are encouraged to be independent learners and build on their levels of resilience through the use of differentiated resources, expectations or outcomes. Additional activities are provided to share personal beliefs and learn about how others express their views. Through this we achieve learners who meet age related expectations and achieve greater depth.

This how we ensure all children can access the curriculum

At Holystone Primary School we believe that we are all linked together, not only as a school community but as part of the World’s community, therefore all children are included and actively encouraged to express their views and beliefs however they can. Adults in school nurture children and enable participation. At Holystone Primary School our R.E curriculum is inclusive due to its enquiry-based approach.

Children who have particular needs are supported with key vocabulary and practical prompts.

Parents do have the right to withdraw their children from all or some Religious based learning.



RE Impact

This is what you might typically see

At Holystone Primary School we follow the Durham 2020 agreed SACRE syllabus.

Our children through the programmes of study explore the beliefs, authority, expressions of belief and the impact of religious and non-religious beliefs. We typically see our children engaged in these areas, posing questions and reflecting upon discoveries. Children at Holystone Primary show ever growing respect in lessons and an increasing sense of humanity and spirituality.

This is how we know how well our pupils are doing

Children gain progressive knowledge by following the statements of the programmes of study for the religions of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam.

This knowledge is evidenced with photographs, video and displays.

This is the impact of the teaching

Children at Holystone Primary school have positive attitudes, they feel valued in themselves and know, understand, respect and show tolerance towards the beliefs of others. They show a willingness to see that others have a right to a point of view. Our children share their opinions and thoughts.