Religious Education

At WHPS we follow the RE syllabus recommended by Camden. The scheme of work we are currently following is Discovery R.E.

From September, 2024 Camden are changing the RE syllabus so our Religious Education Curriculum at WHPS will be updated in line with this."

Curriculum statement

Religious Education is an important part of a broad, balanced, coherent and relevant curriculum. Through our RE curriculum we provide opportunities for children to develop their knowledge and understanding of world religions.

This policy is written to set out our schools approach to religious education and highlights the importance of the subject in pupils’ education. It provides information on what is taught and how it is taught, giving guidance to staff and outside agencies supporting Religious Education.

Our Intent

We believe that RE has an important role to play as part of a broad, balanced and coherent curriculum to which all pupils are entitled. It provides a positive context in which the diversity of cultures, beliefs and values in society can be celebrated and explored. RE provides an opportunity to promote an ethos of respect for others. Lessons ensure that our children grow to become tolerant and respectful citizens, who appreciate that everybody has their own set of beliefs and values and that these may differ from their own. 

· We believe that:

All children need to acquire core knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and practices of the religions and worldviews which not only shape their history and culture but which guide their own development. The modern world needs young people who are sufficiently confident in their own beliefs and values that they can respect the religious and cultural differences of others, and contribute to a cohesive society

· We create an inclusive learning environment where all pupils know about, respect and value differences and opinions. 


Aim to ensure that all pupils:

 - have opportunities to access challenging RE through a wide range of key questions.

- learn through an enquiry based approach- not only learn knowledge but crucially develop an understanding of the world of religion and how beliefs impact on daily lives.

-learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ’.

-participate positively in our society with its diverse religions and worldviews’.


Aims of Religious Education

The following aims of religious education reflect a broad consensus about the subject’s educational rationale and purpose. Religious Education should help pupils to

  • obtain and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in Great Britain (i.e. Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism) and other religious and non-religious world views
  • develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures
  • develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues, with reference to the teachings of the principal religions represented in Great Britain
  • enhance their spiritual, moral, cultural and social development by

- developing awareness of the fundamental questions of life raised by human experiences and of how religious teachings can relate to them,

- responding to such questions with reference to the teachings and practices of religions and to their own understanding and experience,

- reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their study.

  • develop a positive attitude towards other people regardless of their gender, race, religion, physical or sensory disability
  • help to develop the skills to live harmoniously within a diverse society
  • respect the right of people to hold beliefs which are different from their own
  • help pupils to prepare for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of modern life
  • contribute towards achieving the five national outcomes for children as laid down in the every child matters document


Legislation and Guidance

This policy reflects the requirements of the National Curriculum programmes of study, which all maintained schools in England must teach.

The Education Reform Act (1988) states that Religious Education

  • should promote the ‘spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils’
  • should ‘prepare pupils for opportunities, responsibilities and experiences for adult life’
  • should ‘reflect that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking into account of teachings and practices of the other principal religions’

According to Camden’s Agreed Syllabus, KS1 should focus on Christianity, Judaism, Islam for the core content, whilst in KS2 the core content focuses on Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Additional material could be used as appropriate to the family background of pupils in the class/school.

N.B. Children can be withdrawn from RE lessons at the request of their parent/guardian (details in DFE Circular 1/94, par.44) but parents should be aware of the diversity of teaching over the school year. Any such parents should be advised to speak to the Head teacher, who will inform the R.E. Co-ordinator.                                                                                          

Our Implementation

The Scheme of Work followed at West Hampstead is from Discovery R.E.

Activities for R.E. should offer the pupils opportunities both for explicit and implicit religious contribution to fundamental questions of being, moral and ethical standards, as well as to develop their own response to such matters.

Teachers should help pupils to develop their awareness of the place of religion in human life by enabling them to understand that some ideas and practices are characteristic of most religions. These would include ‘belief’, ‘festival’, ‘community’, ‘worship’, ‘morality’ and ‘service to others’. It is important that this is taught in such a way that pupils maintain a coherent understanding of each faith and know what is distinctive of individual religions.

By the end of KS2 at West Hampstead School, the children will acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of religion through;

  • encountering and learning names of places, buildings, objects and artefacts
  • learning about religious ideas and practices, such as celebrations and festivals
  • stories and symbols and their meanings
  • meeting people from religious communities, in school and on visits

The children will enhance their own spiritual and moral development through

  • religious traditions and comparison with their own lives
  • stories which focus on values, relationships or religious teachings and considering their relevance to their own lives
  • exploring the sense of belonging to a community
  • exploring the differences between right and wrong and the nature of individual responsibility
  • expressing ideas and feelings in the forms of Art, Music, Drama, PSHE, silence, etc.

The children will develop positive attitudes towards other people and their right to hold different beliefs by

  • developing confidence to express their own views and beliefs which may depend on their own religious and cultural background
  • enjoying stories from different religious traditions
  • recognising and respecting the right to hold different views and beliefs
  • seeing diversity of religion as positive rather that threatening.