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Religious Education - Subject Leader: Mrs Ruth Donaghy

Through our RE curriculum at St Mark’s, we aim to enable children to:

  • Know about the underlying beliefs and practices of the major world religions;
  • Understand how religious belief can impact the way that people live their lives and how they interact with others;
  • Think about the ways that religious beliefs may differ across cultures even within the same religion;
  • Explore their own beliefs and opinions.

Our curriculum is designed to:

  • Provide rich, varied and engaging experiences that inspire children to develop curiosity about beliefs, values and practices that are different from their own;
  • Encourage children to be thinkers and to ask questions about different beliefs and practices, inspired by each unit’s key question;
  • Foster a safe space for open discussion where children can develop their own beliefs and opinions;
  • Show clear progression of skills, including recalling information, analysing what they know and exploring this through debate and discussion;
  • Help our children build tolerance, empathy and respect for each other, their community, wider social norms and the world as a whole.

Curriculum Overview

Our RE curriculum is carried out by providing:

  • Lessons on RE once a week, lasting a minimum of 1 hour;
  • A syllabus based around key questions that link to the areas of enquiry outlined in the Pan-Berkshire Syllabus, based around the teaching of knowledge, skills and understanding;
  • Six units in a year, which allow children to explore two religions in depth and breadth;
  • A study of Christianity in every year group, plus studies of Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism by the time pupils leave year 6;
  • A curriculum which explores the 3 Bs as outlined by the Pan Berkshire Syllabus – children explore ‘Belonging, Believing, and Behaving’ to learn about the multi-faceted nature of religions;
  • Opportunities for children to explore different religions, such as exploration of religious objects, art, extended writing and drama;
  • Chances for discussion about the children’s own opinions.

Progression of Knowledge, Skills and Vocabulary

Skills progression is centred around the key skills outlined for each phase in the Pan-Berkshire Syllabus –

  • KS1 – Children explore the basic beliefs of the religions studied, begin to retell stories from those religions, learn about the importance of festivals and the role of religious leaders in those religions.
  • LKS2 – Children begin to discuss the significance of religious leaders and consider how beliefs impact lifestyle choices, building on the knowledge of the beliefs of different religions learnt in KS1.
  • UKS2 – Children use their knowledge from previous learning to start to explore what may motivate believers, how community shapes belief, and are taught of the diversity both between and within religions.


Mid- and end-of-year assessments  measure children’s progress against the key outcomes for each Key Stage according to the Pan-Berkshire syllabus.

Each cohort of children has been provided with a 'Floor Book' whereby teachers record evidence of their work and discussions at least twice during each unit of work. This helps to build evidence of progress during their time at St Mark's.

Through our varied and inclusive curriculum, pupils at St Mark’s leave the school able to:

  • Make progress from being able to recall information about different religions, to being able to analyse and have balanced discussions about religion and belief;
  • Inform and express their own beliefs and opinions around a variety of topics;
  • Enquire into topics or ideas that they have not encountered before and ask questions to find out more;
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude towards people of other faiths and beliefs, and an understanding of beliefs that are different to their own;
  • Be aware of the diversity of cultures, beliefs and practises in the world and approach these with tolerance, empathy and respect.
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