At Isle of Ely Primary School we aim to ensure our Religious Education curriculum is fully inclusive of every child, empowering each one to enjoy and become inquisitive in the subject in order to develop a positive and confident attitude. Religious Education has a significant role for the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It promotes respect and open-mindedness towards others with different faiths and beliefs and encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging through self-awareness and reflection. The principle aim of RE is to engage pupils in an enquiry approach where they can develop an understanding and appreciation for the expression of beliefs, cultural practices and influence of principle religions and worldviews in the local, national and wider global community.


The key aims for religious education are reflected in the two attainment targets.


Attainment Target 1- Learning about religion and belief


Attainment target 2- Learning from religion and belief


The development of knowledge, skills and understanding focuses on these two key aspects of learning in Religious Education.




Religious Education is unique in the school curriculum in that it is neither a core nor a foundation subject. However it is the intent of the Isle of Ely Primary that Religious Education promotes an enquiry-based approach through the implementation of the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2018. The core knowledge based approach focuses on 4 key skills; engagement, investigation, evaluation and expression.


Early Years Foundation Stage


Children within Early Years Foundation Stage will cover a variety of religions linking them to their own experiences and others. They will be thinking about special people, Christmas, celebrations, Easter, story time and special places.


Key Stage One


During this key stage, pupils are taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through religion and belief as well as wider learning themes. They are introduced to other principle religions and can reflect on prior learning as they progress through the units.


Learning about religion and belief


Children should be taught to recall and name different beliefs and practices, including festivals, worships, rituals and ways of life, in order to find out about the meanings behind them.

  • Children look at Christianity, Judaism and Islam in Key Stage 1. During this they learn about different festivals and celebrations and discover the meanings behind them, notably (Christmas and Easter in Christianity) (Chanukah and Shabbat in Judaism).
  • Islamic prayer is a focus. Children explore whether regular prayer would help a Muslim in everyday life
  • Children examine special places like the Church, the Mosque and the Synagogue. This can involve visits.


Learning from religion and belief


Children should be taught to retell and suggest meanings to some religious and moral stories, exploring and discussing sacred writings and sources of wisdom and recognising the traditions from which they come.


  • Children look at a variety of stories and talk about what messages there are that might be considered wise
  • Children look at stories from Christianity involving the birth, life, teachings and death of Jesus
  • Children look at stories from many different cultures and traditions (India, China, Iran, and the Holy Land amongst others) during a module called ‘What can we learn from stories?



Key Stage Two


During this key stage, pupils are taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through deeper enquiry into known religions and in Year 6, encounter secular world views. Pupils in Year 5 and Year 6 consider the impact of beliefs and practices in greater detail and respond to more philosophical questions.


Learning about religion and belief

Children should be taught to describe and make connections between different features of the religions and worldwide views they study, discovering more about celebrations, worship, pilgrimages and the rituals which mark important points in life, in order to reflect on their significance.

  • Children look at Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Humanism and Sikhism in Key Stage 2. During this they learn about different beliefs, festivals, celebrations, pilgrimage and types of worship and discover the meanings behind them, notably
  • Christmas and Easter in Christianity
  • Pesach in Judaism.
  • The Amrit ceremony, worship in the Gurdwara and Amritsar in Sikhism
  • Personal commitment to Allah and beliefs of Akhirah in Islam
  • Personal commitment and beliefs about Karma, Dharma and Samsara in Hinduism

Learning from religion and belief


Children should be taught to describe and understand links between stories and other aspects of the communities they are investigation, responding thoughtfully to a range of sources of wisdom and to beliefs and teaching that arise from them in different communities.


  • Stories behind the festivals are looked into to see the context and meaning especially
    • Christmas and Easter as well as stories about Jesus life including miracle stories
  • Children ask challenging questions like ‘Is the Christmas story true?’ and ‘Did God intend Jesus to be crucified’?
  • Children examine aspects of community life such as prayer, charitable giving and worship in
    • Islam - What is the best way for a Muslim to show commitment to God? Prayer five times a day, zakat charitable giving
    • Islam - Does the belief in Akhirah help Muslims lead good lives?
  • Children consider many different aspects of the Christmas story including
    • Has Christmas lost its true meaning?
    • What is the most significant part of the nativity story for Christians today?  
    • Is the Christmas story true?
  • - How significant is it that Mary was Jesus’ mother




At the Isle of Ely Primary School, we envision the RE curriculum impacting the pupils in the following ways:

  • extend their knowledge and understanding of religions and beliefs
  • develop a religious vocabulary and interpret religious symbolism in a variety of forms
  • reflect on questions of meaning, offering their own thoughtful and informed insights into religious and secular world-views
  • explore ultimate questions of beliefs and values in relation to a range of contemporary issues in an ever-changing society


By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, understand and apply skills related to the two attainment targets and learning themes embedded with the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus.  

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