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Chesswood Junior School

Chesswood Junior School

Religious Education

Welcome to RE at Chesswood

The school follows the West Sussex Programme for Religious Education (RE) and the work is sometimes included in the topic where this is relevant. We follow a scheme of work developed by Discovery RE. This is a thoughtful and creative set of Religious Education lesson planning for years 3 to 6. The approach takes very seriously the philosophy that children are free to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief.

Christianity is taught in every year group, with Christmas and Easter given new treatment each year, developing children’s learning in a progressive way. Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism are also covered. Each unit seeks to link religious experience and practice with everyday experiences the children may encounter. 

RE does not try to persuade but rather to inform and develop the skills with which evaluation can take place.

RE Vision

Through the teaching of Religious Education and as a result of the real, relevant and engaging Religious Education curriculum children will be genuinely enthusiastic about RE in all its forms. By encouraging dialogue and inquisitiveness amongst our children in RE lessons they will develop an understanding of major world faiths and will show respect for the beliefs of people around them. The syllabus will demystify the differences of customs and cultures children will meet in life and they will be able to make informed decisions for their own faith journeys.

RE will prompt pupils to consider their responsibilities to themselves and to others, and to explore how they might contribute to their communities and to wider society which will broaden their life opportunities. Children will understand clear links between their learning and real life – understanding how their developing knowledge and skills can be applied today, beyond school and in to adult life, including potential career paths, furthermore it encourages empathy, generosity and compassion.  Pupils will develop a sense of awe, wonder and mystery. The curriculum will help to nurture children’s own spiritual development.


RE principles

In line with the whole school curriculum policy, the following drivers and principles underpin everything we do in RE.

Curriculum Drivers

Life Opportunities      Creativity, Confidence, Competence

Curriculum Principles



Real & Relevant

Knowledge Rich

Cognitively Challenging


RE strategy

Life Opportunities 

Life skills are key to Religious Education at Chesswood. The focus is on exploring concepts and gaining transferable life skills, including Empathy, Investigation, Discernment, Evaluation, Expression and Reflection. Opportunities to link all units of work to careers are taken where possible – e.g. during the  Christianity topics a local Outreach Worker has an active role in teaching. Links to roles in the local community are promoted – e.g children have the opportunity to attend a local church to experience and gain an understanding of other faiths. Real life opportunities are sought, linking the key concepts of belonging, believing and commitment to aspects of their lives where they too experience this e.g belonging to after school clubs. Links to the best of what has been thought and said, through studying a range of different faiths allows each to explore their own values.  This inspires them to decide what they believe to be true and embeds ACRO skills in RE.

Creativity Confidence Competence

The Religious Education curriculum seeks to build knowledge upon knowledge and skills upon skills, sequencing progression through the school. This seeks to embed competence and confidence within the subject by focusing on key concepts children must achieve to be able to progress. Children use the vocabulary and skills learned to share their own ideas, first orally and then through writing, using the Engagement, Investigate, Evaluation and Expression cycle of learning.





Real and Relevant


Knowledge Rich


Cognitively Challenging





RE long term plan



year 3

Would celebrating Divali at home and in the community bring a feeling of belonging to a Hindu child?
Has Christmas lost its true meaning?

Venn diagram for children to express their understanding of which pictures symbolise the Religious / Non-Religious aspects of Christmas.

Could Jesus heal people?  Were these miracles or is there some other explanation?

How can Brahman be EVERYwhere and in everything?

We made cubes to show the different parts of our identity.  This is similar to Hindu Gods who take on different shapes and roles within their society.

We had to choose our favourite aspect of the Hindu God and explain what values they possess, why we chose this particular one, what values I look for in a friend and how I show these values in my life.



We expressed our understanding of who Brahma is in the form of poetry.

What is Good about Good Friday?
Would visiting the River Ganges feel special to a non-Hindu?

year 4

How special is the relationship Jews have with God?

We looked at and explained the importance of belonging and the promises we make to each other.

We also looked at the Ten Commandments and had to explain which promises we thought were the most important and why.

A quiz - to test our knowledge and understanding of the unit.




What is the most significant part of the Nativity story for Christians today?

The children had the opportunity to explore different aspects of the Nativity story then use their creative skills to depict them.

How important is it for Jewish people to do what God asks them to do?

We started to look at what our favourite foods were and think about how we would feel if we were forbidden from eating them!

We started to look at and begin to understand how Jews show God they value their special relationship with him.

We began to explore Kashrut (food laws). We can now explain what is considered to be Kosher (allowed) or Treif (not allowed) to be eaten.

Specifically we looked at why and how Jewish people celebrate Passover.

We further used our empathy skills to express how a Jewish child might feel or respond to an invitation to a birthday party at McDonalds.

Is forgiveness always possible for Christians?
What is the best way for a Jew to show commitment to God?
Do people need to go to church to show they are Christians?

Year 5

What is the best way for a Muslim to show commitment to God?

We explored how religious belief influences individuals and communities, starting with Shahadah, the belief that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger.

Salah -  the commitment to pray five times each day.

Zakah - The giving of money to charity


Sawm - Fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Hajj - The need to go on a pilgrimage.

We were then encouraged to express of own opinions about the best way for a Muslim to show their commitment to Allah.


Is the Christmas story true?
Does belief in Akhira (life after death) help Muslims lead a good life?


How significant is it for Christians to believe God intended Jesus to die?
How significant are rites of passage in a Muslim’s life?
What is the best way for a Christian to show commitment to God?

year 6

Is anything ever eternal?

At the start of the topic we were encouraged to express our current understanding / beliefs about the key questions.


We looked at symbolism, where and how this is portrayed in everyday life and had to express in our opinion whether anything can ever be eternal?

At the end of the topic our understanding was assessed both through the use of questions as well as creatively.

Is Christianity still a strong religion 2000 years after Jesus was on Earth?
Does belief in Akhirah (life after death) help Muslims lead good lives?