Religious Education


At Walmley Infant School we want each child to develop a love of learning and show care and respect for each other within the context of a happy, secure and challenging learning environment.

Walmley Infant and Nursery School is situated in Walmley, Sutton Coldfield.  Children who attend the school largely come from families who consider themselves to follow a Christian tradition but increasingly we welcome children who are members of a variety of other religious faiths and traditions as well as those with no formal religious beliefs.  The faith background of staff and children is respected at all times.

In our school we believe that RE both supports and strengthens our aims in every aspect of school life.  Our caring ethos and the value which we place on the development of the whole child is reflected in the RE curriculum.

At Walmley Infant School, we aim to ensure that all RE lessons follow the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus of Religious Education (2022). We value all our pupils as the unique individuals they are and endeavour to celebrate them through RE experiences, including collective worship, assemblies and special, themed days. At Walmley Infant School we develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of the major world faiths to enable children to develop a sound knowledge of Christianity as well as a variety of other world religions, especially those that are the main faiths of children within our school. Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We help the children learn from religions as well as about religions. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive school and we feel it is essential that our children learn about the diversity of the world around them. We provide exciting and stimulating differentiated lessons that are inclusive and actively teach problem solving and discovery through a practical element. We use quality resources that are purposeful and relevant. It is important that we provide our pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding to develop into well-rounded, tolerant and inclusive young people. We believe our RE curriculum promotes our core school values whilst preparing our children for their futures.


Our school curriculum for Religious Education meets the requirements of the 1988 Education Reform Act (ERA). The ERA states that the RE syllabus should reflect the fact that religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, and that it should, at the same time, take account of the teachings and practises of other major religions. It is a statutory requirement to cover the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus of Religious Education (2022) which entitles all pupils to a programme of teaching and learning in Religious Education.

There is no National Curriculum for RE, however, all maintained Schools must follow the National Curriculum requirements to teach a broad and balanced curriculum, which includes RE. We have a statutory duty to teach RE.

While the law does not stipulate statutory times for Religious Education, in order to maximise pupil outcomes, Birmingham SACRE strongly recommends that Reception and Keys Stage 1 are taught Religious Education for 36 hours per year, in order to be compliant with the syllabus.

It is a statutory requirement for Religious Education to be offered to all pupils on the School roll from compulsory School age to 18 years. This requirement does not extend to nursery classes in maintained schools. However, Birmingham SACRE endorses the view that Religious Education will form a valuable part of the educational experience of children from the age of three to the beginning of their compulsory school age.

Early Years Foundation Stage

At Walmley Infant School, we aim to deliver a well-balanced EYFS curriculum, covering the 24 dispositions using the Birmingham syllabus. The children can explore, investigate and ask questions about objects, people and resources within their child-initiated play and also through planned activities, stories and child-led discussions. EYFS staff aim to support children in understanding and valuing the differences within our community. Throughout the year, many worldwide festivals are explored and children have opportunities to look at traditional objects, food, and consider similarities and differences between celebrations.  Children are encouraged to reflect on their families, special times and special places. Verbal feedback is given throughout activities and misconceptions are addressed so that learning is moved forward during adult and child interactions.

The Early Years Framework  identifies seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings, with UW being one of four areas which support the three prime areas of communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development all of which are important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.

“Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society…. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains.”

(Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage – Setting the Standards for Learning, Development and Care for Children from birth to five, DfE, 31 March 2021)

Key Stage 1

Key stage one follows the Birmingham agreed syllabus for RE. Rather than starting studies from the perspective of a religion or worldview, in Birmingham the 24 dispositions are the starting point, enabling a universal viewpoint to be shared and understood before extending study to points of agreement, and distinctiveness, through four dimensions of learning. These dimensions are; Learning from Experience, Learning about Religious Traditions and Non-Religious Worldviews, Learning from Faith and Non-Religious Worldviews and Learning to Discern. The dimensions will assist pupils in developing skills to consider issues, not only from their own perspective but also from an analytical viewpoint. Each dimension is covered by a unit of 3 or 4 lessons, each lesson having a question to lead the learning.

RE is taught every week. At the start of each new topic, key vocabulary is shared with the class and displayed so that it can be referenced by the children throughout the topic. Recording can come in a variety of different forms including observations on post-it notes, photographs for more practical lessons, or drawings from the children. RE lessons start with ‘previously…’ so children can retrieve their prior learning and are actively encouraged to use this to support themselves in answering the topic questions.

During lessons

Through investigation style lessons, our children will discuss different values and ideas to lead the learning from the initial enquiry. Each module is based on a question pertinent to the religion being studied. The children then use their own experiences to help them understand how and why different beliefs are followed. This allows the children to identify with differing ideas based on their own lives, making their learning more accessible and relevant to them.

For each year group, there are six enquiry modules. Three are based on Christianity and the other three are based on the year groups other chosen religion. This builds up a good understanding of different religions over the years in a progressive way.

Units and lessons are tailored to suit our children and their backgrounds or beliefs, whilst meeting the national curriculum guidance for RE and promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental, and physical development of our pupils.

Subject knowledge organisers

Each half term KS1 and EYFS shares a Subjects Knowledge organiser or Curriculum overview on Tapestry.  These outlines the key question, core knowledge, key vocabulary and definitions, history/context and associated prior and future learning. We ensure that the topic studied in Religious Education builds on prior learning.


Each year group stores the resources that they require to cover their topics. If any other resources are required staff can make requests to RE Subject lead.


All children will be given access to the R.E. curriculum regardless of gender, ability, ethnic origin and social circumstances, and through differentiation, will be given opportunities to make the greatest possible progress.  The school will ensure that children with SEN, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents, and those learning English as an additional language, all have full access to the RE curriculum.

Unicef Rights Respecting

In 2017 Walmley Infant School became a UN Rights Respecting School.  Rights associated with Religious Education include:

  • Article 12 – the right to be heard
  • Article 13 – the right to an opinion
  • Article 28 – the right to education
  • Article 29 – the right for education to develop every child’s personality, talent and abilities to the full and that education must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their own and other cultures, and the environment
  • Article 30 – the right to learn and use the language, customs and religion of their family.

British Values

Religious Education is a key player in engendering knowledge and understanding which can lead to tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs. It does not, however, teach children to passively accept, but rather encourages evaluation and critical thinking, equipping them to consider belief positions they encounter. Discovery RE contributes significantly to the British Values agenda and the mapping documents on the Community Area and at the beginning of each year group show how.


In RE, we have respect for our fellow pupils and encourage everyone to have the confidence to express their ideas and opinions regarding Religious issues.

The Rule of Law

In RE, we examine different rules for living from different religions so that the children might understand what a law might be.

Individual Liberty

Children will explore their own individual liberty and that of others when comparing and contrasting Religious beliefs.  They will explore choices that different religions make.

Mutual Respect

Mutual respect is taught and given when children are expressing their opinions and beliefs about different Religions. Children discuss what it means to be British and learn how to question and challenge stereotypes respecting others opinions.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

Children consider questions regarding how different cultures live throughout the world.


The ERA allows parents to withdraw their child from religious education classes if they so wish, although only after they have given written notice to the school governors. Arrangements will be made for any parent wishing to do so.

The ERA also allows teachers to refuse to teach religious education, but only after they have given due notice of their intentions to the school governors.

Equal Opportunities

We have carefully considered and analysed the impact of this policy on equality and the possible implications for pupils with protected characteristics as part of our commitment to meet the Public Sector Equality Duty requirement to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.

It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that all children are treated equally, regardless of their background, gender, race or ability and have an equal entitlement to geographical activities and opportunities. We are an inclusive school and teach RE to all children respecting individual needs. Through teaching RE, we provide learning opportunities for all pupils. We strive to meet the needs of all pupils including those with special educational needs, disabilities, More Able and Talented and those learning English as an additional language (See Equality and Diversity Policy).

Learning to live and work together, and respect each other is encouraged throughout the school.

Cross Curricular links


Religious Education promotes the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. This is done by encouraging discussion, researching and recording information.

PSHE and Relationship Education

Through our religious education lessons we teach the children about the values and moral beliefs that underpin individual choices of behaviour.

Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

Through Religious Education in our school we provide opportunities for spiritual development. Children consider and respond to questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life. We help them to recognise the difference between right and wrong, through the study of moral and ethical questions. We enhance their social development by helping them to build a sense of identity in a multicultural society. Children explore issues of religious faith and values and, in doing so, they develop their knowledge and understanding of the cultural context of their own lives.

RE and computing

ICT enhances RE by allowing the children access to the internet and other programmes to support selection and analysis of information. The children also use ICT to take photographs of the class for example, acting out a story from a religious tradition to enhance understanding and enjoyment.


Through classroom activities teachers observe, assess and record children’s achievements.  The legal requirement to report to parents once a year about RE will be fulfilled in each child’s annual report.

Short term assessment is a feature of each lesson. Observations and careful questioning enable teachers to adjust lessons and address misconceptions. On-going assessments must be used to inform planning, particularly to identify children who have already achieved or mastered the objectives that are being taught or consolidated. Assessment will soon be on Tapestry and so can be viewed by parents as soon as it is added.


At Walmley Infant School, we believe that having knowledge and understanding of the wider world is a fundamental aim for all our pupils. This will enable them to move on to the next stage of education equipped to understand and respect the experiences of others. We hope to inspire our children to become lifelong learners, making links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world, developing an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life. As such, R.E. is invaluable in an ever changing and shrinking world.


Children are enabled to demonstrate Religious knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways. Teachers will assess learning through a combination of formal and informal tasks, by making informal judgements during the lesson, discussions, question and answer techniques and observation.

On completion of learning, the teacher assesses this by marking and commenting as necessary and uses the information to plan future learning. Written or verbal feedback is given to the child to help guide progress.


Pupil’s understanding of vocabulary is carefully considered and planned for specifically linked to the key objectives being taught from Nursery all the way to Year Two. This is not only used by staff during lessons but is also shared with Parents’ via Topic Overviews in the Early Years and Subject Knowledge Organisers in Key Stage One which also include vocabulary definitions so parents’ can support their children’s learning at home.

Pupil Voice

Key Stage one children are aware that there are different religions and it is “interesting to find out about them”. Also, “We don’t have to believe the same thing”. “No one is right or wrong”.

The children were able to tell me that “Muslims celebrate Eid and I am a Muslim”. Also that “God is religion”.