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Religious Education

Religious Education at Broadwater C of E Primary School

RE and Worship

As a Church school, RE has a distinctive place in the curriculum of the school.  As stated in the overall aims it is hoped that Christian principles and attitudes will permeate the whole life of the school.  The school has a well-established R.E. policy which includes a detailed programme of studies.  In each year group the majority of the learning in RE is around aspects of Christian teaching.  Children also gain an understanding of Judaism and Islam.  This teaching is sometimes given in the context of the thematic work of the school and takes account of the multicultural society in which we live.

Assemblies provide a daily opportunity for a collective act of Christian worship.  They are led by the Headteacher and by other members of staff.  The ministers of Broadwater Parish and other churches in the area come in weekly to lead assemblies as well.  Each class also has the opportunity to prepare an assembly of its own and parents are invited to come and see this. In addition the RE guidelines and worship aim to ensure that the children acquire a knowledge and understanding of the origins, content and development of the Christian faith, its tradition and beliefs.  It is also hoped that they will understand and appreciate the impact that Christianity and a personal faith can have on their individual lives.  Any parent wishing to withdraw their child form RE and collective workshop should contact the Headteacher so that arrangements can be made.

The schemes of work have been planned to meet the requirements of the Diocese of Chichester. This considers the recommended balance of curriculum time for Christianity and other world faiths.

In KS1 at Broadwater we teach a minimum of 2/3 Christianity and 1/3 World Religion.  In KS2 Christianity 2/3   World Religion 1/3

The long term plan across the school:

Early Years - Christianity

Year 1 - Christianity & Islam

Year 2 - Christianity & Islam

Year 3 - Christianity & Judaism

Year 4 - Christianity & Judaism

Year 5 - Christianity, Islam & Hindusim

Year 6 - Christianity &  Judaism

Religious Education at Broadwater C of E Primary School is taught through an enquiry-based approach.  The children are given the opportunity to explore, investigate and discuss big questions.  The teaching of the Christian faith is supported by the resource, recommended by the diocese, “Understanding Christianity”. The key purpose of these materials is to support pupils in developing their understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to their understanding of the world and their own experience within it.  It does this by integrating pupils’ developing understanding of significant theological concepts within Christianity.

The enquiry approach is also applied when teaching the World religions. 

 Click here to find out more about Understanding Christianity 

 Understanding Christianity taught at Broadwater

These are the areas taught during the Autumn term.  


Early Years

Through the year we will be looking at the three areas: Creation, Incarnation and Resurrection

We introduce Tom and Tess (twin puppet’s) who regularly pop into class to share with us their beliefs and experiences, as Christians, all at an age appropriate level.

Creation: This section looks at what the Bible says about God and we ask ‘Why is the word ‘God’ so important to Christians?

Tom and Tessa learn about God from the Bible at Church and home. Christians believe God is behind everything in the world: he is the creator and giver of life. God loves the world and he gave humans the responsibility of looking after it.

Incarnation: We ask the question…'Why do Christians perform Nativities at Christmas?'

The subject of Christmas begins by connecting the Baby Jesus to the adult Jesus, which can cause confusion. We consider that for Christians Jesus is not just a baby but God.

Resurrection: 'Why do Christians put a cross in an Easter garden?'  This section focuses on Jesus’ last days on earth, from Palm Sunday to his resurrection.

We look at the four Gospels and how the Easter story is made up from a number of different stories beginning from Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Jerusalem to his resurrection and reacquainting himself with the disciples.


Year 1

Drama, story telling, art, music, and first hand experiences are embedded throughout all our enquiry based units.

During the first half of the Autumn term, we will be asking the question “What is the Good News Jesus brings?” Children will explore how the concepts of friendship, forgiveness and peace are linked to the person of Jesus. Year One will find out about the work of local Christian charities including Turning Tides and Refugees for Worthing.

Later in the term, we pose the question “Why does Christmas matter to Christians?” The children will explore the Bible story of Christmas and the theme of Advent.

In Spring term, Year One will be introduced to the World faith of Islam. We shall ask “How do Muslim families show their commitment to Allah?” We discover how babies are welcomed into Muslim faith and explore the role of prayer in family life. We shall also explore stories from the Qu’ran and consider the ideas within them.

As we approach Easter, we return to Christianity and ask "Why does Easter matter to Christians?" The children explore the Biblical events through a multi-sensory walk around school where they interact with Easter story scenes and meet ‘Mary’, a friend of Jesus. We use art to encourage the children to reflect on the different emotions of Holy Week.

In the Summer term we pose the question “Why is the Mosque important to Muslims?” Children will have opportunities to explore and celebrate the rich and varied architecture of mosques within the UK, learning about their significant features. We learn how the mosque has an important role in the lives of many Muslim families. The children express their understanding by building their own mosques and creating scenes within them.

Our final unit looks at the role of the church as we ask “Why are churches important to Christians?” We return to the Good News concepts explored at the start of the year and investigate how Christians experience them through church life. An important aspect of this is a visit to St Mary’s church in Broadwater.



Year 2

During the Autumn term, Year 2 focus on their RE enquiry on 'What do Christians believe God is like?'  Through reading parables such as ‘The Lost Son’ and ‘The Lost sheep’ they begin to explore God as a parent figure.  The focus develops into discussing about forgiveness. 

After half term, the children have the opportunity to find out about Islam.  Starting with the question 'How do some Muslims show Allah is compassionate and merciful?' the children explore traditional Muslim stories e.g. Muhammad and the Crying Camel, and discuss how Muslim children learn about Allah.

Nearer Christmas, alongside our Nativity preparations we ask 'Why does Christmas matter to Christians?'  The children discuss and dig deeper into the story through drama, artefacts and discussion.

During the Spring term, Year 2 continue their RE enquiry focused on God, but dig deeper with the question ‘What do Christians believe God is like?’ The story of Jonah and the Whale gives the children the opportunity to explore the idea of God protecting and guiding.  The focus moves onto Christian worship, asking ‘Why do Christians sing in church?’ then moving onto ‘If God is invisible, how do Christians describe God?’ The children compare and explore art work portraying God.  This develops into their own images representing the key features of God in the eyes of a Christian e.g. love and forgiveness. 

During the lead up to Easter, drama, discovery trails and images help the children to explore the question ‘Why does Easter matter to Christians?’ 

Within the Summer term, we return to investigate Islam asking ‘How is the Qur’an important to Muslims?’  The children enjoy finding out about the special and holy books, how Muslims pray and discuss the many names Muslim have for Allah.

The year is completed by linking the RE with the overall topic - Shimmering Shoes.  During the discovery about the ocean and the amazing creatures that live within it, we ask the question ‘Who made the world?

Year 3

During the Autumn Term, we will be asking 'What do Christians learn from the Creation Story?' During this unit of work we will explore the Bible text, current ecological issues and reflect on a Christian’s response to them.

Making links to our African topic, we will investigate the symbolism of different crosses from around the world. Our enquiry question will be 'What sort of beliefs are expressed through the symbolism of World Crosses?'

After half term, the children will explore the story, symbolism and meaning behind a Jewish festival as we ask 'Why is Hanukkah important to Jewish families?' We will explore themes of persecution and the rights of individuals to express religious beliefs.

 For the first half of the Spring Term, Year 3 will continue their focus on Judaism. We shall be asking: ‘How do Jewish families show their commitment to God during Shabbat?’  We will explore the concept of the Sabbath and its sacredness. We will examine how Jewish people express their faithfulness to God during this time. 

After half term, Year 3 will be exploring the Christian theme of Salvation by asking ‘Why do Christians call the day Jesus died Good Friday?’ We shall investigate the events and emotions associated with Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Day.

For the first half of the Summer Term, Year 3 will be investigating Christian symbols and asking the enquiry question “How do symbols express Christian beliefs about the Trinity?” The children have a good understanding that Christians believe in One God from previous work in Key Stage One. We will move onto to exploring the Christian belief that God expresses himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The children will complete this unit by creating their own artwork to express what they have learnt.

After half term, Year 3 will be asking “Why is baptism important to Christians?” We shall investigate Infant and Believers Baptism and finish with a visit to a local Baptist church.

Year 4 

During the Autumn term, Year 4 pose the question ‘Who is Jesus?’ The children will explore how Jesus has been represented in past and present times through global art and different musical genres and artists. They will look at Biblical texts to investigate evidence of how different groups of people perceived Jesus. Finally, Year 4 will express their own ideas about the person Jesus by creating their own piece of art.

After half term, Year 4 investigate the question ‘What is it like to follow God?’ During this unit, we will explore the people who followed God within the Bible and how Christians follow God today.

In the Spring Term, Year 4 learn about Judaism and Passover. We discover the importance of the Seder meal and explore why it is significant to the Jewish faith by asking ‘How does the story of Passover link to freedom?

Year 5  

During the first half of the Autumn Term, Year 5 reflect on the question 'What does it mean if God is Holy and Loving?'  The children look at different Biblical texts and identify how God is described, using technical terms accurately.  We investigate links between these texts and what Christians believe about God.  We discuss how Christians put their beliefs in to practice through worship. 

In the second half of the term, Year 5 ask the question 'How can following God bring freedom and Justice?'   Through studying the story of Moses, which links with our Ancient Egypt topic, we look at the concepts of freedom and salvation.  We talk about links between what the Bible says and what Christians believe about how they should behave. We also look at how some more contemporary leaders have strived to bring freedom and justice, such as Nelson Mandela, Malala and Desmond Tutu. 

During the first half of the spring term, Year 5 learn about Hinduism guided by the key enquiry question, "What spiritual pathways to moksha are written about in Hindu scriptures?" Pupils explore ancient wisdom and sacred teachings and texts. Through this journey, the children discover the diversity of paths leading to the same ultimate goal of moksha, gaining an understanding of the profound interplay between actions, choices, and the cycle of birth, life, and death.  Facilitated by the wisdom embedded in the sacred text of the Bhagavad Gita, our children are guided to recognise the significance of various spiritual pathways. They learn about Bhakti Yoga as a poignant pathway to moksha, embracing the teachings that explain how love and devotion serve as integral elements in the Hindu way of life. By exploring these profound concepts, the children not only gain a deeper appreciation for the rich tapestry of Hindu spirituality but also develop a broader perspective on the interconnectedness of diverse spiritual practices on the journey towards ultimate liberation. 

In the second half of the term the topic is Salvation and the children reflect on the question ‘What did Jesus do to save human beings?’ Through looking at the last days of Jesus’ life, they debate who was responsible for Jesus’ death and why Christians describe it as a sacrifice, making connections between this and how Christians celebrate Holy Communion.

In the Summer Term, Year 5 focus on Islam, starting with the question ‘In what ways is Mohammed a role model for Muslims?’ They look at the significance of Mohammed and the Qur’an for Muslims as well as learning about the Five Pillars of Islam. Later in the term, they move on to the question ‘What does submission to Allah mean for Muslims in everyday life?’ Here they think about what daily life is like for a Muslim. In the second half of the term, the children have the opportunity to visit a mosque.

Year 6

During the Autumn Term, we will be asking 'What should God’s kingdom be like?' and 'How could we bring God’s Kingdom to our school?' During this unit of work we will explore parables from The Bible and identify the message and the symbolism within them and related this to the Kingdom of God. Furthermore, we will look at unjust social situations and explore how we can challenge these.

Making links to our Science topic on evolution, we will ask the question: 'Can Science and Christianity be complementary?' We explore different perspectives on Creation and children will consider their own beliefs, representing these through art.

Our final topic explores incarnation. We will be asking, ‘Was Jesus a Messiah?’ and ‘Why do Christians believe the world needed a World Saviour?’ As part of our work, we will explore the prophecies in The Bible, examining written evidence of how Christians believe Jesus fulfilled these.

In the Spring Term we will be focusing on our world religion of Judaism. During the first part of the Spring term, we will be considering how the Jewish faith originated and thinking about questions such as: 'Why is Abraham thought to be the father of the nation?' From this starting point we begin to look at Jewish festivals and celebrations through the eyes of children. We will be considering how and why Jewish families celebrate special days. The children will research key festivals such as: Hannukah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and how are they similar/different to each other.

In the second half of the term we will move onto considering how beliefs influence daily life and actions. Key questions to consider will be: 'How special is the relationship that Jews have with God?' 'How important is it for Jewish people to do what God asks them to do?' We will link this to our World War 2 topic through the study of Anne Frank reflecting on 'How Anne Frank's beliefs may have influenced her actions and decisions?' We will also consider the people who helped her family and how their beliefs may have influenced them?

Our final topic of the year is Salvation. We will be thinking about the resurrection and considering key questions such as:

Why do Christians think Jesus was resurrected?

Why do Christians believe in the resurrection?

We will be using drama, music and art to explore this topic in detail. Our final piece of work will be a creative piece of artwork depicting one of the key concepts of salvation, sacrifice, resurrection and hope.