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All things are possible for one who believes – Mark 9:23

Religious Education

All things are possible for one who believes – Mark 9:23 

At Waverley Abbey, we believe that Religious Education is an integral part of our broad and balanced curriculum. Through R.E. lessons we support children in developing a strong sense of who they are and establish an understanding of the wider community in which we live. We aim to equip the children with the necessary skills to express their own personal viewpoints in a thoughtful, reasoned and considerate way. Our children will develop the skills to evaluate and reflect upon the information they are learning and seeing how this could impact their lives.

At Waverley Abbey, R.E gives us the opportunity to celebrate our differences and show our appreciation of everyone’s beliefs and views. We aim to create an inclusive, comfortable atmosphere in which children thrive and develop their own beliefs and opinions. Tolerance and respect are key life skills, which are embedded throughout the children’s learning. We promote a Christian ethos through all areas of the curriculum in addition to RE lessons however through RE we aim to help children to understand the background and beliefs of Christianity and the main world religions. The children are given plenty of opportunity to discuss ideas and talk about their own experiences. They are shown how to and encouraged to use what they have learnt and apply it to their own lives.

We are very fortunate at Waverley Abbey to partake in workshops delivered by the Signposts team and go on trips to religious places. Each Christmas and Easter we have a ‘Pause Day’ where we spend the whole day reflecting on specific parts of the Christmas and Easter story and the impact they have on believers and on our own lives.

We base our R.E lessons around the Surrey Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2023-2028. Pupils learn about a variety of world religions and cultures including Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism and Humanism. Our lessons follow an enquiry approach, which each unit being themed around a question. Big questions are an important part of school life for us as we encourage children to ask them as a way to deepen their learning. We aim to make lessons interesting and varied to engage all children and include drama, dance, art, design, cooking and poetry as ways to express religious knowledge and personal impressions.

Curriculum Intent: At Waverley Abbey, Religious Education has a significant role in pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Our ‘windows, mirrors, doors’ approach supports the  spiritual development of pupils throughout their time at our school. Our curriculum promotes respect, understanding and open-mindedness towards others with different faiths and beliefs and encourages pupils to develop a sense of identity and belonging in our school and wider community. Through our Religious Education curriculum, we aim to engage pupils in enquiring into and exploring ‘big questions’ arising from the study of religion and belief. We provide learners with knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religious traditions and beliefs with the aim of developing their understanding of the ways in which beliefs influence people in their behaviour, practices and outlook. This enables learners to become aware of their own beliefs and values and to have a positive attitude to the search for answers of life’s big questions.

Curriculum Implementation: Using the Surrey Agreed Syllabus for RE (2023-2028) teachers plan enquiry-based lessons, focused around key theological concepts and the ‘Golden Threads’ of community (sociological), God (theological) and Identity (philosophical). Teacher’s lead discussions where pupils have the opportunity to explore the beliefs and practices of others and of themselves in the context of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhi, Buddhism, Hindu (Sanatan Dharma) and also Humanism. Pupils will also have the opportunity apply and deepen their knowledge across the years through end of year thematic units. Teachers use a range of strategies to support learning, and use a range of creative and written tasks to help children deepen their understanding. Pupils are encouraged to be reflective in lessons, investigating their own thoughts and beliefs and are encouraged to ask big questions that may not have an answer but that can be investigated further. We hold a Christmas and Easter Pause Day each year when pupils have the opportunity to reflect on these key concepts within Christianity, linking to our school values.

Curriculum Impact: Pupils at Waverley Abbey receive a broad RE curriculum which enquires into religions and world views through theology, philosophy and sociology. Our curriculum allows pupils to progress through sequenced learning, developing both knowledge and skills and are able to connect their learning to the three ‘Golden Threads’- God, identity and community. Pupils are able to reflect on the impact of a religion on the lives of believers and are able to talk about how aspects of religion relate to their own community and lives. They ask big questions but are also understanding that sometimes, an answer is not always clear.

The impact of our R.E. curriculum is measured in a variety of ways:

  • Questioning during lessons
  • Written work that demonstrates understanding of knowledge
  • Class discussion and debate
  • Pupil voice
  • Book looks
  • End of lesson reflections focusing on the ‘Golden Threads’.

By the end of their time at Waverley Abbey, pupils will be able to:

  • Understand the key beliefs and teachings of the religions and beliefs studied
  • Understand the key practices and lifestyles of the religions and beliefs studied
  • Understand how beliefs are conveyed in different ways such as in literature and the arts
  • Understand how and why an individual can demonstrate their beliefs
  • Understand values of believers and reflect upon their own, applying this to our school values
  • Reflect upon personal experiences, belief and identity and those held around the world
  • Explain their own ideas about the answers to ultimate questions

If you would like to find out more about the curriculum please make an appointment to see your child's teacher who will be happy to discuss this with you. You can do this by contacting school through the office via -