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Religious Education at Menheniot Primary School

The principle aim of religious education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living. 

                                                                                         Cornwall Syllabus for RE 2020-2025


RE is taught using the Cornwall Agreed Syllabus (2020-2025). This syllabus is designed to develop and deliver excellence in RE throughout the whole school through the study of one religion at a time using a systematic approach. Pupils encounter core concepts in religions and beliefs in a coherent way, developing their understanding and their ability to investigate questions, exploring key concepts and encouraging deeper understanding. The teaching and learning approach has three core elements which are interwoven together to allow for breadth, depth, flexibility and progress.


The Three Core Elements


The three core elements are:

Element 1: Making sense of beliefs – Identifying and making sense of religious and non-religious beliefs and concepts; understanding what these beliefs mean; looking at a range of sources such as texts and how they are used and expressed and interpreted in different ways.

Element 2: Understanding the impact – Examining how and why people put their beliefs into practice in diverse ways, within their everyday lives, within their communities and in the wider world.

Element 3: Making connections -  Evaluating, reflecting on and connecting beliefs and practices studied, allowing pupils to challenge ideas and the ideas studied to challenge pupils’ thinking; discerning possible connections between these and the pupils’ own lives and ways of understanding the wider world.

The RE curriculum enables pupils to revisit previous learning and embed new concepts and develop long term consolidation.


Pupils will study in depth the following religious traditions.

Reception: Discovering

Children will encounter Christianity and other faiths, as part of their growing sense of self, their own community and their place within it.

Key Stage One: Exploring

Christians, Jews and Muslims and one Cornish Unit, “What makes some people and places in Cornwall sacred? “

Lower Key Stage Two: Connecting

Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jews and one Cornish Unit, “How and why do people in Cornwall mark significant events in community life? “

Upper Key Stage Two: Connecting

Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jews and one Cornish Unit, “Does faith help people in Cornwall when life gets hard? “

The pupils encounter engaging and imaginatively resourced lessons which are taught using a range of teaching and learning styles. These allow for the personal development of skills and understanding. There is a clear sequence of progression throughout the school and children’s knowledge and understanding is built upon as they move from year to year. Progress and attainment are monitored through the End of phase outcomes and any gaps are then addressed. When monitoring, we check that pupils know, understand and apply the concepts, skills and learning processes relevant to each unit and that they are consolidating and embedding learning.


In addition to the RE Curriculum which is taught through dedicated RE lessons using the Understanding Christianity and RE Today Schemes of Work, the children attend daily assemblies and as part of these, enjoy and participate in ‘Open The Book’. This is a fortnightly assembly led by a dedicated group from the local church, St. Lalluwys. They perform a series of plays that bring bible stories to life and enable pupils to think about some of the more challenging ideas. The school also has strong links with the local church and the local community. A Harvest Celebration is held each year in the church and at Christmas, the whole school welcomes families, friends and the local community to celebrate the Christmas Story. In order to strengthen our multicultural links and to support our enriched curriculum, we organise a range of workshops which are led by Daya, a Cornish Sikh lady. The pupils learn about Hindu and Muslim traditions, culture, clothes and cooking, in addition to the important aspects of Hinduism and Islam.

A wide range of resources and artefacts are used to inspire and encourage learning and opportunities for research and self-development are promoted.

Time Allocation for RE


The syllabus states that religion should take up a minimum of 5% of curriculum time in any one academic year. Collective worship is not included in this time allocation.


Withdrawal from RE


RE is part of the curriculum for all schools as set out in the 1996 Education Act and in the Schools Standards and Framework Act and must be taught to all pupils, however, parents do have the right to withdraw their child from all or part of RE. This is done in consultation with the RE Leader or Headteacher so that agreement can be reached as to how the withdrawal can best be managed.  Appropriate work should be provided by the parents/ carers.  In accordance with the Cornwall Agreed Syllabus 2020 R.E. should be taught for 36 hours per year at KS1 and 45 hours at KS2.

Religious Education in Early Years


Pupils will encounter religions and worldviews through special people, books, times, places and objects and by visiting places of worship. They will listen to and talk about stories. They will be introduced to subject specific words and use all of their senses to explore beliefs, practices and forms of expression. They will ask questions and reflect upon their own feelings and experiences. They will use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation of and wonder at the world in which they live.


Through the year they will achieve this through the celebration and experience of festivals and celebrations:

  • Harvest
  • Christmas
  • Lent
  • Easter
  • Pentecost/Whitsun


They will also celebrate two Cornish festivals e.g. St Piran’s Day, Obby ‘Oss or local Saint’s days to enable pupils to recognise key themes of human experience within their own lives and the lives around them.

In addition they will be read stories from both the New Testament and the Old Testament.