Whiteley Primary School


Religious Education in Whiteley Primary follows the Hampshire Agreed Syllabus for RE, which is entitled ‘Living Difference IV’. The agreed syllabus follows the legal requirement for religious education to reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teachings and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.

“Living Difference IV affirms our commitment to an education that takes seriously the importance of children and young people exploring their own lives in relation to what it can mean to live with a religious orientation on life, as well as other ways of life including those informed by a non-religious perspective. It gives guidance to teachers regarding what religious education should aim to achieve during their time in school so that children and young people come to speak, think and act in the world.” (Living Difference IV)

For more information and detail about the “Living Difference IV” Hampshire agreed syllabus, please follow the link.

Living Difference IV

At Whiteley Primary School, pupils study Christian RE topics in every year group. In addition, pupils learn about Hindu traditions in Key Stage 1, Jewish traditions in lower key stage 2, and Islam in upper key stage 2. Pupils are taught about the main traditions, practices and beliefs of the religions, but will also have the opportunity to relate the key concepts covered to their own experiences and explore their own beliefs and questions of meaning.

In Year R, RE is taught with the Living Difference syllabus alongside the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, to support the children’s “Understanding of the world” element of their development. Year R learn about Christian, Hindu and Jewish traditions across the year and through their continuous provision within the Reception base.

At Whiteley Primary, we follow a themed approach to the curriculum, blocking subjects together to make meaningful links for pupils. As a result, RE is not necessarily taught for a set period each week, but may be taught in longer sessions over a shorter timescale, enabling pupils to spend quality time exploring a concept/word and where appropriate linking work to other areas of the curriculum. Each year group has a different RE unit of work every half term.

All RE units consist of a series of lessons which follow the same ‘cycle of enquiry’ pattern. Initially the children are introduced to a concept/word which expresses a human experience, and explore what that concept/word means to them and how it might affect their everyday life. The cycle of enquiry consists of five steps. These are Communicate, Apply, Inquire, Contextualise and Evaluate. The cycle can be started at “Communicate” or “Inquire” but all the steps are completed. A description of these steps can be found in the “Living Difference” syllabus (see link above). As the children journey around the cycle of enquiry they also find out what the concept/word means to those whose follow different religions. Four concepts, community, belonging, special, love, are used as golden thread concepts and these flow through the curriculum in all key stages allowing children to revisit them, deepening and broadening their knowledge of religious education over time.

Parents have a legal right to withdraw their child from all or parts of RE or collective worship. If you are considering exercising your parental right of withdrawal, we would ask that you contact the Headteacher to discuss the elements of RE which you would like your child to be withdrawn from and the practical implications of withdrawal. The headteacher can also give further information about RE to enable you to make an informed decision.

RE Overview