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Religious Education

The school follows Living Difference, the agreed syllabus for Southampton, Hampshire and Portsmouth. It is the statutory guidance on the locally agreed curriculum for Religious Education. 


The school aims to follow the minimum recommended 45 hours of religious education annually which will include the three aims of the curriculum which are to create:

  • successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve; 
  • confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives; 
  • responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.

With this in mind, we follow a mixture of the Key Stage 1 and the Key Stage 2 curriculum. This gives our children (with their often limited life experiences and knowledge), the chance to develop their knowledge and understanding at a basic level before moving onto more complex themes. Work is differentiated to cater for children's different levels of understanding.


Topics for the academic year 2021-22 are as follows:

Autumn 1 - 

Theme: Special places (Various)

Concept: Belonging

Comparison: Lumbini (Buddhism)
What is a special place to you? Why? What makes a place special? The children will talk about different special religious buildings to each faith - churches, synagogues, gurdwaras, mosques, temples. 

Lumbini (pilgrimage site for Buddhists in Nepal) is under threat because of industrial development. How would the children feel if a special place to them was knocked down or built over? How do Buddhists feel?


Autumn 2 -

Theme: Advent (Christianity)

Concept: Looking forward

Comparison: Vasant Panchami (Hinduism)

The children will discuss the excitement of looking forward to events and, of course, looking forward to Christmas. Children will explore the true meaning of Christmas and Advent for Christians and how they celebrate.

Comparison will be made with the Hindu celebration of Vasant Panchami - the kite flying festival.


Spring 1 - 

Theme: Tu Bishvat (Judaism)

Concept: Cycle of life

Comparison: Baptism (Christianity)

The children will explore the cycle of life, looking at trees, plants and animals and find out about the Jewish festival of Tu Bishvat when trees are planted all over Israel to celebrate new life. 

This will link with a study on new life in the Christian church and the practice of Baptism in Christianity.


Spring 2 -

Theme: Guru Granth Sahib (Sikhism)

Concept: Authority

Comparison: Non-religious viewpoints (Humanism)

What is authority? Who has it? Who is an authority figure to you? Does everyone use authority for good? Should we always blindly trust those with authority?

Guru Granth Sahib is the Sikh holy book - it is the authority that helps Sikhs live a good life. In contrast, humanists don’t have a special book or list of rules - they believe in the authority of science and scientists. The children will reflect on these differences and think about how they make moral choices. 


Summer 1 - 

Theme: Forgiveness and karma (Hinduism)

Concept: Forgiveness

Comparison: Confession (Christianity)

What is forgiveness? How do we show it? Do we always have to forgive? Why would you ask for forgiveness? We will link to Restorative Practice to show how we all forgive in everyday lives.

Hindus believe in the concepts of dharma - you should give forgiveness and seek it out to help good actions travel through the world and make balance. What kind of things could you do to get forgiveness? Is just saying sorry enough? This relates to karma, what goes around comes around. Hindus believe your actions impact how you will be reincarnated.

Children will compare this with confession in the Catholic church. Christians seek forgiveness so they can live a good life and reach heaven and please a higher power. Hindus do it so they can impact their next life. The children will reflect on which model they prefer.


Summer 2 - 

Theme: The Hajj (Islam)

Concept: Journey

Comparison: The Western / Wailing Wall (Judaism)

What is a journey? What is a pilgrimage? Do you have anywhere you go every year / school holiday? What makes a pilgrimage different? What actually happens when Muslims partake in the Hajj? What do you think being in Mecca is actually like?

Visiting Mecca (the journey is called the Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam) is a celebration. It is the place Islam began - a happy occasion. However, the Wailing Wall is a place of great sadness of Jews. Children will compare these experiences using primary sources.


If you have any questions regarding subject matter of the curriculum, please contact Ellie West - Subject Coordinator