The Claypole Church of England Primary School

Believe And Achieve: To Be The Best That We Can Be

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The Claypole Church of England Primary School

Believe And Achieve: To Be The Best That We Can Be

Religious Education


Religious education (RE) is not part of the National Curriculum but must be taught in schools by law. We are a Church of England Controlled School and hold a strong commitment to teaching the principles of Christianity.


The Purpose of RE at Claypole Church of England School

We teach RE as a core part of our school curriculum to help our pupils develop their religious literacy. We understand religious literacy to be: “Our pupils’ ability to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and belief”.


The Aims of RE at Claypole Church of England School

Claypole School is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School for children aged 4 to 11 years. It is a small village primary school catering for all pupils in Claypole and surrounding villages. Voluntary Aided status means that we have very close links with our local church, clergy and the Diocese of Lincoln. Whilst attending Claypole School, children will learn about the different world faiths in Religious Education.


RE at Claypole Church of England School will be provided within legal requirements. These are as follows:

  1. The Basic Curriculum must include provision for RE for all pupils registered on the school roll, including those in Reception class who are less than five years old.

  2. The content of RE must reflect the fact that the religious traditions of Great Britain are, in the main, Christian; it must also reflect the teaching and practices of the other principal religious traditions represented in Great Britain

  3. The RE curriculum provided will be in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus for Lincolnshire. Within this framework our aims in RE are to meet the expectations of the Church of England Education Office’s Statement of Entitlement for RE, which sets the expectations for RE in church schools. This is not a legal requirement. We also aim for pupils to:

  • Acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and a range of world faiths and worldviews;

  • Develop an understanding of the ways in which religious and non-religious beliefs, teachings, practices, values and traditions influence individuals, communities, societies and cultures, from the local to the global contexts;

  • Develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues, with reference to the beliefs, teachings, practices, sources of authority and ways of living associated with the principle religions represented in the UK;

  • Develop positive attitudes of mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs;

  • Enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:

    • Considering the ‘big questions’ raised by human experience and reflecting on how religious and other traditions respond to them;

    • Responding to such questions with reference to religious beliefs, teachings, practices, values and traditions, relating them to their own understanding and experience;

    • Reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in light of their study of religious and other traditions.


The Context

Claypole Church of England School is a small rural school for children in the age range 4 to 11. We work to the 2018-2023 Lincolnshire Locally Agreed Syllabus for RE.


As a Church of England school, we recognise the core place that RE occupies in relation to our curriculum. The Diocese of Lincoln recognises the opportunities that RE offers for pupils to encounter a range of religions and world views.


We recognise the variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds that make up our school community and we respect this variety of backgrounds in the spirit of Christian welcome. We are glad to have good relationships with faith practitioners from a range of world faiths and we value their contribution to our provision of engaging RE.


We actively seek to prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain. As such, we promote key British values, including respect for and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We challenge racism and all forms of prejudice and we see RE as one curriculum area in which our pupils can encounter and critically reflect on a range of worldviews.


Time Allocation

It is the expectation of the Church of England Education Office that RE should constitute a minimum of 5% curriculum time. This is in line with the recommendations made by the Dearing Report (1994). We meet this expectation by providing the minimum time of 36 hours per year for KS1 and 45 hours per year for KS2. At Claypole Church of England Primary School this time is arranged as discrete hour-long lessons per week for each class. RE forms part of the planning at EYFS; although there is no expected time allocation at this level, we expect that there will be connections made between RE and the Early Learning Goals. RE curriculum time does not include collective worship or assembly.



Throughout the school we teach RE to ensure pupils develop the knowledge, skills and understanding about some of the different religions around the world including Christianity. It is our intention that pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating and connecting substantive knowledge, disciplinary (ways of knowing) knowledge and personal knowledge...

Substantive knowledge: children learn subject content about various religious and non-religious traditions;

Disciplinary knowledge (ways of knowing): children learn ‘how to know’ about religion and nonreligion;

Personal knowledge: children build an awareness of their own presuppositions and values about the religious and non-religious traditions.


Our RE Scheme of Work is based on the Lincolnshire Locally Agreed Syllabus and adopts 'key questions for enquiry' and progression of 'key religious facts' as well as explicit vocabulary and focus on key people, customs and celebrations and knowledge for each religion covered.


Children are introduced to Religious Education in the Early Years through learning about celebrations and festivals. This links with the Early Learning Goals of comparing similarities and differences between themselves and other people in the community. In addition there is opportunity for listening to a variety of stories with a key religious or moral focus (E.g The boy who cried wolf, the parable of the lost coin). Children have the opportunity to retell stories they have heard, through role-play and small world within the classroom environments.  Early Years Practitioners use observation to assess children’s understanding of celebrations and festivals through conversations with the children and how these are linked to their own lives and family circumstances. 


Each topic or theme poses a key question for enquiry which demands an answer that weighs up ‘evidence’ (subject knowledge) and reaches a conclusion based on this. This necessitates children using their subject knowledge and applying it to the enquiry question, rather than this knowledge being an end in itself. RE focuses on critical thinking skills, on personal reflection into the child’s own thoughts and feelings, on growing subject knowledge and nurturing spiritual development. Through RE we teach the children about the different beliefs of people around the world. We do not:  

  • re-enact religious ceremonies;
  • teach any activities that would compromise pupils' own religious beliefs;
  • belittle the beliefs of others.


Visits and Visitors

We consider that an essential element of the delivery of good quality RE is encounter with world faiths. We encourage our pupils to participate in visits to places of worship when the opportunity arises; these visits are arranged in line with the programme of study for RE and provide pupils with the chance to encounter world religions as living faiths in modern Britain. We also encourage faith leaders and other members of faith communities to visit Claypole Church of England school. These visits are arranged in accordance with the school’s trips policy.


Our Religious Education curriculum ensures that children leave Claypole:

  • Knowing how to describe and make connections about different religions and world views.
  • Able to describe and understand links between stories and other aspects of different communities.
  • Open to exploring different beliefs, symbols and actions.
  • Able to observe and understand varied examples of religions and worldviews.
  • Understanding the challenges of commitment to a community of faith.
  • Able to identify similarities and differences between beliefs and practices of the religions studied.
  • Able to discuss and present thoughtfully their own views.
  • Able to consider how diverse communities can live together.
  • Remembering key knowledge, skills and understanding

Religious Education Policy

Stained Glass Windows by Year 1

Easter Story

Quakers of Newark

Bible Experience

Owls learning about Noah's Ark

Learning from a local Pastor

Reflection Areas

Comparing religions

Learning about Islam

Sharing knowledge

Writing prayers

St Peter's Church

What is a Reserved Teacher?
1. Section 58 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 requires the appointment in
Voluntary controlled (VC) schools of teachers who are able to provide religious education in accordance with the requirements of the Trust Deed of the school or in accordance with the tenets of the relevant religion or denomination.

2. Where the number of teachers at a foundation or voluntary-controlled school with a religious character is more than two, the teachers must include persons who are selected for their fitness and competence to teach religious education in accordance with the school’s trust deed or with the tenets of the school’s religion and are specifically appointed to do so.


3. These teachers are called Reserved Teachers.


What is denominational religious education?
4. There is no definition in the Act of denominational religious education but in practice it means any religious education provided in accordance with the requirements of the Trust Deed of the school and that is not the Locally Agreed Syllabus. Reserved Teachers may of course teach the Agreed Syllabus but that is not the purpose of their status.


Why is the provision of denominational religious education required?
5. Because parents have the right to request it. The norm in VC Church of England schools is that RE is provided according to the Locally Agreed Syllabus. Reserved Teachers are not needed for this. However, parents may request denominational religious education and the governing body must make it available. Reserved Teachers are appointed in order that suitable persons are available should parents request this provision.


Our Reserved Teachers are Martyn Wells (Headteacher) and Elizabeth Silby (RE Leader).

  • The Claypole Church of England Primary School, School
  • Lane, Claypole, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG23 5BQ
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  • Phone: 01636 626268