Religious Education

All about RE at Hayward’s…


What is the purpose of Religious Education?

The Devon, Torbay & Cornwall Agreed Syllabus (SACRE 2019):

The principal 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.

At Hayward’s:

At Hayward’s, RE is about exploring different beliefs and how they change the way people live: individually, in our community and in the wider world. We are developing the knowledge, understanding and skills we will need to handle the big questions in life and to reflect on our own life choices.


At Hayward’s RE is:

  • A subject that explores a wide range of different beliefs including those who follow a religious set of beliefs and those who do not.
  • Inclusive
  • Age-appropriate and fully in-line with the SACRE agreed syllabus for Devon, Cornwall & Torbay.
  • Fun and creative. At KS1 this includes the use of our 4 RE ‘characters’: Ash, Annie, Adri & Amira.
  • Linked to the wider school curriculum and values, including our Hayward’s Heroes.
  • Taught in line with the new statutory PSHE curriculum.

At Hayward’s RE is not:

  • Used to promote, or convert pupils, any particular set of beliefs or values
  • The same as statutory collective worship, although we believe this contributes to children’s wider development.

RE at Hayward’s is taught in line with our five core curriculum principles.

RE contributes to knowledge and skills development, as it is comprised of three key elements: making sense of beliefs, making connection and understanding the impact. It is expected that children will not only learn knowledge about the beliefs, lifestyles and practices of four core world religious (as well as considering non-religious world views) but that they will also engage in deep and purposeful thinking and discussion about the impact and consequences of these belief sets.

At Hayward’s, all of our learning is underpinned by our school ethos, embodied in our Hayward’s Hero Characters. The characters represent the values of: honesty, perseverance, maturity, focus and respect. It is recognised that RE is an excellent context through which to develop these skills as well as the wider ‘British Values’ curriculum goals.

In all RE teaching, teachers will plan to introduce subject-specific vocabulary and key terms using our ‘know, show, grow’ vocabulary system which aims to develop children’s higher-level (Tier 3) vocabulary use.

As in all lessons, it is crucial that adults consider the mental health and wellbeing of pupils and how this might be enhanced through their teaching and programme of study. In RE, there is a genuine opportunity to work on enhancing pupils' self-esteem, confidence and emotional literacy skills which should be optimised.

At Hayward’s we recognise the following legal points in relation to the teaching of religious education:

  • Every pupil has an entitlement to religious education.
  • RE is a necessary part of a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’ and must be provided for all registered pupils in state-funded schools in England.
  • Right to withdrawal: The right to withdraw children from RE was granted historically when the subject took the form of Religious Instruction which carried with it connotations of induction into Christianity. Modern RE in schools is plural, open, broad and explorative in nature.. However, parents do retain the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons, or any part of the RE curriculum and the school has the responsibility to supervise them, though not to provide additional teaching or incur extra cost. If a parent wishes to discuss this further, we ask that they make an appointment to speak with the Head Teacher

Religious Education Visits & Visitors:

At Hayward’s, we actively organise and encourage visits from speakers from a range of religious backgrounds. All visitors to the school are asked to sign our Visitor Code of Conduct which makes clear the purpose and scope of their visit. Visits to religious buildings are sensitively and respectfully carried out in-line with school visit policies.

Regular Visitors:

At Hayward's we enjoy regular visits (either in-person or virtually) from 'Open the Book'. 'Open the Book' is a project which provides resources and guidance so that members of our local church can present Bible Stories to the children in an engaging way, using costumes and visual aids. Some of our older pupils even take part in telling the story.

The Church of the Holy Cross  is right across the road. The Church is also kind enough to host our annual Christmas Carol Service and children also take part in the Church's annual Christmas Tree Festival.

Each year, in January KS2 mark Holocaust Memorial Day.