Religious Education

Religious Education (R.E) develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of, and their ability to respond to the principal religions represented in Great Britain.

At Hetton Lyons, the taught religions are those primarily represented in Sunderland and Hetton-Le-Hole. These religions include, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam.

Through the exploration of issues within and across faiths, we believe that pupils learn to understand and respect various religious beliefs, values and traditions (including ethical life stances), as well as their influence on individuals, societies, communities and cultures. In accordance with the ‘British values’ element in the PSHCE curriculum, R.E. links very closely to and promotes ‘mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.’ As stipulated by the Education Act (section 8, 2002) we strongly believe that R.E. helps promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

What does the National Curriculum say about R.E?

At Hetton Lyons Primary School we follow the Sunderland Agreed Syllabus (2014) for Religious Education, which is representative of the religions within our region and where possible we link to the PSHCE curriculum. The Sunderland Agreed Syllabus for R.E. is based on the three elements of R.E:

  • Knowledge and understanding of Religion
  • Critical Thinking
  • Personal reflection

How do we teach R.E in School?

At Hetton Lyons, we believe that children learn best from real experiences in order to capture their imaginations and encourage curiosity. We try to enhance our curriculum in many ways to ensure this is how children learn and respect religions that are different to their own. The whole school ethos is to encourage children to enquire and ask questions in order to impact on their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. During religious education lessons, children are challenged to push themselves to think outside of their comfort zones and explore their skills, beliefs and ideas; asking questions at all times, whilst partaking in practical lessons.

We also pride ourselves on enabling children to visit places of worship for most taught religions, these include visiting our local church and cathedral to visiting a Gurdwara.

What skills are covered during lessons?

In all R.E lessons we promote the three main elements.

  • Knowledge and understanding of Religion
  • Critical Thinking
  • Personal reflection.


Children throughout Hetton Lyons are taught to think about their own school and personal values and to understand how people of different backgrounds or religious beliefs may share similar values, whilst differing in others. Questions are constantly asked of children whilst allowing them to ask their own questions in order to develop their critical thinking, self-belief and self-confidence.

How is progression achieved?

Progression across school is achieved by following the Sunderland Agreed R.E. Syllabus. Religion coverage relates to the local area and is carefully planned to ensure progression, by expanding upon the previous years’ taught knowledge.  One progression example from years 1-6 is provided below.

RE Progression Document

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