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We aim for the children of St Mary’s to grow spiritually by allowing an awareness of themselves and others and developing their skills of reflection. We underpin all we do within our five aspirational core Christian values (service, teamwork, ambition, resilience, and self-control). These are taught within the context of Christian beliefs and practice, supporting the spiritual development as well as the emotional, moral, social, cultural, physical and academic development of each unique individual enabling everyone to experience life in its fullness. 

‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ John 10:10

At St Mary’s we believe to achieve a fullness of life you have to reach for the S.T.A.R.S

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, ways of knowing and personal knowledge:

Substantive knowledge- this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content

Disciplinary knowledge- pupils learn ‘how to know’ about religion and non-religion

Personal knowledge - pupils build an awareness of their own presuppositions and values about the religious and non-religious traditions they study

At St Mary’s we aim to deliver a Religious Education curriculum that is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child so that they develop their knowledge and understanding about a range of religions. 

As a result of this, they will become independent and responsible members of society who understand and explore big questions about life. They will learn about different beliefs, why people worship in the way they do and what difference this makes to how they live. This will help them to make sense of religion, reflect on their own ideas and ways of living.

We provide our children with opportunities to learn about and from religions and worldviews in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to questions. They will be equipped with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.

We offer a broad curriculum that encourages respect, tolerance and understanding of different faiths.

Our RE curriculum follows the agreed West Sussex syllabus for RE, in line with the National Curriculum.


We are well supported by Chanctonbury Churches and our children’s worker Nick Taylor. He plays an active role in school life, alongside the church interns by providing whole school worship, working to support the pupil faith team meetings as well as contributing to our classroom teaching to support Understanding Christianity. We have close links with St Mary’s Church as we attend services termly as well as using the church as a place of worship within the curriculum.

 We also have termly collective worship presented by Splash. who are a Christian Charity based in our local area. They deliver faith assemblies that promote positive values and behaviour in children and young people. The children thoroughly enjoy the visits from Splash as it usually involves audience participation with drama and puppets!

 Our RE curriculum is taught on a two year cycle with the exception of your Year Two Class. The curriculum includes Understanding Christianity as the main spiral theme with other religions woven into it to develop the children’s wider understanding of the modern world we live in.

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. 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. Tapestry is used to capture these learning experiences. Further up the school in Key Stages 1 and 2, we provide a challenging and robust curriculum based upon Understanding Christianity, Guildford and Southwark RE Schemes of Work that adheres to the agreed West Sussex syllabus for Religious Education.

Children at St Mary’s are given the knowledge, critical thinking skills, open-minded and respectful attitudes with which to investigate the world of religion and belief, and make their own decisions about what this means to them, whilst empathising with what it means to those who hold those beliefs. Children will develop a variety of skills to encourage them to;

Ask good questions

Use specific language

Be able to express their own views and accept those of others.

Teachers are creative and experienced in adapting the suggested plans to meet the needs and interests of their class and to ensure lessons are practical with the opportunity to explore a range of sources including artefacts, websites and texts.  Religious Education subject leaders will review the use of our class ‘engagement and enquiry’ books and RE books as well as using pupil voice and book studies to understand children’s knowledge and recall and ensure consolidation of information from working memory to long-term memory. This will also ensure continuity and progression through the school. 


Our Religious Education curriculum ensures that children leave St Mary’s CE Primary School, Washington:

  • Know 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
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