Dear Subject Leader/Teacher/Teaching Assistant,

Welcome to the HEP Primary RE homepage. On this page, you will find a range of up-to-date information to support you if you are the subject leader for RE at your school and/or a classroom teacher or teaching assistant looking for advice and guidance to support your lesson planning.

May 2021: Ofsted Research Review Series: Religious Education

Dear Colleagues,

Please find the final RE Newsletter for Community Schools for the current academic year.  I am here to offer you help, advice and support with RE (or Collective Worship) in your school. You may be:

  • Preparing teaching and learning
  • Reviewing and revising RE documentation such as schemes of learning and policy statements
  • Organising existing resources and/or selecting new ones
  • Developing your own subject knowledge

I would be delighted to hear from you. Do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to make an online or telephone appointment!

Lesley Prior

Adviser for RE in Community Schools

Newsletter 1 – Spring 1
Newsletter 2 – Spring 2
Newsletter 3 – Summer

Ofsted has published the second in a series of reviews into different subjects across the curriculum. This review looks at religious education (RE). The review recognises that there is no single way of constructing and teaching a high-quality RE curriculum. However, it does identify some common features:

  • The curriculum should cover substantive content and concepts collectively (or ‘collectively enough’), rather than covering excessive amounts of content superficially. Content is sufficient for pupils to grasp a bigger picture about the place of religion and non-religion in the world.
  • What is taught and learned in RE is grounded in what is known about religion or non-religion from academic study. This helps prevent pupils from developing misconceptions about religion and non-religion.
  • Pupils study certain areas of the RE curriculum in depth and acquire a range of detailed knowledge of different concepts and ideas, which they remember long term. Drawing on this prior knowledge enables them to consider more complex ideas about religion. Leaders and teachers select this ‘depth of study’ from contrasting religious and/or non-religious traditions so that pupils avoid developing misrepresentations.
  • The curriculum is well sequenced to ensure that pupils learn the knowledge they need for later topics.
  • There is a consideration of when pupils should relate the content to their own personal knowledge (for example, their own prior assumptions).
  • How the curriculum is taught and assessed focuses pupils’ attention squarely on the knowledge they need to learn.
  • Adequate curriculum time is given to RE, so that leaders can deliver an ambitious curriculum.
  • There is sufficient training and professional development so that teachers have appropriate subject professional knowledge.

The review refers to 3 different types of subject-specific knowledge that pupils learn in RE. Each of these is powerful and should not be confused with ‘mere facts’:

  • Substantive knowledge about various religious and non-religious traditions.
  • Ways of knowing, where pupils learn ‘how to know’ about religion and non-religion.
  • Personal knowledge, where pupils build an awareness of their own presuppositions and values about what they study.

The review suggests that improvement in RE at both primary and secondary level includes knowing more of these ‘pillars of progression’. This prepares pupils to engage in a complex, multi-religious and multi-secular world.

Ofsted will use this understanding of subject quality to examine how RE is taught in England’s schools where RE falls under Ofsted’s inspection remit.

Read the full document by clicking the link below.


If you have used or know of any good resources to share with other subject leaders or teachers in Hounslow, please email them to Nikola Standing –

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