John Stainer

Religious Education and

Collective Worship

At John Stainer we love learning about other religions during our special RE Days each half term.

John Stainer is a culturally diverse school representing different cultures, faiths and nationalities.  We deliver a rich Religious Education curriculum with an aim to ensure the spiritual, moral, cultural, social, mental and physical development of our children. We also encourage children to develop an understanding and appreciation for the expression of beliefs, cultural practices and influence of principle religions and worldviews in the local, national and wider global community.  Through our RE lessons we are able to closely link work to our core school values, particularly community and respect. It promotes open-mindedness towards others with different faiths and beliefs and encourages children to develop their sense of identity and belonging through self-awareness and reflection.

 We celebrate Religious festivals throughout the year and invite visitors from faith communities to lead assemblies. Classes also visit different places of worship. We recognise that ‘RE contributes to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all children and young people when taught well in schools, and through this, makes a significant contribution to helping pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.’ (Ofsted 2015).

Every 6 weeks we spend a whole day celebrating the importance of, and learning about different religions.  Our children look forward to RE days and enjoy learning about the diversity of different faiths and cultures. Lessons can include a focus on the following:

  • The origins of a religion
  • Who is worshiped in different religions
  • Special events during a festival and the meaning of the festival
  • Using imaginative play or drama to express feelings and ideas
  • Responding to images, games, stories, art, music and dance
  • Handling artefacts
  • Learning about what people wear and eat
  • Exploring scared texts
  • Meeting visitors from local religious communities
  • Making visits to religious places of worship where possible, and where not, making use of videos and the internet or members or leaders from different groups (this includes members of staff who play these roles in their religion) 
  • Taking part in whole school events - (Harvest Festival, school performances)
  • Using ICT to further explore religion and belief globally
  • Comparing religions and world views through discussion
  • Debating and communicating religious belief, worldviews and philosophical ideas and answering and asking questions.
  • Participating in moments of quiet reflection

These give children a greater understanding of the world we live in and the people that we share it with and help us to respect the thoughts and beliefs of others.

On an RE Day all teachers deliver a unit based on the aspect of the religion, theme or faith being studied. The lessons are taught and assessed against key knowledge, skills and understanding of these religions. The children also have an opportunity to reflect on their learning about (or from) the different faiths. 

 I love RE days because I get to learn about different things from the past. It gives me an understanding of important events.



 RE days help us to understand other people’s cultures e.g. the way they dress. It helps me to relate to people who are different to me.


Collective worship

It is the law that we provide a daily act of 'collective worship'. This is not just narrowly limited to praying, but is much wider in relation to 'reverence or veneration to a higher power'. Therefore we approach it in many different ways, and these daily acts will take place in class and may take the form of any of the following activities

  • Meditation
  • Developing a sense of awe and wonder about the world
  • Affirming positive values, such as honesty or self-sacrifice
  • Encouraging responsibility for making personal decisions
  • Celebrating achievement and special occasions


At John Stainer Primary and Nursery we believe that it is important for all our pupils to learn from and about religion, so that they can understand the world around them. The aim of Religious Education in our school is:-

  • To help children to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.
  • Develop their understanding and awareness of the beliefs, values and traditions of other individuals, societies, communities and cultures.
  • Develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues and enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.


We follow the Lewisham Agreed Syllabus for RE: Learning together through faiths.  From the syllabus it is required that the following religion are selected for study:

  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • Sikhism

The key aims for religious education are reflected in the two attainment targets.

Attainment Target 1- Learning about region and belief

Attainment target 2 - Learning from religion and belief

On an RE Day all teachers deliver a unit based on the aspect of the religion, theme or faith being studied. The lessons are taught and assessed against key knowledge, skills and understanding of these religions. The children also have an opportunity to reflect on their learning about (or from) the different faiths.


Early Years

In the EYFS, RE is embedded throughout the curriculum and takes the form of role play, sharing stories and celebrating festivals.

Key Stage 1

Throughout Key Stage 1, children explore Christianity and two other principal religions. They learn different beliefs about God and the world around them. They encounter and respond to a range of stories, artefacts and other religious materials. They learn to recognise that beliefs are expressed in a variety of ways and begin to use specialist vocabulary. They begin to understand the importance and value of religion and belief, especially for other children and their families. Children ask relevant questions and develop a sense of wonder about the world, using their imagination. They talk about what is important to them and others, valuing themselves, reflecting on their own feelings and experiences and developing a sense of belonging.

Key Stage 2

Throughout Key Stage 2, children learn about Christianity and all five of the other principal religions, recognising the impact of religion and belief locally, nationally and globally. They make connections between differing aspects of religion and consider the different forms of religious expression.

They consider the beliefs, teachings, practices and ways of life central to religion. They learn about sacred texts and other sources and consider their meanings. They begin to recognise diversity in religion, learning about similarities and differences both within and between religions and beliefs, and the importance of dialogue between them.

They extend the range and use of specialist vocabulary. They recognise the challenges involved in distinguishing between ideas of right and wrong, and valuing what is good and true. They communicate their ideas, recognising other people’s viewpoints and consider their own beliefs and values, and those of others in the light of their learning in religious education.

RE lessons are delivered in blocks as this allows quality time for children's learning to be developed. 

  • There are strong links with the fundamental British Values with inbuilt opportunities for children to reflect on these values in line with RE.
  • Pupils can then begin to make sense of religion and reflect on their own ideas and ways of living.
  • We encourage our pupils to ask questions about the world, and to reflect on and voice their own beliefs, values and experiences. 
  • Lessons provide opportunities for children to confidently share their own viewpoints without embarrassment or ridicule.
  • We deliver a sequential curriculum which allow pupils to gain deep knowledge of Religious Education over time allowing progression and mastery.
  • Opportunity for class and assembly discussions which enable pupils to express their own views.
  • Many children in Lewisham come from religious backgrounds but others have no attachment to religious beliefs and practices. The RE curriculum is broad and balanced to reflect this. Christianity and other principal religions represented in Great Britain (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism along with Humanism) are studied across the key stages. Children also study how religions relate to each other, recognising both similarities and differences within and between religions.
  • Our Religious Education curriculum is enhanced further with trips to places of worship in our local area and visits from religious speakers.


 We envisage that our curriculum will impact children in the following ways:

  • Enjoyment of the R.E. curriculum will promote creativity, achievement, confidence and inquisitive minds.
  • Making links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world, developing an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life
  • Having a stronger awareness of the world around them and will be mindful of the beliefs of others.
  • Reflecting on questions of meaning, offering their own thoughtful and informed insights into religious and secular world-views.-not sure about this
  • Feeling that they are valued as individuals and that their beliefs are valued and celebrated.

In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes and attainment targets linked to these outcomes.
  • Enjoyment of the subject demonstrated by “Pupil Voice” - children reflect on the Fundamental British Values in line with their learning in RE. 

Beyond the Curriculum