Religious Education & Worldviews

'Religious Education makes a significant contribution to pupils' academic development.' 

Religious education: realising the potential, Ofsted 2013

True to our curriculum driver of 'faith', Religious Education is regarded as a rigorous academic subject at St. Michael's. It is held in the same regard as one of our core subjects. A breakdown of our RE curriculum is detailed below. 


Cultural Heritage – significant religious figures, narratives and events, where possible have been selected to reflect the heritage of the St. Michael’s pupils. Our ‘dharmic’ religions reflect the culture, beliefs and religious systems of South Asia and its people. Spiritual worldviews such as Rastafari reflect a belief system of the Caribbean, whilst Christianity is reflective of its global character. It is complemented by curriculum content that celebrates the rich religious diversity of both Handsworth and British society at large.

Aspirations - Our knowledge-led curriculum sets out substantive bodies of knowledge that are taught in-depth over a 9-week period. With fewer religions studied in each year group, but with greater depth – each religion is valued highly in its own right (rather than in a thematic approach), and we can focus teaching on the aim of deepening pupil understanding and avoid surface-level understanding.

For example, while a lesson about a Christian place of worship that requires pupils to simply make a replica model of a church may have its merits, we aim to avoid this ‘cardboard curriculum’ and focus on the disciplinary lenses of religious education.

Faith – The entirety of our curriculum provides children with knowledge of faith and provides them the opportunity to share their own personal knowledge and worldview.



EYFS to Year 1 - Teacher Handbooks – Children in Reception and Year 1 develop their understanding of the world through RE and begin to explore the disciplinary lenses and key concepts through a strong emphasis on religious stories and narratives.

Years 2 to 6 - Pupil Workbooks - We believe that knowledge underpins and enables the application of skills. The knowledge taught across the RE and Worldviews curriculum is defined at the outset and made explicit to all teachers. Regular retrieval activities and carefully planned tasks ensure learning is broken down into small chunks in order to avoid cognitive overload. 


Outcomes in RE and English books, evidence a broad and balanced RE curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Children review the agreed successes at the end of every session and are actively encouraged to identify their own target areas, with support from their teachers. Children are also asked what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic. End of unit essays showcase the culmination of the learning journey of each unit.

Religious Themes - 'Big Ideas'           

There are four substantive themes that reoccur throughout our Religious Education and Worldviews curriculum, which enables understanding to be deepened with age.  These themes are:

  1. Stories and Narratives
  2. Doctrines
  3. Rituals and Practices 
  4. Metaphysics

Each RE lesson is based around at least one of these four 'big ideas' or themes. 

Booklet Cover Pages

Disciplinary Knowledge   

Our RE curriculum is underpinned by four reoccurring disciplines that help us to investigate and understand the beliefs, traditions and big questions in each faith area. These disciplines are:

  1. Theology 
  2. Philosophy 
  3. Human and social science 
  4. History 

Each RE lesson includes a focus on at least one of the above disciplines. 

Booklet Interior Pages


Each year group completes four in-depth units of study, each lasting for approximately 9 weeks. The world's main religions are studied in depth, according to the following weighting: 

Christianity - 50%                                    Judaism - 11%                                                  Islam - 11%                                               

Dharmic (Sikhi, Hinduism and Buddhism) - 21%                                                      Worldviews (including NRWV's and Rastafari) - 7%

Children's RE Books


At St. Michael’s CE Primary Academy, Religious Education is taught conceptually and key concepts are revisited repeatedly over time, ensuring that children learn more and remember more as a result.

For example, Hinduism is taught through the concept of ‘dharma’ and Christianity through the concepts of ‘incarnation’ and ‘salvation’.

Example: key concepts such as sacrifice are taught and exemplified in our RE curriculum repeatedly.                                   The following is not an exhaustive list:

Skills Progression Map

Knowledge Coverage Document

Example: Year 4 Unit on Christianity: Salvation - Trial & Crucifixion.  All units have an accompanying 'Knowledge Coverage' document.

Curriculum Content 


  1. Origin Stories 
  2. Easter: Stories of Sacrifice - The Servant King
  3. Lost and Found - The Lost Sheep
  4. Journeys - Hinduism: Lakshmi Walks Through the Night; The Road to Damascus 

Year One 

  1. Origin Stories 
  2. Easter: Stories of Sacrifice - The King Has Come!
  3. Lost and Found - The Prodigal Son
  4. Journeys - Islam: The Night Story; The Holy Spirit Arrives 

Year Two

  1. Christianity: Incarnation - The Nativity 
  2. Judaism: Covenant - The Law of Moses  
  3. Christianity: Salvation - The Triumphal Entry 
  4. Islam: Harmony - Makkah: The Holy City

Year Three

  1. Hinduism: Dharma - Puja
  2. Buddhism: Karma - The Buddha
  3. Sikhism: Oneness - Ik Onkar
  4. Non-Religious Worldviews - Life Without God

Year Four 

  1. Christianity: Incarnation - The Trinity 
  2. Judaism: Covenant - The Abrahamic Covenant 
  3. Christianity: Salvation - The Trial & Crucifixion
  4. Islam: Ibadah - Islamic Worship

Year Five 

  1. Hinduism: Dharma - What is dharma?
  2. Buddhism: Karma - Achieving Nirvana 
  3. Sikhism: Oneness - The Khalsa
  4. Rastafari: Repatriation - Who is Ras Tafari?

Year Six 

  1. Christianity: Incarnation - The Messiah 
  2. Judaism: Covenant - Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 
  3. Christianity: Salvation - The Resurrection 
  4. Islam: Harmony - (Hajj) Pilgrimage 

Training & CPD

St. Michael's CE Primary Academy leads subject network and subject specific CPD for Religious Education through Birmingham Education Partnership: