Woodlands Primary Academy

Religious Education

Differences were meant, not to divide, but to enrich - J H Oldham 


Woodlands Primary Academy is an increasingly diverse school community in a culturally diverse town. We will ensure children learn about a range of cultures and faiths, enabling them to have respect and tolerance for all. We aim to provide high quality Religious Education to promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and allow the children to understand the concept of diversity. 

The principal aim of Religious Education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that our children can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, as well as develop responses of their own. 

As outlined in the Oldham Agreed Syllabus, Religious Education develops children’s knowledge and understanding of, and their ability to respond to, Christianity, other principal world religions (Buddhists, Hindus, Jewish people, Muslims, Sikhs), other religious traditions (such as the Baha’i faith or Jainism) and world-views (such as Humanism).

By exploring issues within and across faiths, our children will learn to understand and respect different religions, beliefs, values and traditions (including ethical life stances such as Humanism), and their influence on individuals, societies, communities and cultures.

Religious Education encourages our children to: 

  • consider challenging questions of meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human;
  • understand the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures;
  • learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring questions of meaning and their own beliefs;
  • learn about religious and ethical teaching, enabling them to make reasoned and informed responses to religious, moral and social issues;
  • develop their sense of identity and belonging, preparing them for life as citizens in a plural, global society;
  • develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. Religious Education enhances pupils’:
  • awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression;
  • ability to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses.

Religious Education develops pupils’ skills of: 

  • enquiry and response through the use of religious vocabulary, questioning and empathy;
  • reflection, expression, application, analysis and evaluation of beliefs, values and practices, and the communication of personal responses to these. Religious Education.:
  • offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development.

Religious Education does not:

  • seek to urge religious beliefs on pupils nor compromise the integrity of their own beliefs by promoting one religion over another.

Religious Education is not:

  • the same as collective worship, which has its own separate and distinctive place within school life.


At Woodlands, we work to the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Oldham.

The Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) advises on Oldham’s agreed syllabus for Religious Education, publishes an annual report, conducts regular meetings, monitors the quality and provision of Religious Education in all maintained and voluntary controlled schools and receives complaints in relation to Religious Education and collective worship.

In Early Years, our curriculum ensures children encounter religions and worldviews through special people, books, times, places and objects and by visiting places of worship. They listen to and talk about stories. Children are  introduced to subject specific words and use all their senses to explore beliefs, practices and forms of expression. They ask questions and reflect on their own feelings and experiences. They use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation of and wonder at the world in which they live.

In Key Stage One, children develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global contexts. They use basic subject specific vocabulary, raise questions and begin to express their own views in response to the material they learn about and in response to questions about their ideas.

In Key Stage Two, children extend their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global contexts. They are introduced to an extended range of sources and subject specific vocabulary. Children are encouraged to be curious and to ask increasingly challenging questions about religion, belief, values and human life. Children learn to express their own ideas in response to the material they engage with, identifying relevant information, selecting examples and giving reasons to support their ideas and views. 

Key Documents

Oldham Agreed Syllabus - 2020-25

Withdrawal from Religious Education

Oldham SACRE recognises that parents have a legal right to withdraw pupils from RE.  Religious Education is plural, open and inclusive, and suitable for all pupils. It is an educational subject in which children learn to understand their own beliefs and those of others. RE does not seek to influence pupils’ views in support of any particular religion or worldview.

Any parent considering withdrawing a pupil from RE should contact the Principal to arrange a meeting to discuss their concerns. 

Woodlands, in line with SACRE policy, does not support selective withdrawals from parts of the RE Syllabus.