At George Washington Primary School RE is taught according to the aims of the Sunderland Agreed Syllabus (2014). The Education Act 1996 states that “An Agreed Syllabus must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the teachings and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.  It must be nondenominational and must not be designed to convert pupils or to urge a particular religion or religious belief on pupils." 


At George Washington Primary School, we believe that RE has an important part to play in developing the spiritual, moral, social, cultural and intellectual development of all our children, from Reception to Year 6. It allows them the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of themselves, whilst also developing their compassion towards others. RE helps to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils, and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Through child centred, engaging lessons it also allows all pupils to develop their critical thinking and reasoning skills and gives children the opportunity to listen to others, hear and analyse conflicting viewpoints and develop empathy and respect.

The table below shows the key focus of learning for the majority of pupils across each key stage. Each is indicated through:

  • Knowledge and Understanding of Religion
  • Critical Thinking
  • Personal Reflection

Sunderland’s Agreed Syllabus (2014) is designed to ensure that pupils develop knowledge and understanding of the principal religions in Great Britain (Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism) in at least one key stage during their school life. Christianity is taught as a core religion at all key stages. In addition, schools are encouraged to study any other religious communities with a significant local presence.

See below for the religions studied in each Key Stage.