Gateway Academy Westminster

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Curriculum Intent

Religious education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions asked by people. At Gateway Academy we develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of the major world faiths, and we address the fundamental questions in life. We enable children to develop a sound knowledge of world religions, especially those that are the main faiths of children within our school. Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We help the children learn from religions as well as about religions.


We want children to:

  • develop an awareness of spiritual and moral issues in life experiences
  • develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other major world religions and value systems found in Britain
  • develop an understanding of what it means to be committed to a religious tradition
  • be able to reflect on their own experiences and to develop a personal response to the fundamental questions of life
  • develop an understanding of religious traditions and to appreciate the cultural differences in Britain today
  • develop investigative and research skills and to enable them to make reasoned judgements about religious issues
  • have respect for other peoples’ views and to celebrate the diversity in society

The Curriculum

Our school curriculum for religious education meets the requirements of the 1988 Education Reform Act (ERA). The ERA stipulates that religious education is compulsory for all children. Parents do have the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons. Should any parent wish to exercise this right they are asked to speak to Ms Lochner, the Headteacher.

At Gateway, RE is taught within the framework of the Westminster Agreed Syllabus. The requirements set out in this syllabus indicate that a minimum of 5% of curriculum time should be used for teaching RE. This amounts to 45 minutes each week in Key Stages 1 and 2.  

Children study “Big Questions” within religious faiths and also compare the religious views of different faith groups on topics such as rites of passage or festivals. Children have opportunities to discuss religious and moral issues amongst themselves as well as with visitors, use computers (working individually or in groups) and are given the opportunity to prepare presentations and share these with other members of the school in assemblies.


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

For children in the Foundation Stage, RE teaching is integrated in the Early Learning Goal relating to Knowledge and Understanding about the World.  Children learn about basic themes such as celebration, new life and family and explore these concepts within different religions, primarily through storytelling and class discussion.


Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)

In Key Stage 1, RE is taught distinctly on a weekly basis. Children learn about concepts such as ‘change’, ‘specialness’, ‘belonging’, and ‘ritual’, by considering their own experiences of these themes and then relating these ideas to religious contexts.  For example, in Year 1 children learn about special people in their lives and then relate this to special figures in different religions. Christianity and Judaism are the main religions taught within this Key Stage. 


Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6)

In Key Stage 2, RE lessons are also taught weekly. The main religions taught within Key Stage 2 are Islam, Christianity and Hinduism.  Children learn about religious concepts in more detail using a range of teaching and learning strategies, such as brainstorming, drama and hot-seating, class discussion and debate, re-telling, sequencing and ordering pictures and extended writing activities. Links are made with the learning across many curriculum areas, particularly Literacy, History, PSHCE and ICT.


The curriculum overview for the school is as follows:










Concept: celebration
Christmas – Jesus' birthday


Why are birthdays special?

Concept: storytelling
Stories Jesus told
Jesus was a storyteller

Why do people read/tell stories?

Concept: celebration/new life
A symbol of new life

Are all celebrations happy?



Year 1

Concept: special clothes
Special clothes in religion

When might we wear different clothes?

Concept: light as a symbol
Light as a symbol 
Hanukah, Advent

How does light make you feel?



Concept: change
People Jesus met
Jesus changed people's lives

Can other people change who we are?

Concept: symbol of darkness to light
Easter – Paschal candle
How the candle is used

How does light make you feel?

Concept: special
Special books 
Pupils' special books, Bible, Torah

Only a person can be described as special. Do you agree?

Concept: creation
Creation stories
Different ideas about how and why the world was made

Could some people have different beliefs about the way that the world was created?

Year 2

Concept: Rules
Rules in a community

Is the world a better place because we have rules?

Concept: Special Birthdays

Are birthdays important?

Concept: remembering
Celebration to remember God helped the Jews

Should we only remember happy events?

Concept: welcoming
Easter – Palm Sunday
Jesus in triumph

How does it feel to be welcomed?


Concept: specialness
Special places
Pupils' ideas and responses, Church, Synagogue

Are all places of worship similar?


Concept: God
God talk
Differing ideas about God

Is God the same for everyone?

NB: Many Muslims regard God of Abrahamic religions as the same.

Year 3

Concept: Belonging
Belonging in Islam

How can we feel a sense of belonging?

Concept: protection Raksha Bandan

What does a protector look like?


Concept: worship
Worship – Christian and Muslim

Should worship be private and personal or social and sharing?

Concept: remembering
Easter story

Does remembering help us to be grateful?

Concept: Remembering
Death ceremonies

Are death ceremonies for remembering or celebrating?

Concept: Devotion
Hindu Worship

Devotion should be saved for religion and family only. Do you agree?

Year 4

Concept: symbol

Can a tree be good or bad?

Concept: holy
Mary, Mother of God

If someone is sacred, their life is easy. Do you agree?

Concept: divinity
Miracles of Jesus

What is a miracle?


Concept: ritual
Paschal candle

If you removed one part of a ceremony, would it be the same ceremony?

Concept: Sacrifice

What is the purpose of sacrifice?

Concept:  Ritual


In order to empathise with someone, we must experience the world as they have?

Year 5

Concept: good/evil

Should stories teach us lessons or about humankind?


Concept: Samsara


Everything comes to an end. Do you agree?



Concept: ritual

How does completing a ritual leave a person feeling?

Concept: symbol
Easter – Eucharist

A symbol is successful if it is understood by everyone in the same way. Do you agree?

Concept: Persuasion
First World War

Should Christians go to war?

Concept: symbol Pilgrimage

Can a person be a pilgrim if they are not religious?

Year 6

Concept: Humanism  The Golden Rule

Can/should all groups of people follow the same set of rules?

Concept: Interpretation
Birth narratives

Is it negative or positive that we all see the world differently?

Concept: good/evil and avatars
Festive of Holi

Why do you think everyone has different talents and abilities? How should we use our unique talents?

Concept: resurrection
The empty cross

Do our beliefs about death affect how we live our lives?

Humanism – River of Life

Life is like a river. Do you agree?

Concept: Rituals

Prayer is the most valuable religious ritual. Do you agree?



Recent Projects

Year 5 trip to Neasden Temple

This week pupils from Year 5 visited the largest Hindu Mandir outside of India. Neasden Temple is located near Wembley Football Stadium and was opened in 1995. The children were given a guided tour of one of the most stunning religious buildings in London.