RE Session 4 cont.- RE in the Primary School

Using artefacts engages children with the use of the five senses. Children can touch, smell, hear, look, and taste a range of artefacts which also caters for a range of learning styles in the classroom. The effect of this creates awe and wonder for children as they engage with new artefacts.
A simple photo can induce a range of questions. Children could create a freeze frame from the photo, create a comic strip of before or after the photo, write a diary entry for someone in the photo or they can write speech/thought bubbles for the people in the photo.

STORIES (McCreery, 2008, pp.38-53)
from level 1-4, in both KS1 and KS2, there is reference to telling stories:

  • Recounting and retelling stories – AT1, L1, L2
  • How religious ideas are expressed in stories – AT1, L3, L4

It is important that children meet a range of genres during their education, such as: myths, founders of faiths, key people of the faith, legends, folk tales and didactic tales.

Stories have essential values for children’s development
– The children may recognise themselves in the story and will be able to compare the contrast the characters to themselves
– The story may help a child deal with particular feelings and emotions that they are experiencing

The value of the story changes ad the children gain experiences in life
– Children will be able to draw upon different experiences as knowledge as they grow up, which may change their opinions and viewpoints

Children will learn to interpret stories through their own experiences
– This will lead to children to make informed choices about religion

Ways to support children in remembering stories:

  • Order picture cards
  • Create a comic strip of the story
  • Draw key scenes
  • Act the story out – film it
  • Write a newspaper report about the events
  • Freeze frame scene
  • Create an emotion graph

These techniques can be used across the curriculum. Children love a story regardless of the subject that it is in, so it’s great to use them where possible.

Different ways to interpret stories:

  • Use open ended questions
  • Compare and contrast different versions of the same story
  • Compare and contrast paintings of key scenes
  • What does the story tell us?
  • How did it make you feel? Why?
  • Why do you think ____ told this story?
  • What do you think the story is trying to teach us?
  • why do you think he/she behaved like that?


Bloom’s Taxonomy demands critical thinking, which is required of both AT1 and AT2. However these differ between the key stages as children develop the ability to evaluate, synthesis, analyse, comprehend and apply.

EYFS and KS1:

  • Awe and wonder
  • Questioning why
  • Can be difficult to hold more than one though at a time
  • Can be difficult to handle ideas in an abstract form


  • Aware of fact and fiction
  • Can take others into account
  • Understand that death is irreversible

In order to encourage children to think, there are a range of teaching techniques:

  • Use tasks structured in small steps
  • Use thinking activities related to children’s own experiences
  • Create opportunities for children to speak about their ideas
  • Have learning objectives related to key skills
  • Involve lots of discussions and reflection time

To support Bloom’s Taxonomy of thinking skills (McCreery, 2008, pp.54-68):

– Use stories and picture to infer feelings and motives, suggest predictions with reasons. Careful questioning can help inference

– Reflect and make links to ones own life – applying information to inform a new context or creation.

Comparing and Contrasting:
– Use feelings of characters, similarities and difference of artefacts, stories, pictures and religions

– Make connections between information. Use open ended question

– Weighing of arguments and testing their validity. Evaluate statements against their knowledge and understanding.
RE can support children in the early years too

RE in the Early Years (McCreery, 2008, pp.81-93)

Personal, social and emotional development:
– Self confidence/ self esteem
– Sense of community
– Self control and behaviour
– Relationships
– Attitudes

Knowledge and understanding of the world:
– Sense of time
– Sense of place
– Cultures and beliefs

Communication, language and literacy:
– Listening
– Responding
– Extending vocabulary
– Thinking
– Use of language
– Retelling narrative stories

Creative development:
– Art and design
– Music
– Dance
– Role play
– Stories

Children in the early years will explore the world through special people, books, times, places, objects and by visiting places of worship. Usually, the early years setting will concentrate on the theme of identity and belonging. Below is how you can link the children’s own experiences to religion

Special times – birthdays, Christmas etc. links to religious festivals
Special places – home, bedroom etc. links to places of worship
Special objects – toy etc. links to holy book, artefacts, food
Special people – family, friends etc. links to religious leaders, founders of faiths

Using structured play in the early years setting gives children the opportunity to consolidate knowledge and to make sense of it in terms of their own understanding of the world. Role play areas can be decorated for festivals, a place of worship, a shop selling religious items, a newsagents with festival cards etc. to encourage children to develop their knowledge and understanding in RE.

Planning for RE (McCreery, 2008, pp.94-115):

Steps 1 and 2 are long term planning
Steps 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and medium term planning
Step 9 is short term planning

  1. Select the syllabus you are going to use
  2. Select the topics
  3. Break down how to deliver each topic
  4. Select the learning objectives
  5. Select appropriate learning opportunities
  6. Identify resources
  7. Create relevant homework
  8. Decide how to assess the learning that has occurred and how you are going to evaluate the unit
  9. Create individual lesson plans which need to include:
  • Lesson objectives
  • Previous learning
  • Structure and content
  • Organisation and teacher role
  • Resources
  • Differentiation
  • Assessment and evaluation

Really, it is no different from how you would plan any other subject throughout the curriculum.


on “RE Session 4 cont.- RE in the Primary School
3 Comments on “RE Session 4 cont.- RE in the Primary School
  1. I really like the way you’ve used Blooms taxonomy to support the lesson planning process, it’s something we should all be using more of.

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