Being a Philosopher (Religious Education)

As a Church of England Voluntary Controlled School, we are committed to ensuring that Religious Education is taught across every year group and that children develop as philosophers. The school follows the Bristol and North Somerset SACRE syllabus, along with Understanding Christianity.

Religion has a profound influence upon culture and society. It is part of life and part of being human. As philosophers, children develop intellectually, emotionally, aesthetically and spiritually.

Being philosophers fosters children’s feelings of awe and wonder, delight and mystery. They are supported to explore the meaning of life and to reflect on life choices and are helped to confront difficult or painful situations they may have to encounter.

Our RE Curriculum 


The Bristol and North Somerset SACRE syllabus is designed to: 

  • develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in Great Britain and their ability to respond to the core beliefs and practices of these religions
  • explore issues within and between faiths to help them understand and respect different religions, beliefs, values and traditions (including ethical life stories), and understand the influence of these on individuals, societies, communities and cultures;
  • empathise with the values and beliefs of others and develop the understanding of British Values;
  • consider questions of meaning and purpose in life;
  • learn about religious and ethical teaching, enabling them to develop critical thinking and reasoning about religious and moral issues;
  • develop their sense of identity and belonging, preparing them for life as citizens in a multi-faith society;

Which world religions do we study?

From Year 1 through to Year 6, our children learn from and about the main world religions. These include Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism.  Throughout both Key Stages children are presented with ‘Big Questions’ and through these questions, children are given the opportunity to not only learn about the individual religions but are encouraged to discuss and think about their own religious beliefs.

What is special about RE at St Barnabas?

We aim for our RE curriculum to provide children with challenging questions about the meaning of life, including global issues. 

We provide our children with hands-on authentic experiences of the diversity of religion. Teachers have access to a range of religious artefacts to support their lessons for each religion.  We organise regular RE trips to places of worship within our local area.

St Barnabas is a Church of England school which, based on its inner city location, also benefits from a diverse faith community.  Through our RE lessons, teachers offer opportunities for pupils to encounter a true voice of faith and belief.  We encourage discussion between pupils and praise those who want to share their own religious experiences.  We actively encourage peer to peer teaching – using children’s own experiences of religious traditions or festivals. Our pupils become the specialists and this gives a positive image of each faith as well as enhancing the quality of learning in RE.  Religious Education forms part of our wider St Barnabas Curriculum and as such ensures that cross curricular teaching of RE often takes place – whether through the use of art and maths in Islamic tessellations or history and literacy when looking at how the Victorians looked at life. Philosophy for Children approaches are also used in RE lessons to encourage open ended discussion. We welcome members of our school community, including parents and carers, to come and speak to our classes on RE topics.