Holy Family Catholic Primary and Nursery School

Bush Babies Nursery

Religious Education

At Holy Family, our Catholic faith is central to everything we do.

We are extremely proud to be an 'Outstanding' Catholic school in which both children and adults are supported and encouraged to develop their own faith and spirituality.

We recognise that our children come from a range of backgrounds and abilities. As such, we are sensitive to each child's life experiences and value their individual contribution to school life.

We truly believe that every child in our care is made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, our aim in the teaching of Religious Education is to bring our children to a deep, living, active and personal faith related to their own lives and experiences.

As teachers, we strive to ensure that our whole curriculum, our moral values and our relationships stem from the Gospel values and that our children are continually reminded of God's loving presence in all that we do.

Teaching and Learning

Religious Education - Intent

The Catholic nature of Holy Family Catholic Primary and Nursery School is central to our philosophy and informs every aspect of the life of the school.  Our school has a vital role in providing support in our community and an environment for all which is caring yet challenging, where children are able to witness and learn about how Gospel values may be lived in today's world.  Holy Family recognises the real importance of good religious education in the life of each child and the central role that our school plays in this.  Children will learn about the Catholic faith and how the Grace of God is gifted to us all.  They will study passages and stories from the Bible in order to relate them to their own lives.  Children will be encouraged to ask questions and express opinions around liturgical themes, whilst acknowledging and valuing the opinions of others. 

All children will receive daily Celebration of the Word (collective worship) either as a class, a key stage or a whole school assembly, which will be led by various members of the school family including the children themselves.

 Religious Education - Implementation

 Religious Education (RE) is a core subject within our school and we follow the Diocesan ‘God Matters’ scheme of work. Ultimately, RE taught at Holy Family delivers on the Religious Education Curriculum Directory of the Bishops’ Conference, 2012.  The RE scheme is modified at times to fit in with specific liturgical celebrations and feast days. RE is a core subject and therefore must have 10% of curriculum time allocated each week.  Curriculum hours in RE are non-negotiable and will be taught by all staff in the school.  Each year group will study a number of units over the year.  The units are developmental, building on previous knowledge and experience and taking into account of the children’s age and understanding.  Children will be highly engaged in RE lessons through the use of a variety of sources such as religious stories, scripture, religious artwork, songs, music and religious signs and symbols.  All children will receive daily Celebration of the Word which will be led by various community members including children.  Pupils will participate in Mass, Feast Days, Holy Days, and Collective Worship which will involve religious actions and worship including the celebration of the Sacraments.  At specific points throughout the academic year all children will learn about other faiths. Judaism will be taught every year and either Hinduism or Islam will be taught by the end of the academic year.

 At Holy Family we have many mixed aged classes which means that we follow a 2-year rolling cycle so by the end of KS1 all children will have been taught all objectives for Years 1 and 2, by the end of Years 4 all children will have been taught all objectives for Years 3 and 4 and by the end of Year 6 all children will have been taught all objectives for Years 5 and 6. 

 Assessment for learning (AfL) is ongoing through lessons for each year group.  Unit Objective Assessment Sheets are available to support teachers in making sure children have reached the intended outcomes.  At specific points during the year, moderation of children’s work through phase group, key stage and whole school will take place after each ‘assessed’ unit, to ensure data is accurate. 

Religious Education - Impact

 Through RE, children will have deepened their appreciation of their faith in order to fulfil their God-given talents.  All children will have experienced a wide-ranging number of learning challenges and know appropriate responses to them. 

 Children of all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in RE, reflected in strong progress that reveals a clear learning journey.  Children will talk enthusiastically about their learning in RE and are eager to further their learning in the next stages of their education. Fundamental British Values are evident in RE and children understand how RE can celebrate difference.  Children live their faith in an active and positive way, always aware of the presence and love of Christ guiding them. Children are confident, resilient and actively engaged in the wider society.  Children are able to define, describe and discuss areas of RE. They confidently use skills such as retelling, describing, comparing, giving reasons, explaining the meaning of Biblical stories and considering the impact of beliefs. Children will have the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Gospel message to enable them to progress well as they move on to Key Stage 3.


God Matters Scheme of Work

The God Matters scheme is used throughout our school and is split up into different themes which are revisited and developed each year.

  • Creation - Learning about the creation story and developing this learning to explore why we should look after God's creation.
  • Prayer, Saints and Feasts - This unit explores our relationship with God and how we celebrate our Saints.
  • Advent - Looks at how we prepare for Jesus birth
  • Christmas - specifically looks at the story of Christmas and what it means to us.
  • Sacraments - The children develop an understanding of each of the 7 sacraments within the Catholic Faith.
  • Lent - Children develop an understanding of how we prepare for Jesus' death.
  • Holy Week- Children will explore each of the different stages of Holy Week and empathise with Jesus' and the disciples feelings throughout this time.
  • Easter - Children are given the opportunities to explore the sacrifice Jesus and God made at this time.
  • Revelation - developing our knowledge of how we should follow God's laws and how we are waiting for Jesus to come again.

As teachers, we encourage all our children to apply the skills that they learn in other literary subjects to their religious education, and maintain that they should investigate the faith with the same enthusiasm and rigour as other subject areas.

Prayer Life

At Holy Family, we help our pupils to develop a reverential attitude in their prayer life and to make prayer a natural part of their daily lives. Children are exposed to a variety of prayer experiences, both formal and informal, private and communal. Children are encouraged to take an active part in school Masses and daily Celebration of the Word, including the preparation of readings and prayers.

Other Faiths

Community cohesion is central to our Christian faith and we value the rich and diverse community of Holy Family. We are committed to developing an ethos of respect for other faiths and welcome the contribution made by those of other religious beliefs. Through our curriculum, the children learn about the beliefs and rituals of Judaism, Hinduism and Islam and we provide opportunities to recognise other religious festivals throughout the year. Our outward looking and inclusive philosophy fosters an understanding of the many blessings of the world around us.

2024 newham faith calendar red.pdf


Relationship and Health Education (RHE)

Life to the Full

Following a consultation with teachers, parents and governors in 2020, the school  decided to adopt the programme, Life to the Full, produced by the Catholic educational organisation, Ten Ten Resources.

The Life to the Full programme is based on the structure of 'A Model Catholic RHE Curriculum' by the Catholic Education Service. This model curriculum was highlighted as a work of good practice by the Department of Education so we therefore have confidence that the programme will be fit for purpose in supporting the growth and development of your child.

Life to the Full is much more than a series of lessons. It is an entire platform of creative resources that will engage, inform and inspire our children and, indeed, you as parents. The entire teaching is underpinned with a Christian faith understanding that our deepest identity is as a child of God – created, chosen and loved by God. The programme is fully inclusive of all pupils and their families. This includes interactive video content, story-based activities, employing a wide range of teaching tools, original worship music and an accompanying programme of classroom prayers.

In addition, there is an online parent platform so that you, as parent and carers, can engage with the teaching and deepen the experience for your child. To access the online parent platform please visit: www.tentenresources.co.uk/parent-portal
School Username: holy-family-sn3
School Password: instrument-of-peace5

For the following two academic years 2020-21 and 2021-22, this programme of work was taught in the last term of the school year, meaning that Life to the Full was split and taught over a 2 year cycle (Cycle A and Cycle B). As a result of the parental and teacher consultation, and in conjunction with the Samuel Partnership Schools, we drew up a new RHE policy.  (Available in the 'Download' section below.)

In October 2022, following the successful roll out of the scheme, we wrote to parents to advise that we had decided to teach Life to the Full across the whole school year.

Life to the Full is intended to be a partnership between home, school and church. We know that you already do a fantastic job and we see our new programme, Life to the Full, as a means to further develop, support and enrich the partnership between home, school and church so that your child is fully supported.

Relationships and Health Education Policy

Prayer Progression 2024

God Matters SOW

Learning overview of God Matters Cycle A and B

Other Faiths SOW

RE Skills Progression