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Religious Education

Okehampton Primary School we believe that the Religious Education element of our school curriculum aims to engage, inspire, challenge and encourage pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to answer challenging questions. This allows the exploration of different religious beliefs, values and traditions and develop a more rigorous understanding of the numerous religious traditions, beliefs and practices that are followed in our multi-cultural society. We want them to know how religious education enables pupils to combat prejudice, preparing them for adult life, employment and life-long learning.     


The national curriculum for Religious Education aims to ensure that all pupils: 

  • develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religious traditions represented in Great Britain; 
  • develop understanding of the ways in which beliefs influence people in their behaviour, practices and in their communities; 
  • reflect on, deepen and clarify their own experiences, values and beliefs and those of others; 
  • develop awareness of fundamental questions about life arising from human experience and how religious beliefs and practices can relate to them; 
  • recognise the right of people to hold diverse beliefs and values and to develop positive attitudes of respect towards other people; 
  • benefit from opportunities to enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Managing the right to withdraw from RE


At Okehampton Primary School, RE is taught as an engaging, inclusive and enquiry-led subject, open to all and at the centre of the curriculum, and we would hope that all parents would understand the value of this for all children. However, parents do have a right by law to withdraw their children from Religious Education lessons. In this event, we will undertake responsibility for their supervision with regard to health and safety. The school follows the guidance offered by the Diocese of Exeter and we always encourage parents to discuss any concerns they may have about the RE curriculum with the Principal before making a final decision. Requests for full or partial withdrawal need to be made to the Principal in writing.


Collective Worship and the Law

In accordance with legal requirements (School Standards and Framework Act 1998) an act of collective worship, taking into account of the age, aptitude and background of the pupils, is provided daily for all pupils except those withdrawn by parents. The school expects that withdrawal will be only made following discussions with the Principal, followed by written confirmation of withdrawal. Special arrangements will be made to supervise children withdrawn from acts of worship. In addition, staff have the right to withdraw from the act of collective worship.

“The arrangements for the required collective worship may, in respect of each school day, provide for a single act of worship for all pupils or for separate acts of worship for pupils in different age groups or in different school groups.”

The School Standards and Framework Act 1998