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RE Department

“It’s the duty of everyone to defend Religious freedom and promote it for all people” - Pope Francis

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness” - Dalai Lama

Curriculum Vision

Our Religious Education (RE) curriculum is academically rigorous and personally inspiring. It gives students substantive content and concepts in theology, ethics and philosophy to enable them to grasp the complexity of our multi-religious, multi-secular world. Our curriculum develops all students to be both religiously and emotionally literate citizen of the world, equipped with empathy, critical thinking and powerful curiosity who are able to adapt to the ever-changing world around them. 


All students develop:

Substantive – all students have knowledge about various religious and non-religious traditions

We have an expectation of excellence for all of our students and we believe all students at Walthamstow Academy should be informed about and understand a range of religions and worldviews. We empower them to excellently describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices and recognise the diversity which exists within and between communities they are apart of. Our RE curriculum provides pupils with detailed content that is connected with the concepts and ideas that they experience to develop their fluency in theological, philosophical and ethical  literacy. We have designed our curriculum for depth of study to indicate a range of religious and non-religious ways of living. Our curriculum is well-sequenced and prepares pupils with the prior knowledge (including content, concepts and vocabulary) they need for subsequent topics. We are ambitious for, and have high expectations of, all of our pupils and know that every student can experience success in  RE.​


Ways of knowing – all students learn "how to know" about religion and non-religion

We instil ambition in our students so they are able to identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered by sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews. We take pride in our students ability to appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning. Our consistent use of explicit direct instruction and attention to application of religious literacy means our students gain and deploy the skills needed to confidently engage with religions and worldviews, so that they can find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth; they achieve this through systematic retrieval practice. We aim for our students to know how and when to apply critical thinking methods such as decoding to respond to the Big Questions in our ever changing world.​


Personal knowledge – all students build an awareness of their own presuppositions and values about what they study

Our curriculum approach enables students at Walthamstow Academy, regardless of prior or current attainment and skill, to have the skills to explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities. Our RE curriculum engages, inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the ability to independently express, with increasing discernment, their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues. We empower students to appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion and worldviews. Our students have the confidence to articulate beliefs and shared values clearly in order to demonstrate their knowledge on why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives therefore supporting their ability to be empathic to others around them.​

Our curriculum reflets our communities which makes RE essential to everyday life and all forms of employment. Our curriculum aims to equip our students with, for example, the strong moral code and the confidence to engage with and lead people from all backgrounds and to in turn become fulfilled impactful individuals in our society.​

Curriculum Overview

Cycle 1

Cycle 1-2 

Cycle  2

Year 7

Abrahamic Faiths

Year 7 starts with a unit on the Origins of Abrahamic faith. This provides students with the historical and theological background to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This is the foundation to our students learning journey in RE as it help students see the distinctions and connections between these faiths, which they study  in greater depth later in the curriculum. Here we aim to provide substantive knowledge on the development of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to study the traditions in themselves in more depth.​


This unit of work seeks to enable students to understand the religion of Judaism by examining some of its key beliefs and key practices, as well as major events in its history. It also devotes time to a deep understanding of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. By the end of this unit of work students should have a strong knowledge of the beliefs, teachings and practices of Judaism as well as an understanding of the impacts of the Holocaust on Jewish people. They will be able to see the dangers of anti-Semitism and be able to spot anti-Semitic ideas i.e. the Christ killer myth. ​

This unit of work begins with looking at the life of Jesus. Students need to understand the life of Jesus from the Christian perspective and will do this mainly through an exploration of key events and narratives within the Gospels. Students will understand the significance of Jesus’ ethical teachings as well as his status as a divine being. They will also comprehend the significance of his death and resurrection for Christian salvation. Students will then go onto explore key Christian doctrines and explore the historical context of how these came about i.e. The Nicene Creed and Original Sin. ​

Year 8


Year 8 starts with the Hinduism unit. This unit of work analyses the religion of Hinduism by examining some of its key beliefs and key practices. It also devotes time to a deep understanding of the caste system and it's implications on a Hindu's life. Here we aim to provide students the knowledge that will enable them to derive at conclusions about the impact of Hindu teachings on Hindu’s today. Teachers will also explicitly draw distinctions and similarities between the Abrahamic Faiths and Hinduism. ​


This unit of work analyses the religion of Islam by examining some of its key beliefs and key practices. By the end of this unit of work students should have a strong knowledge of the beliefs, teachings and practices of Islam. Students will be able to explicitly draw distinctions and similarities between Islam and other religions, namely Christianity and Judaism. ​


This unit of work analyses the religion of Sikhism by examining some of its key beliefs and key practices. By the end of this unit of work students should have a strong knowledge of the beliefs, teachings and practices of Sikhism. Students will be able to explicitly draw distinctions and similarities between Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism ​

Year 9 

Study religious, philosophical and ethical arguments pertaining to religion and life, crime and punishment and relationships and families.​

Students should be aware of contrasting perspectives in contemporary British society and be able to explain them with reference to Christianity and Islam.​

The aim is to grab their interest, by teaching them content which is not only relevant and relatable to their past, current day and futures, but to inspire critical thinking through analysis and evaluation to foster informed citizens who are able to thoughtfully participate in society.


Cycle 1

Cycle 1-2 

Cycle  2


Year 9

Religion and Life

The origins and value of the universe

The origins of the universe; both religious and scientific views.​

The value of the world and the duty of human beings to protect it.​

The use and abuse of the environment ​

Animal experimentation​


The origins and value of human life

The origins of life, both religious and scientific views.​

The concepts of sanctity of life and the quality of life.​

Abortion, including situations when the mother's life is at risk.​

Ethical arguments related to abortion, including those based on the sanctity of life and quality of life.​


Beliefs about death and an afterlife, and their impact on beliefs about the value of human life.​

Religion, Crime and Punishment

Religion, crime and the causes of crime

Good and evil intentions and actions, Reasons for crime​

Views about people who break the law for these reasons.​

Views about different types of crime, including hate crimes, theft and murder.​


The aims of punishment, including:​




The treatment of criminals, including:​


corporal punishment​

community service.​


The death penalty.​

Ethical arguments related to the death penalty, including those based on the principle of utility and sanctity of life.​

 Religion, Relationships and Families

Human sexuality including:

Heterosexual and homosexual relationships.​

Sexual relationships before and outside of marriage.​

Contraception and family planning.​

The nature and purpose of marriage.​

Same-sex marriage and cohabitation.​

Divorce, including reasons for divorce, and remarrying.​

Ethical arguments related to divorce, including those based on the sanctity of marriage vows and compassion.​



Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 curriculum overviews will be uploaded very soon!

The RE Team

  • Ms Andrea Campbell – Assistant Principal
  • Ms Caryn Coley – Head of KS3 RE
  • Ms Lashanna Hamilton – Head of Year 10
  • Mr Juned Khan

For more information on our curriculum, please email andrea.campbell@walthamstow-academy.org for a copy of our department curriculum handbook.

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