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Religious Education & SMSC

Religious Education (RE) is unique in the school curriculum,in that it is neither a core subject nor a foundation subject but the 1988 Education Act states that ‘Religious Education has equal standing in relation to core subjects of the National Curriculum in that it is compulsory for all registered pupils’.  Derry Hill is a Church of England Voluntary Aided School, therefore the provision of RE must be in accordance with the Trust Deed of the School.  The Governors, in consultation with the head teacher, following advice from the diocese, have decided to adopt the locally agreed syllabus and supplement this with material from the Diocese and elsewhere.

Curriculum Information

In order to make RE a lively, active subject we employ a variety of teaching methods including art, music, discussion, the development of thinking skills, ICT, drama, the use of artefacts, pictures, stories, and the use of periods of stillness and reflection.  Where possible, we want our children to have opportunities to encounter local faith communities through visits to local places of worship or visit from members of local faith communities

We use the Discovery RE enquiry based approach to Religious Education as a basis for our planning.  We also make use of the Wiltshire Scheme of Work, ‘Festival Matters’ and ‘Roots and shoots’ as a source of ideas and teaching strategies.  RE is taught as a discrete subject, although it often links with Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) and many cross-curricular links are made.

RE is delivered in the Foundation Stage through both the Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the World learning areas, and learning is linked to Development Matters age bands and the Early Learning Goals (ELGs).


In Religious Education at Derry Hill School we strive towards children being able to:

  • Develop a knowledge and understanding of Christianity and its impact on our local community, and on our society today
  • Develop a knowledge and understanding of some of the other principal religious traditions represented in Great Britain and the world today
  • Develop a sense of respect for religious traditions, beliefs and practice
  • Grow in their spiritual development
  • Develop a sense of awe and wonder and mystery
  • Develop skills and attitudes which will support their personal, moral, social and cultural development
  • Explore some questions of meaning and consider how the world’s religions have responded to them
  • Think about their own beliefs and values in the light of the beliefs of others, both religious and non-religious, and the values of the school community.

SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development)

Celebrating diversity; unlocking the potential

What is SMSC?

SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. All schools in England must provide their children with opportunities to develop their SMSC understanding.

Spiritual: Explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.

Moral: Recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views and have an appreciation of British Values.

Social: Investigate and moral issues; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the fundamental values of British democracy.

Cultural: Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain’s parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.

SMSC is usually taught through Religious Education and PSHE lessons.