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Our context

Just over 95% of the residents in Ferndown are White British. 67% are Christian, 1.7% are non-Christian and 31.2% have no religion or no stated religion. St Mary’s Church is an English parish church in the town of Ferndown which is close to the school and where we attend four services a year.

There are three mosques across Bournemouth and Poole for the Muslim community. There are two synagogues in Bournemouth for the Jewish community. The closest Hindu temple is Vedic Society Hindu Temple which is located in Southampton.


At Ferndown First School we believe Religious Education encourages children to consider life’s big questions arising from the study of different religions, beliefs and philosophies.  Through grappling with questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, self and reality, we hope children have an opportunity to develop their own beliefs and values as well as a strong sense of personal identity.

Through the study of a Christianity and other principle religions, we want children to develop an increasing awareness of the diversity of religious and non-religious beliefs and to develop greater respect and empathy for others.

We believe Religious Education plays an important role in preparing children for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. Our school values – Care, Community and Respect are strongly developed through our RE curriculum.

In a nutshell, ‘RE is understanding how religious teachings can help us reflect upon life’s big questions.


  • RE is taught through the big ideas of Diversity of Beliefs and Practices, Words and Beyond, A Good life and Making Sense of Life Experiences.
  • All children have a regular RE lesson which can vary in length and is often discussion based.
  • Planning is drawn from the RE scheme ‘Discovery’. Discovery meets the requirements of the Dorset SACRE Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education.
  • Discovery RE uses an enquiry-based approach and children’s understanding is developed through:
    • Engagement: The human experience underpinning the key knowledge is explored here within the children’s own experience, whether that includes religion or not. If they can relate to the human experience, they will be better able to understand the world of religion into which the enquiry takes them.
    • Investigation: The teacher guides the children through the enquiry focusing on the key knowledge that has been identified.
    • Evaluation: This is an assessment task where the essential knowledge is assessed.
    • Expression: Children are taken back to Step 1, their own experience, to reflect on how this enquiry might have influenced their own starting point/beliefs.
    • Big Question: Children will explore a big question at the beginning or end of each enquiry. This question will have long-term relevance, encourage children to think critically and create connections with other areas.
  • Opportunities to develop children’s understanding of the British Values are developed through our RE curriculum.
  • Opportunities to develop children’s mindfulness are planned into the curriculum. We encourage children to develop the ability to be still and to appreciate times of silence and reflection.
  • Children listen to and read religious stories. They will explore religious artefacts that have significance. Where possible, visitors will be invited in and children will be given the opportunity to ask meaningful questions.
  • Children’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural development (SMSC) are enhanced through our RE curriculum.

Religions & Beliefs Studied

  • Christianity is taught in depth at each key stage.
  • Year R, Year 1 and Year 4 focus on Judaism. Year 2 study Islam and Year 3 study Hinduism.
  • All year groups explore Christmas and Easter themes at the same time, developing their understanding over time.

School Events

  • The children visit St Mary’s Church for Harvest, Christmas and Easter services.
  • Christian visitors deliver assemblies regularly during the school year to extend children’s knowledge.
  • Religious festivals and celebrations are included in our annual assembly themes e.g. Ramadan, Passover and Holi.


Children at Ferndown First School will become confident individuals who:

  • Are better prepared for living in our increasingly diverse world.
  • Think deeply about their own beliefs and life’s big questions.
  • Have a strong moral compass and understand right and wrong.
  • Show respect, empathy and sensitivity to others, whose beliefs are different from their own.
  • Have a sound knowledge and understanding of religious and non-religious beliefs.
  • Demonstrate confidence when discussing their own religious or non-religious beliefs.
  • Challenge negative discrimination, stereotypes and racism.
  • Think deeply about the kind of people they aspire to be and the kind of world they aspire to create.