RE at Jesmond Park Academy


No other subject addresses the big questions in life like Religious Education (RE). It goes to the very heart of what it is to be human. It is meaningful as beliefs and values are important in understanding the world in which we live.

RE Curriculum Philosophy and Intent Statement

Of the 7.7 billion people in the world only 16% class themselves as non-believers (source The Pew Forum). In addition, the issues RE covers are in the news on a regular basis, so RE is relevant and beneficial to all students, whether they are religious or not.

Our purpose is to provide students with a rigorous academic experience, which encourages critical thinking, tolerance, knowledge and understanding, stimulates philosophical thought, decision making skills, collaboration, and independent working skills.


The RE curriculum at JPA uses the approach that we all look at the world through our own world view lens. A worldview is a person’s way of understanding, experiencing and responding to the world. Personal world views may stem from religion or not – such as Humanism. World views are influence by our upbringing, friends, surroundings, culture, country, media and what individuals consider to be the truth. World views are not fixed – they will be influenced by new experiences, people, situations and knowledge. We need to be aware of our own world view lens when exploring the disciplines within RE, so we can evaluate and reflect effectively. Learning in RE may, in turn, influence our personal worldview.


RE is about developing religious literacy, our curriculum promotes an understanding of religion and worldviews which best fulfils this purpose. At JPA we base our spiral curriculum in a multi-disciplinary understanding of the subject – Theology, Philosophy and Social Science. This provides a balance, ensuring that students are seeing religion and worldviews through different lenses – both their own and others.

1-      Think like a Theologian

This is about thinking through believing and practicing. Theology is the study of religious beliefs and practice. It looks at where beliefs come from (sources of authority), how they have changed over time, how they are interpreted and applied in different contexts and how they link to each other and shape the way people view the world. This includes non-religious world views/authorities and student’s own world views/authorities. 


2-      Think like a Philosopher

This is about thinking. Philosophy means the ‘love of wisdom’ so a philosopher loves to explore knowledge and thinking. It is about finding out how and whether things make sense. It deals with questions of morality and ethics – good and bad and right and wrong. It takes seriously the nature of reality, knowledge, truth, religion, and existence. It explores the nature and meaning of life. It includes critical evaluation of the chains of reasoning and personal reflection.


3-      Think like a Human / Social Scientist

This is about living. Human / Social Scientist study human society and relationships. 

It explores the diverse ways in which people practise their beliefs – both within and between religions and world views. It engages with the impact of beliefs on individuals, communities, and societies.


Moreover, RE makes a key and unique contribution to understanding cultural values, British values and the multicultural world in which we live. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to engage with contemporary moral issues and develop social, cultural, and philosophical awareness. The RE curriculum fosters student oracy and literacy by providing opportunities to read, view, write, design, and talk confidently, appropriately, sensitively and with empathy, about the many diverse topics we study.

It is our belief that students should have an opportunity to learn how to respect themselves and understand their own identity, to respect others, and to understand their own and others' rights and responsibilities. Therefore, the RE curriculum enables students to consider and respond to a range of important questions related to their own spiritual development, the development of values, attitudes and fundamental questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life. This is beneficial as it can play a key role in creating social cohesion and generating genuine understanding between communities thus reducing friction, intolerance and social unrest.



RE Curriculum Content Statement

We believe that the Religious Education (RE) curriculum should be founded on the principle that the acquisition of disciplinary knowledge of religion and world views that will enable young people to question the fundamentals of human existence and explore the influence of beliefs on individuals, culture, behaviour and national life. We believe everyone sees the world through their own world view lens – religious or non-religious and in RE we encourage our students to be aware of their own lens and when exploring the disciplines within RE, they can evaluate and reflect effectively. Learning in RE may, in turn, influence their personal worldview.

The design of the RE curriculum focuses on providing students with fundamental disciplinary knowledge of theology, philosophy and social science. Studying these 3 disciplines will allow students to explore beliefs and practices, impact of these on individuals and society, as well as exploring ethics, morality and the nature of reality, truth and existence.
Our spiral approach to learning, that builds in more complexity and challenge, as students are then able to: investigate similarities or diversity within and between religions; the impact of faith on everyday life; and ultimately be able to analyse and evaluate ultimate questions e.g. Is there life after death?
Our specialist RE staff work together to ensure that students are able to gain knowledge and, through regular retrieval practice, move this knowledge from their short-term memory to their long-term memory so that they can build upon previous learning and extend their understanding. We aim to achieve this through the use of regular, low stakes, testing in order to promote the acquisition of subject knowledge, understanding and vocabulary.

RE at Jesmond Park Academy

There are many core skills which we revisit throughout each key stage, building understanding and empathy within students. They are required to develop their ability to investigate, interpret and reflect on information. This can then be used to evaluate, analyse and synthesise knowledge, which will help students to apply their learning to everyday life and situations. The fundamental attitudes of respect, care and concern are promoted at all times.  Literacy is regularly reinforced via extended writing and ensuring key vocabulary is accurately spelt and used in written work.  

The content of our curriculum also promotes the need for students to reflect on life and their own world view. RE contributes to personal development and well-being and to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society. The RE curriculum often raises more questions than answers and explores challenging issues. It is therefore, important we provide students with the ability to investigate and respond appropriately.

RE curriculum offer


KS3 – In year 7 and 8 students study three modules in each year, based on the key World Faiths.

Students in year 9 study modules which focus on the application of faith linked to contemporary moral issues, ethics and philosophy. 


KS4 - students will study Personal Development (Pd) which included RE modules, lasting a term each.

In addition students can opt to study GCSE Religious Studies.


JPA - Religious Education Withdrawal Guidance