' How does RE support children to develop mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different World views'


At St Martins C of E Primary school, “the pupils and their families can expect an RE curriculum that enables pupils to acquire a rich, deep knowledge and understanding of Christian belief and practice…” (The Church of England Education Office, Statement of Entitlement), within a broader curriculum which introduces children to the other key World faiths and belief systems.

Our children’s spiritual development is a high priority within our school, embedded through our school Vision, and through our values which we see practicedthroughout the day in school. The Forest is a key resource for developing children's spiritual development, encouraging them to reflect on the wonders of our World.

Ofsted describes pupils spiritual development as…

  • Ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise
  • Sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • Use of imagination and creativity in their learning and willingness to reflect on their experiences

This fits entirely with our school ethos “To be the best we can be for ourselves, each other and God’s world.”


Our curriculum is derived from the Devon and Torbay Agreed Syllabus, whilst maintaining the rich questions from the Understanding Christianity resource. As a Church of England school, the children learn about Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Humanism.

Throughout the curriculum, children will develop a greater understanding of how the Bible acts as a guide for Christians, and whole school Collective Worship makes links with children's learning in RE where appropriate. Visitors support children's learning.

At St Martin’s we use David Smith’s idea of ‘Windows, Mirrors and Doors’ to support a child’s spiritual development.

Windows – Opportunities to look out on the world to gaze and wonder: The Wow and Ows moments. The things we find amazing and bring us up short. To encounter the learning about lives.

Mirrors – Giving opportunities for children to reflect, to look inward to consider some of the big questions of life: To explore their own insights and those of others.

Doors – Giving opportunities to children to respond, to do something to go through the door of a creative expression of their own thoughts and convictions.

Transformation: Learning to live by putting into action what they believe.

Each day, the children have time for reflecting and time for spirituality, through whole school and class collective worship. We use the Picture News resources to promote children's understanding of others in the World, and use this as a prompt for deepening children's compassion and respect for others through promoting challenging discussions. 


'Pupils respond well to big questions, refining their opinions and learning to disagree well. They have an extremely well-developed understanding of religions and worldviews which leads them to celebrate diversity. They have a growing understanding of key religious concepts. An innovative approach allows able pupils to show the depth of their knowledge.'  SIAMS June 2022

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St Martin's C of E Primary and Nursery Younghayes Road, Cranbrook, Devon EX5 7DT
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