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Reception Understanding the World (links to National Curriculum Religious Education)





Early Years curriculum coverage

RE in the Early Years Foundation Stage Children

RE in the Early Years Foundation Stage Children in EYFS should encounter religions and worldviews through special people, books, times, places and objects and by visiting places of worship. They should listen to and talk about stories. Children can be introduced to subject specific words and use all their senses to explore beliefs, practices and forms of expression. They ask questions and reflect on their own feelings and experiences. They use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation of and wonder at the world in which they live.

In line with the DfE’s 2013 EYFS Profile, RE can, through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity, provide these opportunities for pupils:

 Communication and Language

  • Children listen with enjoyment to stories, songs and poems from different communities and traditions and respond with relevant comments, questions or actions.  
  • They use talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events.
  • Children answer ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences in response to stories, experiences or events from different sources.  
  • They talk about how they and others show feelings.  
  • They develop their own narratives in relation to stories they hear from different communities. 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Children understand that they can expect others to treat their needs, views, cultures and beliefs with respect. 
  • They work as part of a group, taking turns and sharing fairly, understanding that groups of people need agreed values and codes of behaviour, including adults and children, to work together harmoniously.  
  • They talk about their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. 
  • Children think and talk about issues of right and wrong and why these questions matter. They respond to significant experiences showing a range of feelings when appropriate.   * They have a developing awareness of their own needs, views and feelings and are sensitive to those of others. 
  • Children have a developing respect for their own cultures and beliefs, and those of other people. 
  • They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships. Understanding the World 
  • Children talk about similarities and differences between themselves and others, among families, communities and traditions. 
  • They begin to know about their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people. 
  • They explore, observe and find out about places and objects that matter in different cultures and beliefs. 

Expressive Arts and Design

  • Children use their imagination in art, music, dance, imaginative play, role play and stories to represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings. 
  • They respond in a variety of ways to what they see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Literacy Children are given access to a wide range of books, poems and other written materials to ignite their interest. 


  • Children recognise, create and describe some patterns, sorting and ordering objects simply. 

These learning intentions for RE are developed from relevant areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (DfE, 2013).