B07 Study units: Foundation Stage





The foundation stage describes the phase of a child’s education from the age of 3 to the end of reception at the age of 5 years. Religious education is statutory for all registered pupils on the school roll.

During the foundation stage, children begin to explore the world of religion and belief in terms of special people, books, times, places and objects, visiting places of worship and through celebration. Children listen to and talk about stories. They are introduced to specialist words and use their senses in exploring religious beliefs, practices and forms of expression. They reflect upon their own feelings and experiences. They use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation and wonder of the world in which they live.

Samples of foundation stage work linked to the AMV 2022 programmes of study >>


The contribution of religious education to the early learning goals

In line with the DfE’s 2021 EYFS Framework, RE may, through planned purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity, provide appropriate learning opportunities for pupils in the following prime areas:

  • communication and language (CL);
  • physical development (PD);
  • personal, social and emotional development (PSED).

and the following specific areas:

  • literacy (Li);
  • mathematics (Ma);
  • understanding the world (UW);
  • expressive arts and design (EAD).

Religious education can make a limited contribution to mathematics, but an important contribution to all the other areas.

The following tables provide examples of opportunities that teachers can plan into the RE programmes of study that will help children to demonstrate achievement and progress in relation to each area of the EYFS profile.

Personal, social and emotional development
Self-confidence and self-awareness Examples of what children

could do in RE

Children say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group and will talk about their own ideas. Children reflect upon their own feelings and experiences in some stories from religious traditions and explore them in different ways.
Managing feelings and behaviour Examples of what children

could do in RE

 Children know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class and understand and follow the rules. Using story from a religious tradition as a source, children talk about their ideas of what is fair and unfair, and how to behave towards each other.
Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences. Using story as a stimulus, children reflect upon the words and actions of characters in the story and decide what they would have done in a similar situation. Children also learn about the consequences of their actions through play.
They adjust their behaviour to different situations. Children visit local places of worship and talk about why they are important for some people.
Making relationships


Examples of what children

could do in RE

Children can take turns and be co-operative. They can take account of others’ feelings. Using religious artefacts as a stimulus, children handle sensitively a religious object and talk about why it might be special for some people, showing respect.


They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings and can form positive relationships. Using role play as a stimulus, children talk about some of the ways that people show love and concern for others and why this is important.



Communication and language
Listening and attention


Examples of what children

could do in RE

They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. Using stories and songs from religion as a stimulus, children ask questions about things they find interesting or puzzling.




Examples of what children

could do in RE

Children answer “how” and “why” questions about their experiences in response to stories and events. Having visited a local place of worship, children ask and answer questions associated with the place, showing respect.

Children identify and talk about the sequence of events in a story about love and forgiveness.



Examples of what children

could do in RE

Children express themselves effectively. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened. Using a religious celebration as a stimulus, children talk about the special events associated with the celebration.



Reading Examples of what children

could do in RE

Children read and understand simple sentences. Using age appropriate retellings of religious stories as a stimulus, children read or can identify key words.
Writing Examples of what children

could do in RE

Children write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Children complete a story board of a story by writing a simple sentence under the picture.




Shape, space and measure
Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, position, to compare objects. Using artefacts as a stimulus, children talk about relative size and position within a place of worship.
They explore characteristics of objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them. Children describe the shapes of religious symbols and artefacts.
Recognise, create and describe patterns Using patterns within art from religious traditions, children identify the patterns and can create their own.



Understanding the world
Understanding the World


Examples of what children

could do in RE

People and Communities

Talk about past and present events in their own lives, and in the lives of family members.



They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.


Children talk about important events such as the birth of a baby and how, for some people, this is celebrated by a religious ceremony.


Through artefacts, stories and music, children learn about important religious celebrations.

The world

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.





Talk about features of their environment and how environments may vary from one another.


Using religious artefacts as a stimulus, children think about uses and meanings associated with the artefact.

Visit a place of worship and explore different methods / explore relevant foods using senses.


Using stories from religious traditions as a stimulus, children talk about the importance of valuing and looking after the environment.


Select and use technology for particular purposes.



Using appropriate software children find out about special events in religious traditions.


Expressive arts and design
Expressive arts and design Examples of what children

could do in RE

Exploring using media and materials

Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.


On visiting a place of worship, children talk about and share their experiences and memories of the place, using a variety of media.

Being imaginative

Represent their own ideas through design and technology, art, music, dance, role- play and stories.

In response to story, music, art and dance from religious traditions, children create their own simple dance and role-play to recreate key elements of the story.


Characteristics of Learning

Throughout the foundation stage, children are introduced to the world of religion and belief through focusing on special people, places, objects, stories, music and celebrations. They learn to recognise that religion is important to some people in their local community. They reflect on what is important to themselves and others. They engage with RE through a range of resources especially stories, artefacts, pictures, posters, ICT and simple songs, dance and drama. They reflect on and share their own feelings and become aware of the feelings of others.


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