Attainment Targets for RE

‘At the NCTL 'Seizing Success' conference on 13 June, the Secretary of State spoke about schools’ ongoing assessment under the new national curriculum, in advance of the consultation on primary assessment and accountability. 

As part of our reforms to the national curriculum , the current system of ‘levels’ used to report children’s attainment and progress will be removed.  It will not be replaced.

Schools will be able to introduce their own approaches to formative assessment, to support pupil attainment and progression. The assessment framework should be built into the school curriculum, so that schools can check what pupils have learned and whether they are on track to meet expectations at the end of the key stage, and so that they can report regularly to parents.’ 

Schools may wish to continue to use the attainment target statements below to support them in checking what pupils have learned. 

Attainment Targets for Religious Education (From the Non-Statutory Framework for RE 2010)
(Note: Some agreed Syllabi may have different Attainment Targets please refer to your agreed syllabus)
Two attainment targets:
Attainment Target One: Learning about religion
Attainment Target Two: Learning from religion

 Range of levels within which the great majority of pupils are expected to work

 Expected Attainment for the majority of pupils at the end of the key stage

 Key Stage 1


At age 7


 Key Stage 2


At age 11


Key Stage 3


At age 14


Level 1
Attainment target 1
Pupils use some religious words and phrases to recognise and name features of religious life and practice. They can recall religious stories and recognise symbols, and other verbal and visual forms of religious expression.
Attainment target 2
Pupils talk about their own experiences and feelings, what they find interesting or puzzling and what is of value and concern to themselves and to others.

Level 2
Attainment target 1
Pupils use religious words and phrases to identify some features of religion and its importance for some people. They begin to show awareness of similarities in religions. Pupils retell religious stories and suggest meanings for religious actions and symbols. They identify how religion is expressed in different ways.
Attainment target 2
Pupils ask, and respond sensitively to, questions about their own and others’ experiences and feelings. They recognise that some questions cause people to wonder and are difficult to answer. In relation to matters of right and wrong, they recognise their own values and those of others.

Level 3
Attainment target 1
Pupils use a developing religious vocabulary to describe some key features of religions, recognising similarities and differences. They make links between beliefs and sources, including religious stories and sacred texts. They begin to identify the impact religion has on believers’ lives. They describe some forms of religious expression.
Attainment target 2
Pupils identify what influences them, making links between aspects of their own and others’ experiences. They ask important questions about religion and beliefs, making links between their own and others’ responses. They make links between values and commitments, and their own attitudes and behaviour.

Level 4
Attainment target 1
Pupils use a developing religious vocabulary to describe and show understanding of sources, practices, beliefs, ideas, feelings and experiences. They make links between them, and describe some similarities and differences both within and between religions. They describe the impact of religion on people’s lives. They suggest meanings for a range of forms of religious expression.
Attainment target 2
Pupils raise and suggest answers to questions of identity, belonging, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments. They apply their ideas to their own and other people’s lives. They describe what inspires and influences themselves and others.

Level 5
Attainment target 1
Pupils use an increasingly wide religious vocabulary to explain the impact of beliefs on individuals and communities. They describe why people belong to religions. They understand that similarities and differences illustrate distinctive beliefs within and between religions and suggest possible reasons for this. They explain how religious sources are used to provide answers to ultimate questions and ethical issues, recognising diversity in forms of religious, spiritual and moral expression, within and between religions.
Attainment target 2
Pupils ask, and suggest answers to, questions of identity, belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, values and commitments, relating them to their own and others’ lives. They explain what inspires and influences them, expressing their own and others’ views on the challenges of belonging to a religion.

The attainment targets for religious education

The level descriptions for Attainment target 1:

Learning about religion; refer to how pupils develop their knowledge, skills and understanding with reference to:
  • beliefs, teachings and sources
  • practices and ways of life
  • forms of expression

The level descriptions for Attainment target 2:

Learning from religion; refer to how pupils, in the light of their learning about religion, express their responses and insights with regard to questions and issues about:
  • identity and belonging
  • meaning, purpose and truth
  • values and commitment