Section 4: Question Bank



The following list is offered as a menu of possible enquiry themes for use in designing an RE curriculum. It is neither exhaustive nor prescriptive, and should be used selectively both in conjunction with the design criteria [link] and with progression across the key stages in mind.


This menu may seem rather long, but the intention is to give enough suggestions to enable teachers to create a curriculum which is compatible with the context of their school and the relevant legal requirements. Depth of enquiry is desirable, and some topics will perhaps lend themselves to a whole term’s investigation whereas others may be better suited to a half term. Similarly, some units could be combined to make a term’s investigation. Across all key stages there should also be opportunities for pupils to shape enquiries, and to create their own enquiry questions.


The questions have been broadly organised into three sections for each key stage: panoramic questions about the nature of religion and belief; enquiries around Christianity; and enquiries about religions other than Christianity, and about non-religious worldviews. Naturally, there will be some cross-over. It should be remembered that there is diversity within belief systems, and this should be given full recognition, avoiding blanket statements and stereotyping. This diversity will normally be brought out in the unit of work exploring the question.


Users of this menu should feel free to adapt these unit questions. For example, it may seem appropriate to adapt a title so that it addresses a different religion or belief, or there may be a need to change the syntax of a question to suit an approach that has proved successful. In the final analysis, successful curriculum design in RE reflects the three design principles identified in the Curriculum Design Guidance document, and this menu of unit is intended simply as an illustration. It can and should be interpreted in context by teachers and syllabus writers.


Where ‘School Designed Unit’ is mentioned, this may also provide the opportunity to include the study of local religions beyond the ‘Big Six’ (such as Zoroastrianism, Jainism, or the Bahá’i Faith) in whichever ways are appropriate.


You can download the list as a PDF here:


Questions Bank Key Stage 1

Enquiries about the nature of religion and belief

1.  What can we find out about religion in our local community?

2.  How and why do people have special ways of welcoming new babies?

3.  How and why do people pray?

4.  How do festivals bring people together? What are the ingredients of a festival?

5.  How do we know how to be good?

6.  What makes a text sacred?

7.  Why is light such an important symbol?


Enquiries about Christianity

8.  What can we find out about Christianity by visiting a local church?

9.  Why do Christians celebrate Christmas?

10.  Why did Jesus tell the ‘lost’ parables?

11.  What happened when Jesus went to Jerusalem? (Palm Sunday to The Resurrection)

12.  How do people show that they are thankful for what they have? (Harvest)


Enquiries about other religions and non-religious world views

13.  Who was the Buddha?

14.  Why is Diwali an important time in some Hindu families?

15.  Why do some Muslims fast during Ramadan?

16.  Why is Shabbat important in some Jewish families?

17.  What can the story of Bhai Lalo (the milk and the blood) tell us about Guru Nanak?

18.  What can we find out about Sikhism by exploring a gurdwara (alternatively Islam / a mosque; Judaism / a synagogue; Hinduism / a mandir; Bahá’i Faith / a House of Worship etc.) *

19.  Why do some people make religious offerings? (exploring two traditions)

20.  What makes us special?

* Q18 – Where possible, visits to places of worship, or other sites of significance to RE (for example galleries, cemeteries or sites of pilgrimage) would be preferable; however, it is acknowledged that in many parts of the country this may not be feasible – other than to a local church – due to distance. In these instances, DVDs , Virtual Tours, books and so on may provide the information if not the experience.


Questions Bank Key Stage 2

Enquiries about the nature of religion and belief

1.  Can religion help people find peace?

2.  Is happiness the purpose of life?

3.  Does prayer make a difference?

4.  Why do some people make pilgrimages?

5.  What does it mean to take your religion or worldview seriously?

6.  If God made the world, why isn’t it perfect?

7.  What different things do people believe about how the world began.

8.  What are the world’s main religions, where did they originate and where are they now?


Enquiries about Christianity

9.  Why did Jesus tell parables about forgiveness?

10.  What is good about Good Friday?

11.  What does it mean to be a Christian saint? (links to the church calendar.)

12.  Why myrrh? How are the Christmas and Easter stories connected?

13.  What can people learn from the story of Daniel?

14.  Why do Christians celebrate the same thing in different ways? (The Last Supper)

15.  What does the parable of the Good Samaritan mean for Christians today?

16.  Why do Christians call Jesus ‘Saviour’?

17.  School designed unit on the diversity of global Christianity.

18.  How and why do some Christians help local people in need?

19.  Why do Christians believe God can be Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

20.  What can we find out about Christianity through the creative arts?


Enquiries about other religions and non-religious world views

21.  What can stories and images of the Buddha tell us about Buddhist beliefs?

22.  Why are the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha seen as the Three Jewels for some Buddhists?

23.  How and why do many Buddhists try to show compassion to all beings?

24.  What can stories and images of deities tell us about Hindu beliefs?

25.  What are some of the different ways Hindus worship?

26.  What does dharma (duty) mean to many Hindus?

27.  What does submission to Allah mean for Muslims in everyday life?

28.  What do Muslims believe about the origins and authority of the Qur’an?

29.  How and why do some Muslim organisations help those in need?

30.  What is the Torah and why is it important to some Jews?

31.  Why salt water? What connects Passover to freedom?

32.  What is new about Jewish New Year?

33.  What does sewa (service) mean to Sikhs?

34.  What do stories about and by Guru Nanak tell us about Sikhism?

35.  What is the Khalsa and why is it so important to many Sikhs?

36.  How do humanists mark rites of passage?

37.  How do humanists decide what is true?

38.  How do people with non-religious worldviews decide what is a good life?

39.  How do (choose two traditions) work for justice and equality?

40.  School-designed unit comparing an aspect of a locally-represented religion or non-religious worldview with another tradition.


Questions Bank Key Stage 3

Enquiries about the nature of religion and belief

1.  How is religion changing in the UK in the 21st Century?

2.  What is the place of prayer in the world today?

3.  What is the relationship between religion and science?

4.  What is the relationship between belief and art?

5.  How do people go about making decisions in an ethical way?

6.  On balance, has religion made the world a better place?

7.  Is this the only life there is?

8.  How far is suffering caused by human action?

9.  How do we know what is true?

10.  Does religion have a privileged place in our society? Should it?

11.  What does it mean to be persecuted for your religion or non-religious worldview?

12.  Loyalty to country or loyalty to religion – which should come first?

13.  What is freedom of expression and should there be any limits on it in relation to religion?


Enquiries about Christianity

14.  Is Christianity one religion?

15.  What have different religious texts said about the nature of Jesus?

16.  Do all Christians agree about the resurrection?

17.  How do Christians apply scriptural teachings to the world today?


Enquiries about other religions and non-religious world views

18.  Is Buddhism a religion?

19.  What does it mean for a Buddhist to follow the Eightfold Path?

20.  How and why would a Hindu try to follow the teaching of ahimsa (non-violence)?

21.  Why is pilgrimage important in Hinduism?

22.  In what ways do Sunni and Shi’a Muslims differ in their beliefs?

23.  How do Muslims express their religious identity in the world today?

24.  How does the example of the Prophet Muhammad help Muslims to practice the Five Pillars?

25.  How important are tradition and diversity within the Jewish community?

26.  How is the belief in Tikkun Olam (‘healing the world’) put into practice by different Jewish groups?

27.  How is the Sikh belief in equality expressed in practice?

28.  Would Sikhism have survived without the Khalsa?

29.  What do humanists believe about the purpose of life?

30.  What beliefs do humanists share with each other?

31.  School designed unit based on a locally important tradition, set in its global context.

32.  School designed unit: What does it mean to be an adult? (Confirmation, commitment)

33.  What do (choose two traditions) say about the purpose of marriage?

34.  What are the challenges of being a (Jew / Sikh / Muslim / Buddhist / Jain…) teenager in Britain today?