EYFS themes and activities

RE in the Early Years Foundation Stage is not a stand-alone subject but is an essential part of provision in order for children to achieve expected levels at the end of Foundation Stage, particularly in the People and Communities strand of Understanding the World. 

As with other aspects of learning new ideas will be introduced through adult-led activities but children will need opportunities to develop and consolidate their understanding through continuing provision.  This table provides examples of adult-led activities and enhancements for provision areas.  It is not intended as a complete list, Foundation Stage teachers and their children will develop each theme in directions appropriate to their class.

Early Years theme Links with KS1 RE Some activity ideas
I Am Special

  • What makes me an individual, what I look like, what I am good at, …
  • Similarities and differences between self and class mates…
  • Being treated as a special person
  • More than one person can be special
  • People I am special to

A starting point for all RE, introducing the concept of specialness

  • Encourage children to use mirrors to look at individual features and draw self-portraits, comparing own features to those of others
  • Children draw/paint their own free-choice pictures of themselves, using mirrors to look closely
  • Circle time discussions on how we like to be treated and how we treat others (links to initial introduction of class and school rules at the start of the year)
  • Talking about children’s beliefs and practices and those of their families
Special People

  • Family and friends
  • People who help us
  • People who have special jobs, including within places of worship*

Links to faith leaders and founders

  • Circle time discussions about families
  • Stories about families and friends
  • People who help us theme - thinking about how a person’s job makes them special to people
  • Visitors from places of worship
  • Roleplay linked to people who help us
  • Small World linked to people who help us
Special Times
  • Special to me - birthdays
  • Special to lots of people – Christian festivals, Harvest, Christmas, Easter + others*

Links to worship and festivals

  • Birthday roleplay
  • Circle time discussions about birthday celebrations, stories linked to birthdays
  • Christmas concerts and activities, Harvest festivals, Easter activities
  • Stories about festivals and celebrations
  • Stories of Christmas, Easter and other chosen festivals from appropriate versions of the Bible
Special Places
  • Special to me- my home, my classroom, my favourite places
  • Special to all of us- classroom, school
  • Special to lots of people – Christian places of worship (churches) + others*
  • The world as a special place

Links to places of worship, including places within the home, and the world as a special place

  • Circle time discussions - also linked to school/class rules around caring for property
  • Visits to local places of worship
  • Virtual visits to places of worship further away
  • Roleplay area becomes a home belonging to a member of a particular faith
  • Role play areas become places of worship
  • Outdoor activities caring for the outdoor area
  • Links to growing topics
  • Links to buildings topics
  • Listening to stories about creation and caring for the world
Special Books
  • Special to me- my favourite books, books that have been given to me
  • Special to my class/school- class/school books
  • Special to lots of  people - sacred texts linked to Christianity (the Bible) + others*

Links to sacred texts

  • Sharing favourite books and talking about why they are special
  • Introduce children to sacred texts and how they are used and cared for
  • Look at sacred texts in context when visiting places of worship
  • Make a special class book
  • Listen to stories from sacred texts
  • Links to book theme topics
  • Resources in writing area to support children to make their own special books
  • Use of ICT to make an ‘e-book’, to take photographs of special books…
Special Objects
  • Special to me - my special things
  • Special to my class/school - class/school bears, school badge, …
  • Special to lots of people- artefacts and symbols linked to Christianity (the cross, the font) + others*

Links to religious artefacts and symbols

  • Look at children’s special things, talk about what makes them special
  • Talk about how we care for special things, roleplay taking care/not taking care and talk about how it makes us feel
  • Introduce children to key artefacts and symbols for chosen faiths
  • Look at symbols and artefacts in context when visiting places of worship



 *Include Christianity and other religions studied KS1, plus any others relevant to children in the setting*

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