BEMERTON St John Primary School has become the first school in Wiltshire to be awarded the silver RE Quality Mark (REQM) for its teaching.

The award recognises quality teaching and learning in religious education.

The school took part in a number of RE projects through the year – working with Salisburybased Christian group Bridge and Salisbury Cathedral.

Art, drama and cookery were used to bring RE to life for pupils.

Special events were also organised, including a visit to Hilfield Friary near Dorchester, where the children built dens in the woods and learned about sacred spaces.

The school also took part in a project with Bishop Wordsworth School, where sixth form students taught RE lessons in local primary schools.

Headteacher Alun Richards said: “We are extremely pleased to be given this award. To us it is a bench mark to check if the quality of RE in our school is good or better.

We were happy we have proven that we have an excellent level of RE in our school and in the curriculum. It showsthat, as a school and diocese, we are doing well.”

The primary school was also the first school in the Diocese of Salisbury to be awarded the accolade.

Mr Richards added: “It was a bit of a shock to be the only school in the diocese to get this. We are really excited about that. It shows the hard work that goes on in the school and the hard work of the staff, who do a fabulous job.”

RE co-ordinator at Bemerton St John Primary School Jane Kelly said: “The children loved working with puppets and playing parachute games, as well as being challenged to think more deeply about Christian beliefs.

“The quality mark was a really useful tool for auditing RE work within the school and for helping to focus on delivering quality RE throughout the school.”

The primary school has its sights set on obtaining the gold award.