A high quality religious education (RE) curriculum is essential to meet the statutory requirement for all maintained schools to teach a broad and balanced curriculum. At the heart of RE in church schools is the teaching of Christianity, rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ. There is a clear expectation that as inclusive communities, church schools encourage learning about other religions and world views* fostering respect for them. Although there is not a National Curriculum for RE, all maintained schools have a statutory duty to teach it.
The aims of Religious Education in Church schools are:
- To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living faith that influences the lives of people worldwide and as the religion that has most shaped British culture and heritage.
- To enable pupils to know and understand about other major world religions and world views, their impact on society, culture and the wider world, enabling pupils to express ideas and insights.
- To contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual/philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own beliefs and values.
Appropriate to age at the end of their education in Church schools the expectation is that all pupils are religiously literate and as a minimum pupils are able to:
- Give a theologically informed and thoughtful account of Christianity as a living and diverse faith.
- Show an informed and respectful attitude to religions and world views in their search for God and meaning.
- Engage in meaningful and informed dialogue with those of other faiths and none.
- Reflect critically and responsibly on their own spiritual, philosophical and ethical convictions.
- Effective teaching and learning about Religions and World Views
Church schools have a duty to provide accurate knowledge and understanding of religions and world views. They should provide:
- A challenging and robust curriculum based on an accurate theological framework.
- An assessment process which has rigour and demonstrates progression based on knowledge and understanding of core religious concepts.
- A curriculum that draws on the richness and diversity of religious experience worldwide.
- A pedagogy that instils respect for different views and interpretations; and, in which real dialogue and theological enquiry takes place.
- The opportunity for pupils to deepen their understanding of the religion and world views as lived by believers.
- RE that makes a positive contribution to SMSC development.
Christianity should be the majority study in RE in every school. In Church schools that should be clearly adhered to: in Key Stages 1-3, two thirds of the study will be Christianity.