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Religious Education

The purposes of Religious Education

The syllabus explains the value and purpose of RE for all pupils and specifies for teachers what shall be taught in each age group. It provides a coherent framework for setting high standards of learning in RE and enabling pupils to reach their potential in the subject. As such, the Agreed Syllabus is parallel to the government’s subject orders for the subjects of the National Curriculum.

Religious Education is an essential component of a broad and balanced education (a key Ofsted priority) and is a focal point in the curriculum for work on Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development and British Values. It enables the growth of religious literacy, essential for life in modern Britain and the wider world.

Religious Education is concerned with the deep meaning that individuals and groups make of their experiences and how this helps them give purpose to their lives. It provides opportunities to explore, make and respond to the meanings of those experiences in relation to the beliefs and experiences of others as well as to one’s own experiences.

RE’s place in the curriculum is underpinned by values and purposes. Along with the other subjects of the curriculum, RE aims:

  • to provide opportunities for all pupils to learn and to achieve;
  • to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and to prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of the present and the future.

The following purpose statements underpin the syllabus, which is constructed to support pupils and teachers in fulfilling them:

  • Religious education contributes dynamically to children and young people’s education in schools by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
  • In RE pupils learn about religions and beliefs in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
  • They learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response, and to agree or disagree respectfully.
  • RE teaching therefore should equip pupils with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and beliefs, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.
  • It should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can develop religious literacy and participate positively in our society, with its diverse religions and beliefs.
  • Pupils should gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence. They should learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.