RE alongside the National Curriculum
The National Curriculum states the legal requirement that:
“Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based, and which:
Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of
Prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.”
“All state schools... must teach religious education to pupils at every key stage... All schools must publish
their curriculum by subject and academic year online.”
(DfE National Curriculum Framework, July 2013, page 4)
THE PURPOSE OF RE
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 they learn about and from religions and worldviews 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.
Teaching therefore should equip pupils with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of
religions and worldviews, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.
It should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society,
with its diverse religions and worldviews.
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.
The purpose of RE is captured in the principal aim, which is intended to be a short-hand version for day-today
use. Teachers should use it when planning RE, whether long-term or short-term. It should be
considered as a doorway into the wider purpose articulated above.
THE CURRICULUM AIMS OF RE
The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:
1. Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews1, so that they can:
describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and
between communities and amongst individuals
identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered by some of the sources
of wisdom2 found in religions and worldviews
appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of
2. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so
that they can:
explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence
individuals and communities
express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions
and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues
appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.3
3. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that they
find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and
truth, responding creatively
enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for
the wellbeing of all
articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in
their own and other people’s lives.