How to plan from the Agreed Syllabus

Our Agreed Syllabus offers pupils high quality learning experiences through an enquiry-based model using a range of pedagogies

There are three statutory Areas of Understanding

  • Beliefs and Practices
  • Identity and Values
  • Meaning and Purpose

Each Area of Understanding has two Attainment Targets:

  • AT1 Knowledge and Understanding
  • AT2 Reflection and Response

By the time pupils reach the end of KS3, they should have had the opportunity of a broad, inclusive religious education, including studies of religious communities with a significant local presence.

Pupils should be enabled to develop their understanding of essential knowledge and key skills by drawing on an appropriate balance of religion and belief in the context of religious and non-religious traditions, including secular world views such as humanism.

There should be opportunities to study other religious traditions as appropriate to the local context such as the Baha’i faith, Jainism and Zoroastrianism, through experiences of dialogue within and between beliefs and visits to - or encounters with - people of a variety of religions and beliefs.  Pupils should learn to use appropriate specialist vocabulary to enable them to become religiously literate.

Schools are required to study Christianity at all key stages for at least 50% of curriculum time. Schools should decide, on the basis of their local context, which other principal religions to study in each phase. Good practice would suggest that teachers at subsequent key stages should build upon what has gone before.

It is required that: 

  • Early Years Foundation Stage the learning outcomes are referenced to Christianity and as appropriate to a range of other beliefs and cultures
  • KS1 - Christianity and one other principal religion in some depth
  • KS2 - Christianity and two other principal religions in some depth
  • KS3 - Christianity and at least two other principal religions in some depth
  • KS4 and KS5 - Christianity and at least one other principal religion to greater depth

While there is no legal requirement that students must sit public examinations, students deserve the opportunity to have their learning accredited in the statutory curriculum subject of religious education. Accreditation can be through courses leading to qualifications with the title ‘Religious Studies’ and/or other approved courses that require the study of religion and ethics.

Schools should provide:

  • for all students aged 14 to16, at least one course in religious education or religious studies, leading to an approved qualification
  • for all students aged 16 to19, at least one course that represents progression from 14 to 16 in religious education or religious studies, leading to an approved qualification.

Schools must ensure total coverage of all Teaching Objectives and Learning Outcomes in the Areas of Understanding. For each faith to be studied there is identified statutory Key Content.

These exemplar Units of Learning offer a ready-made scheme of work with built-in progression and coverage of all statutory aspects of the agreed syllabus. The Programme of units for KS1 and 2 provides a way of working through the syllabus, though teachers may plan the Units to fit with other curriculum planning. There is also a Christmas overview and an Easter overview for the Primary phase that may supplement learning at the relevant times of year. The KS1 and KS2 Key Content identifies the core teaching that this syllabus requires within the range of faiths that a school chooses to teach.

There is an exemplar introductory Unit of Learning for KS3, building upon the content taught in KS2.

All Units of Learning, however they are designed, must:

  • ensure progression
  • consider continuity of learning in RE, ‘picking up’ from the previous unit
  • use statutory Learning Outcomes and Teaching Objectives from Areas of Understanding
  • determine the religions to be studied
  • identify relevant pedagogies
  • identify a key question for the enquiry
  • encourage pupils to frame subsidiary questions and then to choose their focus for study
  • build in a variety of assessment opportunities.

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