Special educational needs

This syllabus is flexible and should be adapted to meet the range of individual needs and abilities in all settings, including pupils with additional needs in mainstream schools. 

Whilst retaining the enquiry model which is central to our syllabus, we have developed materials that take their structure from the published work of Anne Krisman, teacher, Farmington Fellow and Specialist Leader in Religious Education, based in London.  We would like to thank Anne for her willingness to share her material.  These articles explain the focus of her work:

The Burning Core - Getting to the heart of RE with special school pupils (602kb PDF opens in a new window)

Little Heath School - Ofsted good practice example (222kb PDF opens in a new window)

The Burning Core consists of 5 key areas of learning:

  • Connection – what links can we make with our pupil’s lives?
  • Knowledge – what is the burning core of the faith?
  • Senses – what sensory elements are in the religion?
  • Symbols – what are the symbols that are most accessible?
  • Values – what are the values in the religion that speak to us? 

We hope that the Burning Core model will provide a planning template for teachers to appropriately adapt the units of learning that accompany the agreed syllabus. There should be a balance between the 2 ATs to fully develop their religious literacy.

Teaching and learning outcomes of the syllabus are incorporated within the 5 ‘keys’.

Pages in this section:

The importance of RE to pupils with learning difficulties


Exemplar units of learning    

The exemplar material has been developed by teachers from mainstream and special schools working together to adapt the syllabus units to get to the ‘Burning Core’.  This helps to make the Key Concepts accessible to pupils with additional learning needs in mainstream and special schools and ensures overall coverage and progression.

Essentially this approach gives a ‘distillation’ of the syllabuses’ Key Content, which will not be covered in its entirety. This means that pupils will not entirely meet the Age-Related Expectations for their Key Stage.

The units may be adapted for each school setting.

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