The attainment targets

The two attainment targets for Religious Education

AT 1 Learning about Religion

(Knowledge and Understanding of Religion)

Learning about religion is what pupils learn about beliefs, teachings and practices of the religious traditions of the world.  

It is also what pupils learn about the nature and demands of ultimate questions, about a faith response to ultimate questions, about the normative views of the human condition and what it means to be human, as expressed in and through traditional belief systems… about the discernment and interpretation of core values, about the shaping influences of religious beliefs and values on cultural and personal histories.  This type of learning might be said to be initiating pupils into an ‘impersonal or public mode of understanding’.

This fosters the ability to:

  • identify religious beliefs and teachings in order to give a coherent account of a believer’s response to the world
  • describe religious practice and lifestyles in a religious tradition and compare and contrast that with others
  • explain the meaning of religious language, story and symbolism.


AT2 Learning from Religion

(Reflection and Response)

Learning from religion is what pupils learn from their studies in religion about themselves – about discerning ultimate questions… in their own experience and considering how they might respond to them, about discerning core values and learning to interpret them, about recognising the shaping influence of their own beliefs 1 and values on their development as persons… about the possibility of their being able to discern a spiritual dimension in their own experience, about the need for them to take responsibility for their own decision-making, especially in matters of personal belief and conduct, and so on. This type of learning might be said to result in self-awareness and personal knowledge.

This fosters the ability to:

  • explore human identity, personality and experience
  • reflect upon questions of meaning and purpose
  • identify and respond to values and commitments in themselves and others.

Both targets provide a rounded programme of Religious Education. They are interdependent, of equal value, and are not meant to be taught separately.

Adapted from Michael Grimmitt, Religious Education and Human Development (1987)

1 Grimmitt does not mean something specifically religious but something that could be applied to non-religious world views as well.

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