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National Curriculum

RE and the national curriculum aims

Successful learners

RE helps to develop successful learners by asking life’s largest questions and presenting interesting, important conceptual challenges to pupils. Learning about religion and learning from religion has the capacity to motivate and empower pupils, enabling them to enjoy and value learning.

By investigating beliefs and teachings, explaining practices, reflecting on questions of truth, analysing ideas and evaluating answers, pupils can enhance their skills and confidence as learners. Pupils are able to engage with spiritual and moral concepts, some of which may be new to them, by reflecting on, analysing, interpreting and evaluating sources, questions, practices or ideas. Understanding the complexity of questions about truth, meaning, purpose, identity, values or commitments, and analysing possible answers, can contribute to successful learning individually and collaboratively.

As pupils interpret sources and texts with increasing skill, they begin to ask questions about truth and meaning, and to understand the importance of communicating ideas accurately and respectfully. Applying vocabulary, explaining commitments, and evaluating beliefs enhance pupils’ skills and confidence as group learners as they work with others to give expression to their understanding and response.

Confident individuals

RE helps to create confident individuals by promoting self-awareness and self-esteem as pupils articulate questions and explore responsibility. RE provides a forum for young people to voice their questions about identity and meaning, contributing to their personal development. It can inspire pupils to search for and deepen their sense of personal meaning in their lives. As young people reflect on ultimate questions and on the ideas and practices of belief systems, they are helped to understand more about themselves and others, and how to communicate. They are encouraged to develop their ideas and express them appropriately. They can use beliefs, practices and values to deal confidently with challenges and setbacks. Evaluating practices, ways of life and values empowers pupils to make informed choices. They learn to take increasing responsibility for their attitudes and actions. 

These processes also strengthen pupils' realistic confidence in themselves and each other, and help them to make decisions with increasing autonomy and discernment. This enables them to deal with the demands of adult life sensitively and competently.

Responsible citizens

RE helps prepare pupils to become responsible citizens by raising issues of local, national and global concern and placing them in spiritual and moral contexts. By understanding the beliefs and practices of religions and world views, pupils can make connections between belief and action. Through considering the beliefs behind environmental action, the needs of refugees or the work of aid agencies, pupils can become aware of the connections between beliefs, lifestyles and ultimate questions. Understanding the right to hold different beliefs enables pupils to see diverse religions and beliefs as a significant part of the local, national and global community, and of human experience. They can develop as reflective and responsible citizens in a plural society and global community, with a strong awareness of religious and ethical diversity.

By evaluating ethical issues, and expressing views using reasoned arguments, pupils can enhance their capacity and desire to make a positive contribution to debates and decisions in society.

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How religious education links to

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