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Core content in the agreed syllabus

In determining the range and content of RE an important educational principle that should be kept in mind is the value of teaching “fewer things in greater depth”. Teaching too much content resulting in young people only gaining a rather shallow grasp of the material is unlikely to really engage or enrich young people. Teaching “fewer things in greater depth” is more likely to deliver on the desired aim which is to secure knowledge and depth of understanding so that young people are challenged by the material and have an opportunity to reflect on it in a way which they find both interesting and personally rewarding.

In order to ensure depth of study in religious education, some core content has been identified and should account for twenty per cent of curriculum time. The content should cover the Christian faith.

The core content is based on two areas of study:

  • Christianity – an enquiry into Easter, the Cross and Salvation in Christianity
  • Christianity – an enquiry into Christian love (“Agape”) in Christianity

Each of these areas is indicated in bold and underlined within the planning sections found in the Agreed Syllabus in bold and underlined. The core content is delivered in key stage 1, lower and upper key stage 2 and in key stage 3 and more detailed planning of each unit is to be found in the syllabus.

The core content is also indicated by two colours in the RE Syllabus – exemplar planning grid:  purple and yellow for Christianity. The two areas of study are included in each key stage and are designed to deepen the knowledge and understanding of core beliefs in Christianity.