Religious Education

Children sat in the Cathedral learning

“Learning about religious world views has always been at the heart of a well-rounded education. It is vitally important for pupils’ character formation, for helping pupils understand the many and various forms of religious experience and expression across the globe, and for wise decision making. This is more important today than ever before. 

Our Diocese is home to many diverse and active faith communities, as well as to people who follow non-religious world views and ways of life. The historical influence of the Church has contributed towards making the Diocese a welcoming place, where freedom of religion is valued and cherished. The Church also continues to nurture and encourage people from all backgrounds to find faith and sustenance from the God who created them and loves them”, The Right Reverend John Holbrook, Bishop of Brixworth.

Religious Education in Schools

Religious Education should be a central, high profile element of the curriculum of all schools and should enable all learners to be able to hold informed and balanced conversations about religion and belief. This is crucial if they are to go on to be active, sensitive and respectful citizens of modern Britain. Learning activities should provide fully for the needs of all learners. Attainment should be high and progress significant in developing an understanding of Christianity and of a broad range of religions and world views.

The Diocese of Peterborough RE Syllabus

We believe that our Church schools should be champions for excellent RE teaching. For this reason, the Diocese of Peterborough Board of Education has developed its own RE Syllabus with accompanying resources.

We recommend that all Church schools in the Diocese of Peterborough use the Diocese of Peterborough Syllabus for Religious Education which incorporates the Understanding Christianity resource, as the major resource to help them develop their RE curriculum. For Peterborough Diocese Education Trust Schools and Voluntary Aided Schools/Academies the expectation is that this is the syllabus that will be adopted. For Voluntary Controlled Schools/Academies it should be used as a resource to help meet the requirements of the LA Agreed Syllabus for RE.

Which Syllabus Do We Need to Follow?

Religious Education is not part of the National Curriculum. However, it is legally required in all schools and academies.

Religious Education in Voluntary Aided (VA) schools 

For Voluntary Aided Schools with a religious character Religious Education is the responsibility of the governing body. The Diocesan Board of Education for Peterborough strongly recommend the Diocesan RE Syllabus for adoption. If governors decide to adopt a different Syllabus than this one, they must ensure that its requirements are at least as rigorous and that it is in accordance with the school’s Trust Deed and the ‘Religious Education in Church Schools: A Statement of Entitlement’ 2019. 

Religious Education in Voluntary Controlled (VC) and Foundation Schools 

Voluntary Controlled Schools should follow the Local Authority Agreed Syllabus unless parents request a denominational one. There is much in the Diocesan Syllabus to support schools to achieve excellence in RE and the Diocese of Peterborough strongly recommend that schools use the support materials in this Syllabus as they will complement the Locally Agreed Syllabus. 

Religious Education in an Academy 

The requirements for Religious Education in an academy with a religious foundation are specified in the funding agreement for that academy. For a VA school that converts to academy status the model funding agreement specifies that an academy with a religious designation must provide RE in accordance with the tenets of the particular faith specified in the designation. The Diocesan Syllabus is written to support academies within the Diocese of Peterborough to meet the requirements of their funding agreement. 
Sponsored Academies usually adopt the VA model within their funding agreements, irrespective of whether they were previously VA or VC.

Community schools must follow their Locally Agreed Syllabus. The Peterborough Diocesan Board of Education’s Syllabus for Religious Education has a flexibility allowing for a balanced selection of material to be made reflecting the local context. The Diocesan Syllabus could be used alongside its counterpart from the Local Authority to provide extra support materials. 

For further information, contact the RE Adviser, Jane Lewis

Below you can find some helpful resources:

RE Newsletter Spring Term 2024

RE Statement of Entitlement

RE Exemplar Policy for Schools

RE Statement of Entitlement Analysis

Final Report of the Commission on RE

RSHE Principles of CofE

There are many on line resources which can help you to enhance your RE lessons. They also provide a valuable research resource for those who wish to improve their subject knowledge of the different faiths covered within the Peterborough Agreed Syllabus, the links can be found here.


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