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Religious education

RE helps children and young people to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and belief.

In order to fulfil this purpose, we advocate that RE needs to provide a balance between three disciplines. These are:

  • Theology: This is about believing. It looks at where beliefs come from, how they have changed over time, how they are applied differently in different contexts and how they relate to each other.
  • Philosophy: This is about thinking. It is about finding out how and whether things make sense. It deals with questions of morality and ethics. It takes seriously the nature of reality, knowledge and existence.
  • Human/Social Sciences: This is about living. It explores the diverse ways in which people practise their beliefs. It engages with the impact of beliefs on individuals, communities and societies.


An animation explaining these three disciplines is available to view here:

The aims of Religious Education in Church schools are:

  • To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living faith that influences the lives of people worldwide and as the religion that has most shaped British culture and heritage.
  • To enable pupils to know and understand about other major world religions and world views, their impact on society, culture and the wider world, enabling pupils to express ideas and insights.
  • To contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual/philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own beliefs and values.

(The Church of England Education Office Statement of Entitlement 2016)

Read the current version of the document here.

Related Pages

Assessing RE Knowledge

The Diocese of Norwich Age Related Expectations support the assessment of the methodologies taught in RE lessons to learn substantive and disciplinary knowledge.

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Curriculum planning

In November 2019 Norfolk launched its new Agreed Syllabus, this multi-disciplinary syllabus was designed to provide pupils and students the learning opportunities they need to hold balanced and well informed conversations on religion and worldviews.

Read More »