RE bodies lay the ground for teaching of non-religious worldviews

(Photo: Unsplash/Aaron Burden)

Religious Education bodies are laying the ground for teach about non-religious worldviews in the classroom.

The Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) and RE Today Services will be working together on a new suite of resources over the next three years. 

They are being supported in the joint venture by a £150,000 grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation. 

Over the course of the project, the charities will create a toolkit to support schools in building a syllabus for the teaching of RE that teaches religious and non-religious worldviews side-by-side - a key recommendation from the 2018 Commission on RE. 

In addition to organised worldviews, the approach also takes into consideration the personal worldviews that pupils bring with them into the classroom.

Due to be launched in 2024, RE Today project leader Stephen Pett said the toolkit would "make a significant impact on the direction and quality of RE for the coming years".

"Our focus is on creating clear and practical guidance to help those who create syllabuses for the subject," he said.

"We will draw on the rich possibilities opened up through a study of religious and non-religious worldviews and offer different models for applying these ideas to curriculum development.

"We want pupils to gain a richer understanding of religion and of religious and non-religious worldviews, as part of their understanding of the world and of themselves."

Professor Trevor Cooling, Chair of the REC, said: "This is an important project that takes a further step towards improving the quality and rigour of religious education and its capacity to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain. It reinforces the vital role the subject plays in enhancing society, education, and the economy.

"We believe that the new vision will enthuse pupils as they learn more about how their own personal worldviews can grow and develop through learning about organised religious and non-religious worldviews.

"As a member organisation, we will draw on the expertise of the teachers, advisers, consultants, and members of faith and belief communities who are part of the REC to develop the new frameworks. Our ultimate goal is to support teachers in planning academically rigorous and personally inspiring RE for their pupils.