Thousands Of British School Children Benefit From 'Game-Changing' Teaching On Christianity

The teaching of Christianity in schools has been transformed by a "game changing" new resource from the Church of England.

Thousands of children in more than 2,000 schools have benefited from 'Understanding Christianity' since it was launched six months ago. The aid focuses on key theological concepts like salvation to help pupils get to grips with what Christians believe.

One RE advisor said: "I have never had such a positive response to one initiative."Pixabay

Derek Holloway, school character and SIAMS development manager at the CofE, hailed the uptake from hundreds of teachers as a "genuine step forward" for religious education.

"The resource helps develop greater theological literacy and a deep understanding of the Christian narrative in pupils," wrote Holloway on a CofE blog. "This in turn helps young people to make sense of the world and their experience within it as well as helping to give young people confidence to have informed conversations about belief and faith."

It comes after a 2014 report called for a more challenging approach to teaching Christianity in schools.

The large-scale resource is aimed at pupils aged between four and 14 and has led to calls for similar resources for different religions.

Launching the tool in May, Nigel Genders, chief education officer for the Church, said: " RE is primarily about teaching religious literacy. The ability for young people to have informed conversation and dialogue about belief and faith is key to building a peaceful society and helps combat ignorance and extremism.

"We recognise that within the rich Christian heritage of Britain, a particular responsibility of the Church of England is to ensure Christianity is well taught in our schools. This large-scale resource promotes theological literacy and a deep understanding of the whole Christian narrative for children and young people."

Six month on it has been used in more than 2,000 schools and hailed as the "best set of teaching and learning resources" in RE.

David Ford, regius professor of Divinity Emeritus at Cambridge University and consultant on the project said: "This resource manages to interconnect the text of the Bible, the beliefs and practices of Christians, and the world of the pupils – a remarkable achievement.

"It is demanding on teachers and pupils, yet both are also given rich materials to resource them, with pointers to much more. The promise is of a richer, deeper, wiser understanding of Christianity for both Christians and non-Christians, and an attractive mode of exploration and learning for both pupils and teachers."