The Purpose of Religious Education
The Devon and Torbay Agreed Syllabus 2019 asserts the importance and value of religious
education (RE) for all pupils, with on-going benefits for an open, articulate and understanding society.
The following purpose statements underpin the syllabus, which is constructed to support
pupils and teachers in fulfilling them:
• Religious education contributes dynamically to children and young people’s education in
schools by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
• In RE pupils learn about religions and beliefs in local, national and global contexts, to
discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
• Pupils learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response and to agree or disagree respectfully.
• Teaching therefore should equip pupils with systematic knowledge and understanding of a
range of religions and beliefs, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.
• RE should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society, with its diverse religions and beliefs.
• Pupils should gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence. They should learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.
The Aims Of RE
1. make sense of a range of religious and non-religious beliefs, so that
• identify, describe, explain and analyse beliefs and concepts in the context of living religions, using appropriate vocabulary
• explain how and why these beliefs are understood in different ways, by individuals and within communities
• recognise how and why sources of authority (e.g. texts, teachings, traditions, leaders) are
used, expressed and interpreted in different ways, developing skills of interpretation
2. understand the impact and signifi cance of religious and non-religious
beliefs, so that they can:
• examine and explain how and why people express their beliefs in diverse ways
• recognise and account for ways in which people put their beliefs into action in diverse ways, in their everyday lives, within their communities and in the wider world
• appreciate and appraise the signifi cance of diff erent ways of life and ways of
3. make connections between religious and non-religious beliefs, concepts,
practices and ideas studied, so that they can:
• evaluate, refl ect on and enquire into key concepts and questions studied, responding
thoughtfully and creatively, giving good reasons for their responses
• challenge the ideas studied, and allow the ideas studied to challenge their own thinking,
articulating beliefs, values and commitments clearly in response
• discern possible connections between the ideas studied and their own ways of
understanding the world, expressing their critical responses and personal refl ections with
increasing clarity and understanding