THE FRAMEWORK FOR THE AGREED SYLLABUS: Introduction to the Agreed Syllabus 4 The legal framework – a summary 4 The aims of religious education 5 Time allocation 5 The focus for the content 5 Assessment, reporting and recording 6 Differentiation 6 The structure of the syllabus 6 Learning from religion: good and bad practice 8 Skills and processes in religious education 9 Attitudes in religious education 9 Special Educational Needs 10 QCA level descriptors 11
PROGRAMME OF STUDY FOR KEY STAGE 2 36 PROGRAMME OF STUDY FOR KEY STAGE 3 64
REQUIREMENTS FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AT KEY STAGE 4 87 GUIDELINES INDEX 89
THE MERTON AGREED SYLLABUS FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
The Merton Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education was first introduced to schools in 1996 and was written to ‘reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions that are represented in Great Britain’ (Education Reform Act 1988). The 1996 syllabus was written at a time when the three-tier system of education was in operation in the London Borough of Merton and there is a legal requirement for every Agreed Syllabus to be reviewed every five years.
The original document has been modified in the light of teachers’ comments to accommodate the changes in Merton to a two-tier system of education. It will replace the original syllabus and should be implemented as the legally binding Agreed Syllabus for Merton schools from September 2002.
The Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) is grateful to Paul Gateshill, the RE consultant who has worked with a group of Merton teachers to produce this revised syllabus. We commend the syllabus to Merton schools with an expectation that it will foster understanding and respect for the diversity of religions and cultures that enrich the community life of the Borough.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The members of Merton’s Agreed Syllabus Conference would like to thank the following for their assistance in drawing up this revised syllabus:
Barbara Bell Raynes Park High School
Paul Gateshill Consultant, Surrey County Council
Sophie Heath Merton LEA
Caroline Hykiel Rutlish High School
Anne Isherwood William Morris Middle School
Deborah Lennard-Brown Poplar First School
Margaret Mitchell Alfred Mizen First School
Jo Piper Tamworth Manor High School
Stephen Smith Merton LEA
Lucy Wintle Priory C of E Middle School
INTRODUCTION TO THE AGREED SYLLABUS
The content within the programmes of study at each key stage is similar to the previous Agreed Syllabus.
Key Questions i.e. questions that pupils need to confront in order to develop a religious understanding of the issues being studied. These are not exhaustive and should be developed by schools within their medium or short term planning.
Learning Outcomes i.e. what should pupils know, understand and be able to do by the end of a particular unit of work. Again these are not exhaustive and should be further developed within a school’s scheme of work.
The Key Questions and Learning Outcomes have been developed in line with the level descriptors or national expectations for RE published by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). These should ensure progression between key stages. They are also useful for developing tasks that are appropriate for pupils of different ages and different ability levels.
The programmes of study are presented as half-termly units of work, based upon 6-8 hours of teaching per unit. Some units are longer and described as ‘2 units’. Schools will need to consider how best to develop schemes of work from these units.
N.B. The learning objectives within the programmes of study are statutory whereas the ‘possible teaching activities for Attainment Targets 1 and 2’, the key questions and the ‘Learning Outcomes for Attainment Targets 1 and 2’ are for guidance only.
religious education should be taught to all pupils in full-time education, except for those withdrawn at the wish of their parents (details to be found in DFE Circular 1/94, paragraph 44). As in the 1944 Education Act (30 RE), teachers’ rights are safeguarded, should they wish to withdraw from the teaching of RE;
religious education in maintained and voluntary controlled schools should be taught in accordance with an Agreed Syllabus;
an Agreed Syllabus should ‘reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teachings and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain’ (Education Reform Act 1988, Section 8);
an Agreed Syllabus ‘must not be designed to convert pupils, or to urge a particular religion or religious belief on pupils’ (Education Act 1944, Section 26 (2)).
The Education Reform Act 1993 requires that an Agreed Syllabus Conference is convened every five years to review the existing Agreed Syllabus.