Ofsted publishes research review on religious education

12 May 2021 10:13 AM

Ofsted has published the second in a series of reviews into different subjects across the curriculum. This review looks at religious education (RE).

The latest review draws on our education inspection framework (EIF) and other religious education (RE) literature to identify what contributes to high-quality RE curriculum, assessment, pedagogy and systems in schools where we inspect RE.

Read the RE research review.

The review recognises that there is no single way of constructing and teaching a high-quality RE curriculum. However, it does identify some common features:

The review refers to 3 different types of subject-specific knowledge that pupils learn in RE. Each of these is powerful and should not be confused with ‘mere facts’. The first is ‘substantive’ knowledge about various religious and non-religious traditions. The second type is ‘ways of knowing’, where pupils learn ‘how to know’ about religion and non-religion. The third type is ‘personal knowledge’, where pupils build an awareness of their own presuppositions and values about what they study. The review suggests that improvement in RE at both primary and secondary level includes knowing more of these ‘pillars of progression’. This prepares pupils to engage in a complex, multi-religious and multi-secular world.

In the spring term of 2022, we will be publishing a report on the quality of RE curriculums taught in schools. We will gather the evidence for this through subject ‘deep dives’ during inspections under the EIF.

To find out more about Ofsted’s curriculum work, read the principles behind the research reviews and subject reports.