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Surrey Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (2023-2028)

Agreed syllabus logoThe Surrey Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education was approved and adopted by Surrey County Council in May 2023, for use in Surrey’s schools from 1st September 2023. The syllabus has been constructed to help schools to sequence their RE curriculum in a way that is coherent, utilises multi-disciplinary skills and builds pupils’ schemata, from EYFS to KS4. In addition, the syllabus helps pupils to understand their own and others’ worldviews, religious and non-religious, and appreciate the influences of these on everyday life. 
The units of work outline substantive knowledge, ways of knowing (viewed through the multi-disciplinary ‘lenses’ of theology, sociology and philosophy) and personal knowledge, as well as key questions that might be asked to help shape the learning in different ways, and end of phase expectations. This supports the recommendations of Ofsted’s RE Research Review.

It is essential that schools follow the advice in the introductory pages for each phase to help them to build their curriculum and ensure that they are delivering the statutory content as required by the agreed syllabus. 

The Surrey Agreed Syllabus (2023-2028) can be accessed here.

You can find out about key changes and approaches in the new syllabus on this one-page document.

We have created two short videos to introduce schools to the Surrey Agreed Syllabus. 

There are also some free 'walkthru' videos for Secondary colleagues, linked from the drop-down tab below. 

For Primary schools, there are some online tutorials relating to the new syllabus to help them to understand the requirements of the syllabus and to plan and deliver their RE curriculum. These tutorials focus on elements such as 'Weaving your school's RE curriculum', 'Assessment' and 'Personal Knowledge'. These are part of our 'Unpacking RE' series and are available for a small charge. You can find out more here.

Non-Statutory Support Materials: 2023-2028

To support teachers with delivering the statutory content of the syllabus, there are also comprehensive non-statutory support materials, created with the support of the Diocese of Guildford to use alongside the units in the Primary sections of the syllabus. These materials can be adapted by schools to suit their setting.

Primary phase

Each unit plan from the syllabus has been expanded to describe a journey of learning that is enquiry-based, following the six key questions. The plans also include background information for teachers, links to suggested resources, key vocabulary for pupils, and further multi-disciplinary questions designed to expand or deepen pupils’ knowledge. Schools should adapt these to suit their local curriculum context. You can view a sample unit here.

We also offer a range of video presentations to support you with implementation here. This now also includes a video especially for class teachers, to support them in their planning.

You will find all the support materials and resources on GDBE-elevate under the ‘RE Downloads’ tab. The materials are listed by phase and type (e.g. ‘THEMATIC’): click on the appropriate tab to locate what you need.

You will need a FREE log-in for GDBE-elevate to be able to access the resources, using the links below: if you don’t already have an account, you can register here.

Secondary Phase

Support materials for the secondary phase demonstrate a range of ways in which the statutory content might be selected and shaped, which creates flexibility for different schools’ models of curriculum. There are also links to videos created by SACRE’s Speakers’ Forum group, which give pupils access to real, lived experiences of people of faith and belief.

You will find support materials and resources below using the links, which will open up as pdfs. Our thanks go to the schools who have generously shared their wisdom! 

Video resources:

Some of our curriculum design group have also created short video walkthrus, explaining their school's RE curriculum based on the new Surrey Agreed Syllabus. You can find the links to these walkthrus here.

There are also video resources that have been created by Surrey SACRE's group of interfaith speakers, for use with RE units across KS3 & KS4. You can find the links to all the videos here.

Exemplar curriculum mpas:

The Priory School

Support for implementation, 2023-2024

Between June 2023 and September 2024, there will be sessions supporting schools with implementation. Please use the links below for further information.

Primary RE subject leaders: BOOK HERE

Secondary RE Heads of department: connect to SAfE Secondary RE Hub or GDBE elevate Training for live briefing sessions & recorded E-learning modules

Surrey Primary RE Networks

Surrey SACRE also supports free termly training for Surrey Primary RE subject leaders, including a session for new RE subject leaders. Click here for more information, ensuring you choose options for the type of school you are e.g. Community schools and academies.

Independent schools and schools outside of Surrey or the Diocese of Guildford
In order to access the support materials, bespoke resources and consultancy advice from our RE team, schools will need to apply for a GDBE-elevate SLA. Find out more here.

School display board various religious symbols title faith and subtitle sall faiths together as oneSurrey SACRE Support for Religious Education

SACRE is not just a committee but a group of individuals who are passionate about creating the best opportunities for children and young people in our schools to learn about different religions and beliefs (both religious and non-religious). Listed below are key resources and support that SACRE can offer to schools that use the Surrey Agreed Syllabus. You can find view our SACRE Explained leaflet here or further information can be accessed by clicking on the headings below.

Support for Primary RE subject leaders

Surrey SACRE supports free termly training for Surrey Primary RE subject leaders. Click here for more information, ensuring you choose options for the type of school you are e.g. Community schools and academies.

We also run free induction training for new RE subject leaders, which you can access from our training portal GDBE-elevate, ensuring you choose options for the type of school you are and that you book onto both sessions.

Encounters with Faith and Belief

Schools may also welcome visitors from faith and belief communities to support their learning in RE, either through visits or welcoming visitors to school.  The guidance document ‘Encounters with Faith and Belief’ will help schools as they plan for these enriching experiences.

How does Surrey SACRE support RE in schools?

Front cover of the parenting visits leafletPartnering Visits: As part of its statutory duties in understanding how schools are implementing the statutory requirements for RE and collective worship, Surrey SACRE regularly conducts visits to schools. With Ofsted’s focus now being on schools’ curriculum intent, implementation and impact, and on pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, a partnering visit could be a useful focus for reflections about your school’s RE curriculum. The focus of these partnering visits is always agreed with host schools in advance and designed to be both supportive and informative (and certainly NOT inspections!). The next scheduled visits are likely to be in the 2024-25 academic year, but please do contact SACRE for further information.

Find out more here.


Front cover of the Speakers Forum leafletSpeakers’ Forum: One of the main roles of any SACRE is to be a resource to support the delivery of the locally agreed syllabus. Speakers’ Forum is another way in which Surrey SACRE chooses to do this. As a group of speakers from different perspectives of faith and belief, they are passionate about engaging children and young people in our schools with the big questions they have. Over the short period of time since Speakers’ Forum was set up, the group has supported interfaith dialogue in several Surrey secondary schools – and (perhaps more importantly!) been invited back! – and are now working on developing resources for virtual sessions and for Primary settings. Speakers’ Forum currently has 8 committed team members representing: Baha’i, Christianity, Hinduism, Humanism, Islam, Judaism & Sikhism. The group also have links with many other interfaith initiatives in their own localities and access to an increasing network of speakers across Surrey.

Find out more here.

Front cover of the SACRE information for governors leafletInformation for Governors: As a governor, you should be aware of the statutory nature of RE and collective worship and know how your school chooses to deliver good quality experiences for pupils that are a part of their entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum and contribute to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It is a legal requirement for schools to provide a daily act of collective worship (this might be called an ‘assembly’ in your school). 

Find out more here.

Open House subject knowledge enhancement for teachers 2024-2025

Members of Surrey faith and belief communities warmly invite you to come and experience their places of worship and gain valuable curriculum insight for Primary RE leaders and class teachers. Each experience will include a meet and greet by the community, a tour, a short presentation and plenty of time for questions and answers, as well as the opportunity to take photographs for use in school.

'Open House' is an ideal way to meet Ofsted recommendations for subject knowledge in RE and invest in teachers' CPD – and establish some links with local faith and belief communities.

You can find more details, including booking information, by clicking here.

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