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Materials for RE Subject Leaders

The new diocesan guidelines for RE in VA schools should be in use from September 2015. While the material builds on the old guidelines and the ASUs there are changes to every unit, so it will take some time to prepare.

We have produced some materials to help RE Subject Leaders to launch the new Diocesan RE Guidelines in your schools.

Calendar for Implementation

This Calendar for implementation of the new guidelines sets out what you will need to do to be ready to teach the new RE materials  from the start of the autumn term 2015.  Actions have been broken down into half terms and cover from April 2015 to the end of the summer term 2016.

CPD Materials

To enable you to explain the new guidelines to your colleagues, we have produced two CPD sessions on PowerPoint.

CPD Session 1 covers the background to the updates, the overview of the curriculum and enables you as a staff team to create your long-term plan for RE.

You will need this puzzle piece for one of the activities.

CPD Session 2 covers how the unit plans work and the enquiry approach to learning in RE.

You may wish to use this preform for unpicking a unit into a sequence of lessons, although you are encouraged to use your own school format.

We have provided unit plans for the various units of study.  Teachers will need to decide how they wish to deliver each unit of work; a series of weekly lessons, a block of RE work or a mixture.  There is variation in how schools deliver their RE and so one size does not fit all!

At the launch training teachers found it straightforward (and quick) to take a unit of work and break it into a sequence of lessons, so at this stage we do not plan to provide lesson plans.  However we welcome feedback on the units and if there are any units that would benefit from being broken down into lesson plans we will work with schools that have already delivered those units to offer some examples to others.

In addition you will need to provide staff with access to the materials for their key stage which can be found as below:

Big Ideas Booklet

Contained within this booklet are the ‘big ideas’ that form the framework of the Christianity content of the Guildford Diocesan Guidelines for RE.

The ‘big ideas’ are presented as sections of a jigsaw puzzle: each of the units of learning are a part of this puzzle and each one contributes to pupils’ understanding of these key ideas in Christianity. In line with the National Society’s guidelines, the largest portion of this puzzle is learning about and from Christianity: 20% of time at KS1 and 30% of time at KS2 is spent studying other faiths. Optional Study Units (OSU) offer schools ‘extra’ pieces of puzzle that may link with one or more of the ‘big ideas’. Whilst most units have been linked to one ‘big idea’, the reality is that they may contribute to more than one – and it’s also the case that understanding the ‘big idea’ of the Bible, for example, helps pupils to make progress in other units too.

This guidance should be used in conjunction with the Key Stage curriculum overviews, which outline the purpose of each individual unit: doing this should help schools to see exactly how each unit contributes to the ‘big idea’ that it is linked with.

Like building a puzzle, there is no ‘right’ way of doing it: but it is important that the compulsory units within each Key Stage are taught, otherwise there will be pieces missing – and we all know how frustrating that is!

Teachers at the training events asked for a Big Ideas Powerpoint slides to use as posters and for CPD. This is available in the bank of resources above.


If you need help with any aspect of implementing the guidelines please don’t hesitate to contact us; email is generally best.  No question or query is too small; if you aren’t clear then you are probably not the only one. 

Sadly we do not have enough working hours to be able to come and lead everyone’s staff meetings or Inset days but we will support you to lead them in your own school. 

JaneWhittington1 Jane Whittington

Schools Officer – Christian Distinctiveness, RE,Spiritual Development & Christian Distinctiveness of Church Schools (M,T,Th)

01483 484905

Rachel Boxer Rachel Boxer


01483 450423