B04 Skills in RE and Essentials for Learning and Life



The following skills are central to religious education, and should be reflected in learning opportunities.  This syllabus places an important emphasis on the development of skills at all stages of learning, reflecting the National Curriculum Framework for RE requirement to ‘ensure all pupils gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and  non-religious worldviews…’ (NCFRE, 2013, pp.11-12)

This section highlights the skills intrinsic to RE, followed by the contribution of RE to the broader skills in the primary and secondary curriculum.

  1. Investigation – this includes:
    • asking relevant questions;
    • knowing how to use a variety of sources in order to gather information;
    • knowing what may count as good evidence in understanding religion(s).
  2. Interpretation – this includes:
    • the ability to draw meaning from artefacts, works of art, poetry and symbolism;
    • the ability to interpret religious language;
    • the ability to suggest meanings of religious texts.
  3. Reflection – this includes:
    • the ability to reflect on feelings, experience, attitudes, beliefs, values, relationships, practices and ultimate questions.
  4. Empathy – this includes:
    • developing the power of imagination to identify feelings such as love, wonder, forgiveness and sorrow;
    • the ability to consider the thoughts, feelings, experiences, attitudes, beliefs and values of others;
    • the ability to see the world through the eyes of others, and to see issues from their point of view.
  5. Evaluation – this includes:
    • the ability to debate issues of religious significance with reference to evidence, argument, opinion and statements of faith;
    • weighing the respective claims of self-interest, consideration for others, religious teaching and individual conscience.


  1. Analysis – this includes:
    • distinguishing between opinion, belief and fact;
    • recognizing bias, caricature, prejudice and stereotyping;
    • distinguishing between the features of different religions.
  2. Synthesis – this includes:
    • linking significant features of religion(s) together in a coherent pattern;
    • connecting different aspects of life into a meaningful whole.
  3. Application – this includes:
    • making links between religion and individual, community, national and international life;
    • identifying key religious values and their links with secular values.
  4. Expression – this includes:
    • the ability to articulate ideas, beliefs and values;
    • the ability to respond to religious ideas, beliefs and questions through a variety of media.
  5. Self-understanding – this includes:
    • the ability to draw meaning from significant experiences in their own and others’ lives and from religious questions and answers.


Click here for further guidance on the KEY DRIVING WORDS FOR SKILLS PROGRESSION.

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