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New Surrey RE syllabus attracts national interest

The Diocese hosted a celebration of the successful launch of the new Religious Education syllabus at Church House Guildford on 29 November. 

Joined by Surrey SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) and the teachers writing group who produced the syllabus - the celebration honoured the work of all contributors and looked at the success of the syllabus so far. 

Schools in the Guildford Diocese started to work with the content at the beginning of September, and feedback has been great. 

The Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) have reported positively on what they’ve seen in schools and teachers are enjoying teaching it. But, most importantly, children are engaging with the content. 

It has been a big piece of work to create and launch the syllabus and SACRE is receiving enquiries from schools nationwide who want to use the material. Many schools use old RE content, but by searching for new and relevant content online, as well as via positive word of mouth, they are coming across the new Surrey SACRE resources.  

The event on 29 November was a celebration of the new RE syllabus, and of the diversity that has gone into the development of the syllabus. The variety of faiths and beliefs working together to create it has added to the content produced. 

 “You may wonder why we review our syllabus so often, but every syllabus reflects the priority of our community.” Commented Sarah Harris, the Acting Chair and Jewish member of the Surrey SACRE, in her opening speech at the celebration event. 

“In 1944 compulsory RE, and a daily act of worship, were introduced in the Education Act. This was no accident. The introduction to the first Surrey Agreed Syllabus specifically reflects the horror of the events of World War II. Over time the content has changed - originally it was largely Judeo-Christian, gradually becoming more inclusive and child-centred.”

“This new syllabus goes a step further. It is called ‘Religion and World Views.’ Crucially it is about religion and belief as it is lived rather than what it says in the textbook, accepting that although most of us do not practise our religion or ideal perfectly, it is still an important part of our lives.”

“SACRE is truly diverse and an example of the importance of working together, building on individual relationships and respecting our different religious traditions so that we can live together and hopefully build a better future for our children.”

The syllabus was written for all Church and Community schools, written in partnership and offering all pupils the same access to a high-quality, engaging RE curriculum which recognises the impact of people's worldviews on the way that they live and gives schools support in developing pupils' understanding about religion and belief in their classrooms.

Lots of relationships between churches and schools start when the church approaches and offers to help with RE. Encourage your church to find more information and videos created to introduce the syllabus to Surrey schools on our website

Snack foods on a table, among cups. Man with a beard and blue headdress in conversation with a woman. Table full of snack foods and cake. Bishop Paul in conversation with a woman wearing a black head scarf. A groups of four women stood together in a room in conversation with one another

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