Ways of Knowing in Religious Education: The Case for Quality in a Secular Britain


An innovation focussed project to reimagine the curriculum and assessment for Religious Education in a Trust of 43 schools in England based on ways of knowing. The curriculum improves current humanities education by embracing the increasingly secular society in which we live. By utilising ways of knowing, this Religious Education curriculum and assessment model has the opportunity to transcend traditional religious instruction in schools and increase understanding and uptake of history, philosophy, theology and social sciences in order to inspire a new generation of young people. For the first time the census information has fewer than 50% of the Great British population identifying as Christian, with a 57% increase in those stating ‘no religion’ compared to 10 years ago. less than 50%. I do not believe the current education provision is adequately planned and equipped to deal with this change and needs to adapt using ways of knowing as its core method of teaching and assessment. I present a modelled curriculum and assessment framework which addresses these issues for our 37,000 student and offer an analysis of its successes and shortcomings from its first year of delivery, alongside the modifications for future cohorts. This model will be free to access for schools nationally and internationally, enabling greater scope for improving Religious Education, and opportunities for continued impact research and adaptation. Comparative survey data on perceptions and proficiency in humanities subjects and of continuation of humanities subjects at further education institutions are included.


Kymberley Dainty
Senior Lead Practitioner - Humanities, Religious Education, Ormiston Academies Trust, United Kingdom


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Religious Community and Socialization


Education, Secularisation, Religion, Leadership, Assessment

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