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The Buckinghamshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education encourages teachers to adopt a wide range of teaching approaches and RE Pedagogies, including:

  • The Phenomenological Approach in which pupils study the rituals and dimensions of religions in order to understand their meaning and significance to members of the faith community.
  • The Experiential Approach which focuses on how RE can help pupils make sense of their own experience in the light of their learning about and from religious and non-religious worldviews.
  • The Interpretive Approach in which pupils learn about the faith through encounter with the experiences, views, beliefs, perspectives, beliefs and ways of life of the members of different religious and non-religious worldviews and reflect on the light this sheds on their own worldview and experience.
  • The Conceptual Approach where the pupils explore the concepts of religious and non-religious worldviews and reflect on the insights these shed on different ways of understanding and making sense of
  • The Personal Quest Approach focusing on how the study of religious and non-religious worldviews helps pupils to develop their own self-understanding.
  • The Ultimate Questions Approach where the focus is on exploring meaning, purpose, value and identity through the study of religious and non-religious worldviews responses to the questions that life throws at
  • The multi-disciplinary approach, using ‘lenses’ through which to explore and research aspects of religion and belief based on academic disciplines. These are, most frequently, Theology, Philosophy, Social/Human Sciences, but can equally be Linguistics, Aesthetics, Creative and Expressive Arts.

Naturally there is rich overlap across all these approaches, and no one approach adequately covers all aspects of learning in RE, although teachers have their natural preferences. What is most important is identifying which approaches are best suited to achieving the particular purposes of the RE that is being taught and the needs of the pupils. It is a good idea to be clear about these, sharing them with pupils to aid their learning.

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