Understanding Christianity offers a coherent approach to teaching and learning about Christianity, in the wider RE curriculum.
Understanding Christianity has identified eight core concepts at the heart of mainstream Christian belief. It sets out some knowledge ‘building blocks’, to clarify what pupils should know and understand about these concepts at each school phase. It provides a teaching and learning approach to unpack these concepts and their impact in the lives of Christians in the UK and the world today, making connections with the world of the pupils and their wider understanding.
Understanding Christianity’s approach to teaching about Christianity builds up pupils’ encounters with these core concepts through biblical texts, placing the texts and concepts within the wider Bible story. Each unit addresses a concept, through some key questions, exploring core Bible texts, their impact for Christians, and possible implications for pupils. Each unit incorporates the three elements below:
- Making sense of the text: developing pupils’ skills of reading and interpretation; understanding how Christians interpret, handle and use biblical texts; making sense of the meanings of texts for Christians.
- Understanding the impact: examining ways in which Christians respond to biblical texts and teachings, and how they put their beliefs into action in diverse ways within the Christian community and in the world.
- Making connections: evaluating, reflecting on and connecting the texts and concepts studied, and discerning possible connections between these and pupils’ own lives and ways of understanding the world.
Pupils’ achievement can be assessed against the knowledge building blocks and against end-of-phase outcomes related to the elements above.
This approach offers coherence and progression in terms of pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding. It supports pupils’ abilities to handle texts, as well as understanding how and why Christians intepret biblical texts differently. It takes seriously the role of the pupil as reader, bringing their own world to the text whilst giving them the opportunity to allow the text to enlarge their understanding of the world.