Religious Education and Collective Worship

Religious Education

RE in Church Schools

In Church of England schools, where pupils and staff come from all faiths and none, religious education (RE) is a highly valued academic subject that enables understanding of how religion and beliefs affect our lives. At the heart of RE in church schools is the teaching of Christianity and pupils also learn about other faiths and world views.

Commission on Religious Education - The Church of England Education Office has issued a final report on the Commission on Religious Education. Final  Report: Church of England Education Office Commission on Religious Education

Understanding Christianity

Understanding Christianity is a resource to support the teaching of Christianity in religious education in all schools.

  • Develops pupils' own thinking and understanding of Christianity.
  • Explores the significant theological concepts within Christianity as part of developing pupils wider religious, theological and cultural literacy.
  • Supports teachers in developing their own knowledge and understanding of Christianity theology to be able to teach with confidence.


What does a balanced approach to curriculum design in RE look like? Four diocesan RE advisers  who wanted to answer this question set out to try and achieve a balanced curriculum that enables pupils to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and belief. Implicit within this is the study of a range of religions, belief systems and worldviews. 

You can find out about this approach in this short film

This work has been developed with support from the Church of England Education Office and in collaboration with teachers and subject experts over the last four years. A suite of resources to accompany this approach are currently being trialled and will be launched soon.

The RE advisers are: Jane Chipperton (Diocese of St Albans), Gillian Georgiou (Diocese of Lincoln), Olivia Seymour (Diocese of York) and Kathryn Wright (Diocese of Norwich).

Collective Worship

Member of clergy at front of school assembly talking to children

In Church of England schools, collective worship reflects the traditions of the Church of England and develops learners' understanding of Anglican traditions and practice. 

Many schools work with the local vicar and other church members to plan and deliver acts of worship that are invitational, reflective and engaging. There is plenty of flexibility in the provision of collective worship to enable all pupils to benefit without compromising their beliefs.

Collective worship gives pupils and school staff the opportunity to:

  • Engage in an act of community.
  • Express praise and thanksgiving to God.
  • Be still and reflect.
  • Explore the big questions of life and respond to national events.
  • Foster respect and deepen spiritual awareness.
  • Reflect on the character of God and on the teachings of Christ.
  • Affirm Christian values and attitudes.
  • Share each other's joys and challenges.
  • Celebrate special times in the Christian calendar.

Worship Workshop helps schools build better worship.  


SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) inspections evaluate the impact of collective worship on the school community and its contribution to the values and ethos of the school.


Changes to the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education and PSHE: A call for evidence (2018)
The Church of England Education Office has submitted a response to the Department for Education’s call for evidence on proposed changes to the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education and PSHE.