#REchatuk – How do we teach pupils to be literate about Christianity?

In advance of this evening’s #REchatuk discussion, I thought I would (briefly) pen my ideas on what we need to deliver to students so that they can be literate when studying and writing about Christianity. As ever, this is with secondary school students in mind.

Broadly speaking, I would make the study of Christianity much more knowledge-based that it is currently. I would have the following as a bare minimum:

1) Teachings and history

– Nature of God, including the Trinity and the characteristics attributed to God

– Creation, including an understanding of the Biblical account, and interpretations of this

– Jesus Christ, including key features of his life (as a minimum, birth, miracles, Sermon on the Mount, some knowledge of parables, death and resurrection)

– Importance of salvation, and the role of Jesus in this

– Importance of resurrection and the links to views on what happens after death

– The Bible and its contents (clearly not all of it, but some idea of the composition and contents)

– Split in Christianity, including formation of the Church of England

– Shared history with Judaism

2) Practice of Christianity

– Knowledge of forms of worship used by Christians

– The sacraments

– Role and importance of prayer (including the Lord’s prayer)

– The way in which belief can inform action, particularly linked to social justice and charity

– Use of the Bible/Church as sources of authority and guidance

3) Christianity in the modern world

– How core teachings inform attitudes towards issues (via a detailed case study or two, not a whistle-stop tour of many ethical issues)

– Major Christian churches, and differences between them

– Role of women in Christianity, controversy over female bishops

4) Philosophical/controversial issues (possibly, although this could be a bit of a luxury)

– Problem of evil and suffering, responses

– Science and religion, including evolution and creation

– Attitudes towards marriage

I am sure that there is a lot more that could be included, but this is what I would put into a KS3-4 curriculum were I to be starting from scratch!

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