Religious Education

Religious Education

The Department of Education and the four largest Christian Churches in Northern Ireland define the curriculum for Religious Education in the Core Syllabus. Religious Education gives young people opportunities to develop their personal understanding and enhance their spiritual and ethical awareness.

Teachers should supplement the core syllabus with further provision that complements the ethos of the school and our society.

For further details, see Non Statutory Guidance for Religious Education and Religious Education in the Curriculum.

Key Elements

The Key Elements are a way to connect learning in Religious Education to Learning for Life and Work.

The Key Elements that Religious Education contributes to more fully are:

  • Spiritual Awareness;
  • Moral Character;
  • Cultural Understanding;
  • Ethical Awareness; and
  • Education for Sustainable Development.


For more information on Religious Education contact:

Liam Dempsey
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2233


The following CCEA guidance and training programme on teaching controversial issues supports a whole school approach and provides teachers with practical classroom teaching and learning strategies for teaching controversial issues.

Teaching Controversial Issues Training Guidance Notes 483.4 KB - Uploaded 19-02-2018

Teaching Controversial Issues at Key Stages 3 & 4

This training programme supports a whole-school approach to teaching controversial issues. Curriculum leaders can adapt the training materials and use them as part of their school CPD programme.

Reconciliation Microsite Reconciliation

This resource explores prejudice, sectarianism and reconciliation through the context of Religious Education.

World Religions Microsite World Religions

This website has been developed to help teachers deliver Learning Objective 4 across Key Stage 3. This resource helps teachers to introduce World Religions, encouraging sensitivity towards others’ religious beliefs and practices.

Case Studies

The following case study outlines how one school approached the teaching of Buddhism at Year 10 as part of the study of World Religions.

Buddhism at Key Stage 3

New-Bridge Integrated College Case Study: Teaching Controversial Issues 2.9 MB - uploaded 28-08-2015

Lurgan Junior High School and St Mary’s High School - Sharing education: Teaching Controversial Issues 3.4 MB - uploaded 28-08-2015

Useful Links

Please review all links to judge their suitability before using them with your class.

Religious Education Core Syllabus

National Association of Teachers of Religious Education


Teaching ideas

Webanywhere – Religious Studies Teaching Resources