Religious Education is a compulsory part of the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 3. It gives pupils opportunities to develop their personal understanding and enhance their spiritual and ethical awareness.
The Department of Education and the four main Christian Churches in Northern Ireland define the curriculum for Religious Education in the Core Syllabus.
Schools must provide Religious Education in line with this syllabus, which at Key Stage 3 includes the Revelation of God, the Christian Church, Morality and World Religions.
The syllabus provides a basis for Religious Education teaching that schools can build on in a way that suits their pupils’ needs and the school’s ethos. This matches the Northern Ireland Curriculum’s flexibility and allows schools to include, for example, extra material on morality.
Parents can withdraw their child from part or all of Religious Education or collective worship.
The key elements that underpin the curriculum objectives are key issues for modern society. The statutory requirements for Religious Education make these key elements explicit.
For further details, see Religious Education within the Northern Ireland Curriculum and the Key Stage 3 Non-Statutory Guidance for Religious Education.