Religious Education is a compulsory part of the Northern Ireland Curriculum. It focuses on encouraging children to become informed and inquisitive about their own and others’ religious beliefs and practices.
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 Stages 1 and 2 includes the Revelation of God, the Christian Church and Morality.
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.
With the help of the Religious Education Advisory Group, we have developed non-statutory guidance to support the Core Syllabus.
Parents can withdraw their child from part or all of Religious Education or collective worship.