Board of Education
Promoting Christian distinctiveness through excellent education in the Diocese of Rochester

Understanding Christianity

Understanding Christianity – Launch of national materials for teaching R.E.

The RE materials which started life as ‘The Christianity Project’ were finally launched as ‘Understanding Christianity’ in May 2106.  These materials provide us with an excellent opportunity to re-vitalise RE in our schools at a time when we need to update our RE syllabus.  The key purpose of this project is to help all teachers to support pupils in developing their own thinking and their understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to their understanding of the world and their own experience within it.  It will support pupils from 4 to 14 in exploring the significant theological concepts within Christianity as part of developing their wider religious, theological and cultural literacy.  It will support teachers in developing their own knowledge and understanding of Christianity theology to be able to teach with confidence. 

The materials are for every teacher in primary and secondary classrooms, teaching RE from EYFS right through to KS3, laying down excellent foundations for further study at GCSE and beyond. It is relevant to RE in every classroom in every school, in Church of England and in Community, Academy and Free schools. These resources explore Christianity widely, including (but not limited to) Anglican Christianity.

The total training plan must be taught over approximately 15 hours by an accredited trainer.  Virginia Corbyn has already been trained so that she can offer training over the next academic year (2016-17) with implementation in schools from September 2017.  The plan is to offer this in 2 whole day blocks and to follow up through RE subject leader meetings to make up the 15 hour total training.  The same person from each school would need to attend each training session to maximise the effectiveness of the training.  That person will then disseminate the training in their school. The requirement is that teachers will need to have several training ‘encounters’, with activities to undertake between the sessions. At the end of the first training your teacher will be given a specific log-in code by the trainer. This will unlock the whole of this website and give you access to all of the materials and resources for you to work through with your colleagues. You will be shown the downloadable worksheets for you to use in the classroom, which will also work on whiteboards.

At the recent clergy briefings, we discussed the possibility that clergy connected to our schools might attend the briefings.  We are inviting them to attend the training sessions with the appropriate representative from their school.  As theology provides such a strong underpinning of the materials, we feel that it is important for the clergy to understand the project and this seems to be the best way to ensure that this is the case.  This would then place our clergy in a position to support staff with any theological questions they might have and also in lessons, where that is appropriate, especially in answering pupils’ questions.  We will be writing to clergy but please circulate dates and details to them and invite them to attend alongside your RE subject leader.  There would be an additional cost of £25 for the clergy to attend which would cover basic costs for them which we suggest is paid by the governing body on behalf of the school.

Costs and more information

The cost which includes all the materials will be £200 + VAT per school. This includes the cost of the materials.   For more information about the materials, please see

For schools in multi-academy trusts, training will probably be offered through their trust and details will come to you through that route.  For our other schools, there will be courses on offer in Rochester and in Tunbridge Wells.

The training dates will be as follows:

Rochester – Diocesan offices  ME1 1SL

Thursday 10 November 2016  -   9-30am to 4pm and  Monday 13 March 2017   -   9-30am to 4pm

plus the RE support group meetings from

1-30pm to 3-30pm on Thursdays:  3 November 2016, 23 Feb 2017,  8 June 2017

At the Rochester Diocesan Offices.


Tunbridge Wells –  Southborough CEPSch TN4 0JY

Monday 14 November 2016  -  9-30am to 4pm and Thursday 16 March 2017  -  9-30am to 4pm

plus the RE support group meetings from

1-30pm to 3-30pm on Wednesdays:  2 November 2016, 22 Feb 2017,  7 June 2017

At Bennett Memorial Diocesan School  TN4 9SH


Please book your place with Teresa Spearink : E :