This report presents findings and analysis from a study that examines the impact of Understanding Christianity in schools across England. The study, conducted by Dr Rachael Shillitoe at the University of Birmingham, seeks to evaluate the impact of RE Today’s Understanding Christianity teaching resources amongst pupils and teachers across primary and secondary schools, with a particular focus on schools without a religious character.

This study aims to find out the extent to which the resource has ‘made a difference’ to teaching and learning about Christianity in RE. The evaluation includes the following elements:

  • Setting out the intentions and goals of the resource
  • Assessing the effectiveness of the training model (over 100 people were trained and accredited to train schools in implementing the resource; school training uses a model
    of at least three encounters totalling up to 15 hours of training for primary schools)
  • Evaluating the impact of the resource and its teaching and learning approach on a range of outputs, including, for example, teacher confidence, teacher subject knowledge, pupil engagement, pupil knowledge and understanding about Christianity.

This report focuses on the findings gathered from teachers and pupils using the resource and examines some secondary data gathered by RE Today, which evaluates the teacher training experience.

The methods employed in this qualitative study included:

  • Focus group discussions with pupils
  • Semi-structured interviews with staff
  • Photographs of pupils’ workbooks
  • Observation of an RE lesson using Understanding Christianity (when possible).

The full report can be viewed on the Understanding Christianity website, available here.

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