Knowledge that pupils should attain: Model syllabuses outline time pupils should spend studying Christianity and other faiths

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CHRISTIANITY: At seven, pupils should know why we celebrate Christmas and Easter and 'the two greatest commandments: love God and love your neighbour'.

At 11, they should know the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and study baptism and the Eucharist.

At 14, they should learn about the Trinity, the Gospels, including Jesus's birth, baptism, temptations and transfiguration. At 16, contemporary Christian teaching on the existence of God, life after death and the problem of suffering, on racism, gender and the environment.

BUDDHISM: At seven they should know that Buddha was a human being, not a God, and that he taught people not to steal or tell lies.

At 11, they should know how he found the answer to suffering and his five moral precepts including the use of wrong speech (eg gossiping) and harming living things.

At 14, his teaching that all things have potential for enlightenment. At 16, about the perfect peace which follows the end of 'the fires of greed, hatred and delusion'.

HINDUISM: At seven, children should study devotion to God, respect for others and living things and the importance of the extended family. At 11 and 14, they should know that God is worshipped in different forms and the rituals associated with birth and marriage. Also about festivals such as Divali.

At 16, Brahman as an impersonal absolute, the nature of time, and worship through yoga, meditation and mantra.

ISLAM: At seven and 11, pupils should know that Allah is the Islamic name for the one true God who sent his guidance through the Koran, and know the 'salat', the daily prayer. They should be taught the importance of honesty and good manners and respect for elders.

At 14, about shirk - that nothing is equal to Allah - and about hygiene, diet, modesty and sexual relations. At 16, they should know about Islam's view of contemporary issues such as usury and interest, the environment and animal rights.

JUDAISM: At seven, pupils should have been taught that God is the 'one Creator', the 10 commandments, and the Shabbat, Jewish Sabbath, and that Israel is a special place for the Jewish people.

At 11 and 14, a study of judgement and forgiveness and Jewish occasions such as weddings and the bar mitzvah. At 16, they should look at the application of the Torah, eg where was God at the Holocaust and where was humanity?

SIKHISM: At seven, children should know that Sikhs worship one God as Creator and that all humans are equal before God. Also that uncut hair and turbans are symbols of belonging.

At 11, that worship is led by the Granthi and that respect is shown by uncovering heads and removing shoes. At 14, the ceremonies for marriage and death and principles for living such as Nam Simran, meditation on the divine name. At 16, about the sanctity and responsibilities of marriage and family.


This is based on 'key beliefs' in each religion. In Christianity, for example, these are God, Jesus, the Church, the Bible and Ways of Life. In Buddhism, Buddha, Dhamma, wise and perfect teaching and Sangha, ordained and lay people.

The syllabus includes key questions to help pupils connect religion to their own experience.

Children at primary schools are asked to think about self-sacrifice in Christianity, about giving up all their possessions in Buddhism and about the meaning of equality in Sikhism.

For older children, questions about Islam include the difficulties of having more than one leader and how people can be manipulated by those using superstition. In Christianity, children would be asked what Utopia would be like; in Hinduism they would be asked about about the nature of truth; and in Judaism about maintaining traditional values in the modern world.