Curriculum development and the agreed syllabus for RVE
The Vale of Glamorgan SACRE has received termly updates and detailed advice from the CSCJES Associate Adviser for RE/RVE and SACRE regarding curriculum developments as they relate to RE/RVE and collective worship prior to the adoption of the Curriculum for Wales.
With the passing of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill, Religious Education will, from September 2022 be re-named as ‘Religion, Values and Ethics’ (RVE). RVE will be a statutory curriculum requirement from 3 years until the age of 16 and will form part of the Humanities Area of Learning and Experience.
In February 2022, the Standing Conference endorsed the re-adoption of the current Vale of Glamorgan agreed syllabus for religious education with an understanding that the syllabus would be replaced by the Curriculum for Wales agreed syllabus as it rolls out across schools and settings from September 2022. Secondary schools have been advised to continue to follow this syllabus until the completion of the roll out of RVE.
The Curriculum for Wales aims to provide an inclusive, purpose-led curriculum. As part of this equality of access, the Welsh Government has changed the legislation regarding the parental right of withdrawal from RVE. Parents are no longer able to withdraw their children from RVE within the Curriculum for Wales 2022. Parents legal right to withdraw their child from collective worship is still permitted as RVE and collective worship are separate entities. SACRE held discussions about possible future enquiries and concerns from stakeholders in regard to this matter. SACRE also explored the changes to Religion, Values and Ethics as a statutory requirement of the Curriculum for Wales and is mandatory for all learners from ages 3 to 16. SACRE discussed that the new Vale of Glamorgan agreed syllabus reflects that:
the religious traditions in Wales are in the main Christian while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Wales
the fact that a range of non-religious philosophical convictions are held in Wales
SACRE discussed that the Vale of Glamorgan schools and settings also need to take note of the following legislative changes which will have a significant impact on schools:
There is no parental right to withdraw their children from the academic subject of RVE within the Curriculum for Wales
Maintained schools with nursery age children and funded non-maintained nursery settings must provide RVE for all their learners from age three, from September 2022
The RVE Guidance offers specific RVE concepts, in addition to the concepts provided in the mandatory Humanities Statements of What Matters. The statements of what matters in this Area allow learners to explore and critically engage with a broad range of religious and non-religious concepts, which should be carefully considered and underpin curriculum design.
Vale of Glamorgan SACRE will continue to provide supporting materials, in addition to the agreed syllabus, to support practitioners in their curriculum planning and pedagogy, offering breadth and depth of knowledge, skills and experiences for learners across the region. These will be regularly updated and are designed to provide ongoing support for practitioners. These are intended to be ‘live’ and working documents, materials and resources to reflect the evolution of the Curriculum for Wales.