Living Difference III

The Agreed Syllabus for religious education (RE) in Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight

It builds on an approach to religious education, enriched by philosophical and theological enquiry, as well as current research, used in Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton since 2004. Living Difference III is evidence of the ongoing, fruitful partnership between Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton, and now the Isle of Wight, in relation to religious education.

© Hampshire County Council / Portsmouth City Council / Southampton City Council / Isle of Wight Council

What are the special features of Living Difference III?

Living Difference III offers an educative approach to religious education, emphasising a process of enquiry into concepts. Children and young people have the opportunity to respond from their own experience before being introduced to the way others appreciate things. Living Difference III gives young people the opportunity to evaluate; that is to make a judgement about why something is important for someone else as well as to discern what may be important for themselves. Living Difference III identifies three groups of concepts:

  • concepts common to all people
  • concepts shared by many religions
  • concepts distinctive to particular religions.

Concepts suitable for enquiry in religious education are included in the Agreed Syllabus.

The way concepts are understood in Living Difference III has been spelt out carefully.

Living Difference III acknowledges that what it means to live a life with a religious orientation can be conceptualised in at least three different ways: religion as belief, religion as tradition and religion as existential. Living Difference III aims to bring a new sensitivity to not only Abrahamic but also to the Dharmic traditions. Clear exemplar planning is included.

Age-related expectations (AREs) must inform planning, ensuring appropriate challenge in a particular cycle of enquiry, or sequence of cycles. Progress in religious education in Living Difference III is understood as being in relation to the skills in the particular knowledge context. Teachers can devise a curriculum from Living Difference III to suit their children or young people.

The enquiry process distinctive to Living Difference III

The process of enquiry has five steps: communicate, apply, enquire, contextualise and evaluate.

Each enquiry begins with the teacher inviting the children and/or young people into the enquiry by communicating the concept; bringing the child or young person to attend first to their own experience of the concept through an activity, before at apply exploring their own responses in relation to others' experience.

At enquire, material that is new to the children and young people is introduced in varying complexity, children may also reflect collaboratively, for example in a community of philosophical enquiry, recognising that there are many different ways of looking at things.

At the evaluate step children and young people are asked to weigh up their experience of the concept in two ways. First from the viewpoint of someone living a religious (or non-religious) life, as in the context studied. Secondly, the children and young people come to discern what may be of value from their own point of view.

Questions to support the teacher in the enquiry process are included in Living Difference III.

Can I use Living Difference III?

Living Difference III is the legal document to be followed for the teaching of religious education in Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and Isle of Wight schools.

This Agreed Syllabus is the basis on which the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) will determine the effectiveness of the delivery of religious education in these areas. Converter academies, multi-academy trusts (MATs) and free schools in these areas are welcome to use this syllabus; it meets all legal requirements for religious education.

Please note: MATs with any schools outside of these areas will need to apply for a licence to use it in their schools.

How to adopt Living Difference III

Local authorities (LAs), multi-academy trusts (MATs) and individual schools outside Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight that wish to adopt this syllabus will need to obtain a licence. See below for costs.

For further enquiries contact:

Email Dr Patricia Hannam, County Inspector/Adviser for RE, History and Philosophy

Email Justine Ball, General Inspector/Adviser for Primary RE

Training and support

An extensive programme of continuing professional development for those wanting to use Living Difference III is available and can be run in any part of the UK by specialist advisers. To find out more visit Hampshire Teaching and Leadership College (HTLC).

Further support is available from the Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service:

Resources to support Living Difference III

The HIAS RE website offers comprehensive support for Living Difference III.

Our curriculum website includes:

  • comprehensive long and medium-term plans for Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 2
  • advice and guidance on RE including withdrawal, SMSC and collective worship
  • visits and visitors for RE
  • useful website links
  • details of professional learning courses and meetings
  • information about current issues and practices
  • details about our RE curriculum centre
  • contact details for the HIAS RE curriculum team.

Access RE website

Accessing the RE website

  • Hampshire funded schools: you will need your username and password to access these pages
  • Other interested users: HIAS RE website is available on a subscription basis

Subscription to the RE website

  • Individual person or establishment: £80 for an annual subscription
  • Local authority: £500 for an annual subscription

If you would like to subscribe, please complete the online subscription form at: https://tinyurl.com/HIAS-order.

To access the curriculum update section of the RE website you need to be subscribed to the updates. To check your subscription status please email HIAS Enquiries: hias.enquiries@hants.gov.uk

HIAS Moodles

For further school support, visit the HIAS subject Moodles.

Moodle+ is, in addition to open resources, our new annual subscription service, offering schools access to a range of quality primary and secondary resources.

Purchasing a licence

As stated in the accompanying leaflet, Living Difference III is the legal document to be followed for the teaching of religious education in Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and Isle of Wight schools. Converter academies, multi-academy trusts (MATs) and free schools in these areas are welcome to use this syllabus. It meets all legal requirements for religious education. MATs with any schools outside of these areas will need to apply for a licence to use it in their schools.

Other local authorities, MATs and individual schools that wish to adopt this syllabus will need to obtain a licence. The cost of the minimum induction package required is given in the table below, up to a maximum of 25 teachers per course. If more teachers are involved it may be desirable to augment this minimum requirement and a bespoke package can be designed to fit the needs of a particular school or group of schools.

Pricelist

The costs given below are on a sliding scale depending on the number of schools involved.

Number of schools Licence fee Minimum mandatory training costs* Total cost
A single, stand-alone school not part of a MAT £450 £710 £1,160
2-3 schools £1,200 £710 £1,910
4-5 schools £2,000 £710 £2,710
6-10 schools £2,500 £710 £3,210
11-15 schools £3,000 £710 £3,710
16-20 schools £3,500 £710 £4,210
21-25 schools £4,000 £710 £4,710
26-30 schools £4,500 £710 £5,210
31-35 schools £5,000 £710 £5,710
36-40 schools £5,500 £710 £6,210
41-45 schools £6,000 £710 £6,710
46-50 schools £6,500 £710 £7,210
51 schools and above £7,000 £710 £7,710

* Plus travel costs if outside the Hampshire border.

Fees are exclusive of venues, which will need to be organised and funded by the participating organisation.