Understanding Humanism - a new resource for teachers - Resources, Lesson Plans, Videos, School Speakers, Training.

Produced by the BHA to provide teachers with the resources necessary to teach accurate, high-quality lessons about Humanism and to assist them with the development of their own subject knowledge, in order that every young person has the opportunity to learn about Humanism.


The 2011 Census showed that 25% of people in England and Wales describe themselves as having no religion. This figure rises to 65% of the 18-25 population according to the British Social Attitudes survey.

It is now more important than ever that children in our schools are made aware that, far from being somehow deficient in their values, non-religious people can live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. They trust to the scientific method, evidence, and reason to discover truths about the universe and place human welfare and happiness at the centre of their ethical decision making. This outlook on life  is coherent and widely-shared,  has inspired some of the world’s greatest artists, writers, scientists, philosophers and social reformers, and has a millenia-long tradition in both the western and eastern worlds.

Humanism now appears in many RE syllabi including the Devon Agreed Syllabus. Devon Humanists are keen to help teachers provide a balance between faith and non-faith based philosophies by supporting the teaching of Humanism and other non-religious belief systems. Humanism provides a non-religious perspective on many social, philosophical and moral issues which are discussed under the National Curriculum subjects

  • Religious Education (RE),
  • Personal, social and health education (PSHE),
  • Citizenship.

A Review of Religious Education in England - The Religious Education Council October 2013

 The REC published their review in order to provide :
1.     a non-statutory national curriculum framework for RE (NCFRE) to complement the new national curriculum programmes of study (2013) resulting from the DfE’s review of the school curriculum, in which RE was not included.
2.     an analysis of the wider context in which RE finds itself, including the opportunities and challenges that face the implementation of the new curriculum framework.

The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:
A.     Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews.
B.     Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews.
C.    Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews.

The phrase ‘religions and worldviews’ is used in the document to refer to Christianity, other principal religions represented in Britain, smaller religious communities and non-religious worldviews such as Humanism.
This means that Humanism is now placed at the very core of religious education in England and Wales. A new Agreed RE Syllabus for Devon, Torbay and Plymouth is currently being developed and will follow the REC curriculum framework.

New Devon Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2014

Following on from the REC Review in 2013, Devon SACRE together with Plymouth and Torbay SACRES have produced a new Devon Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education that will come into use in schools from September 2014. The simple attainment target for the syllabus is 'Engaging with Religions and Worldviews'. The syllabus directs that through this ‘engagement’ pupils will “learn about” and “learn from” religions and worldviews. Humanism is specifically included as an example of a non-religious worldview and should therefore be included at all stages of the syllabus.

In order to help RE teachers become familiar and confident with introducing humanist ideas we are providing a guide to humanist resources - see the right hand column of this page.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like further information or advice on teaching Humanism.