Primary ITT Tutors Toolkit

Supporting Primary ITT tutors with plans and resources

In September 2018, the Commission on Religious Education published its findings about the current state of RE in schools and made eleven recommendations concerning policy and practice to improve its quality. The Commission’s findings concerning the preparation of primary trainees to teach RE indicate that there has been an overall decline in the number of hours provided for RE in ITE programmes, with some trainees reporting that they receive little or no training and limited or no experience of teaching RE during their ITT courses.

Although there is very good training by many providers, the Commissions’ recommendations create an opportunity for all providers of Primary ITT to consider the quality and quantity of their RE. As well as pupils having an entitlement to good RE, beginner teachers also have an entitlement to high-quality preparation to teach this complex subject effectively and appropriately.

Culham St. Gabriel Trust has funded a project to investigate further what could be creatively and successfully taught and learned in 12 hours’ provision. The result of this project is a practical toolkit for ITT tutors. The toolkit is freely available for all to use below. If you do use the toolkit we would value your feedback, please email us at

The toolkit comprises:

  • An overview of the rationale for this toolkit. This sets out the context and background of the resource.
  • Essential Learning Plans: The toolkit places an understanding of a rationale for RE at the heart of Primary ITT. This rationale is underpinned by the vision for RE put forward in the Commission on RE report (2018). This forms the essential element of Primary ITT provision. We recommend that at least 2 hours are spent on this and if nothing else is taught we propose that this aspect is crucial.
  • Important Learning Plans: Subject knowledge, pedagogy and progress are seen as of equal value. Ideally all of these elements would be focused on through the Primary ITE provision for about 8 hours in total. We are realistic and realise that this is not always possible. We therefore suggest that each ITT provider takes into account their own context and focuses if necessary either on pedagogy/progress or subject knowledge as appropriate or includes some element from each within the time allowed.
  • Desirable Learning Plans: Lastly, we make suggestions for a range of different possibilities if 12 hours of provision is in place. We provide options which ITT providers can choose from to meet the needs of beginner teachers in their own contexts. They include visits and visitors, links with spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, creating safe spaces and dealing with sensitive issued, and inter-disciplinary planning. We also recognise that local contexts can have an impact on RE, so we have suggested that a provider could create their own session based on specific local factors e.g. local agreed syllabus, use of Understanding Christianity resource, hermeneutical approach to sacred texts.

A Summary of Primary ITT Provision for RE Reimagined


You can download the documents here as PDF files:


Essential learning

Important learning: Pedagogy and Practice

Important learning: Subject Knowledge

Desirable learning

The resources referred to in the toolkit can be downloaded from here


In order for us to continue to improve the toolkit please do take a few minutes to give us some feedback on how you used it and any suggestions for improvement. You can find the feedback form here