Big Ideas Publications

The Big Ideas for RE Project has produced two publications. These underpin the development of the Programmes of Study and Exemplar Units of Learning that feature on this site.


Book 1 is Wintersgill, B. (Ed) (2017). Big Ideas for Religious Education. University of Exeter.

This book will be referenced throughout this website as BIRE2017.

This book covers:

  1. Achieving coherence and progression in the  RE curriculum
  2. Big Ideas as a principle for prioritising and sequencing subject knowledge
  3. The nature and characteristics of Big Ideas
  4. Six Big Ideas for RE
  5. Planning a subject curriculum based on Big Ideas
  6. RE ‘live’ – making RE relevant in today’s world
  7. Big Ideas as a basis of assessment
  8. Managing a Big Ideas based curriculum

Book 2 is Wintersgill, B; Cush, D; Francis, D. (2019, 2nd edition 2022.) Putting Big Ideas into Practice in Religious Education. REonline. 

This book will be referenced throughout this website as BIIP2022.

This book covers:

  1. Revised Big Ideas for RE
  2. Big Ideas and types of knowledge
  3. Progression through a Big Ideas based curriculum
  4. Breadth and depth in a Big Ideas based curriculum
  5. Curriculum planning and assessment using Big Ideas
  6. Using Big Ideas to identify subject knowledge
  7. Parallels between the Big Ideas and the National Entitlement recommended by the Commission on Religious Education.