Philosophy, Religion and Ethics
The main aim of the department is to ensure that the Religious Education element of our school curriculum is engaging, inspiring, challenging and encourages pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to answer challenging questions. Religious Education contributes significantly to the ethos of the school and enables pupils to ask deep and often searching questions about their own faiths and beliefs, and the beliefs, faiths and opinions of others regarding pertinent contemporary moral issues. The teaching of RE makes links between the beliefs, practices and value systems of a range of faiths and world-views studied. The RE curriculum will help to develop responsibility and respect for all aspects of diversity, whether it be social, cultural and religious, and prepare pupils well for life in modern Britain.
The overarching concepts for ‘Religious Studies’ at Samuel Whitbread Academy are:
- Personal growth – developing compassion and empathy.
- Stewardship – caring for all creation and our environment.
- Respect – showing tolerance of others beliefs, opinions and cultures.
- Asking Big Questions – communicating effectively and listening to others.
- Morality – understanding right from wrong, accepting rules and boundaries.
- Courageous Advocacy – challenging injustice by standing up for the rights of others and values and to develop positive attitudes of respect towards other people.
- Enrichment - enhancing their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
High standards are expected from pupils at all times in terms of both classwork, homework and behaviour for learning. A wide variety of teaching and learning methods are implemented in an attempt to stimulate and engage pupils. At times pupils are required to work autonomously, independently and most importantly collaboratively. Learning is embedded through the development of knowledge and skills over time. In KS3, the curriculum breadth supports learners’ knowledge and understanding of religions and non-religious beliefs, such as atheism and humanism.
In Key Stage 4 the learning is built on from KS3 to deepen their understanding of the relationship between people and about common and divergent views within traditions in the way beliefs and teachings are understood and expressed. Students follow the Eduqas Religious Studies Course for GCSE. Students are given opportunities to explore the fact that religious traditions of Great Britain are, in the main are Christian but that they are also diverse and include other faiths, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, as well as non-religious beliefs, such as atheism and humanism. Students are also exposed to Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World, looking at current real-world issues. There is scope to develop their ability to construct well argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject
Homework at GCSE is usually based around revision activities in preparation for regular assessments. Pupils will often be given key vocabulary tests and examination-style questions to complete at home and to prepare them for upcoming assessments. Homework can be expected at least once a fortnight at GCSE level. All RS homework is sent through the Show my Homework. Pupils are expected to produce high quality written work in RS and will always be required to present work well with accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG). Pupils correct any SPaG errors during dedicated improvement time (MRI) as this allows them to develop their literacy skills which they are required to demonstrate at GCSE level.
By the end of Key Stage 3 pupils will be able to describe a range of religious concepts. They will develop confidence in becoming courageous advocates, challenging injustice and suffering in the world and through personal experience, foster empathy and tolerance within a diverse world. Through the teaching of the teaching of the Prejudice and Discrimination unit, pupils will develop care, tolerance Band respect for each other and the world in which they live. Religious teachings and stories will instil and reinforce the qualities of kindness and tolerance and support the need for equality for all.
By the end of Key Stage 4 GCSE pupils will demonstrate a deeper understanding of Christian and Islamic beliefs, teachings and practices and how these can differ depending on denomination. Pupils will be able to identify places of religious significance around the world and the importance of those historically and as places of pilgrimage. Pupils will confidently articulate justified opinions on ethical issues, giving personal, religious and non-religious views. Pupils will be able to explain in detail how religious teachings in both Christianity and Islam can be applied to contemporary moral issues such as euthanasia, abortion, abuse of the world and the use of capital punishment. They will know how religious organisations support the global problems of injustice and poverty and link religious teachings to these issues. Pupils will be able to confidently articulate justified opinions on issues giving personal, religious and non-religious views.
Subject Learning Checklist
This will be any books identified in current Yr11 textbooks section
Specification and past papers