Religious Education

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List of TLR Holders and their responsibilities:

Mrs R Calam (Head of RE & Ethics)

Department aims:

It is a legal requirement that, even if you do not choose to take Religious Education as a GCSE option, you must continue to study some RE.  At Robert May’s School we fulfill that requirement by considering a number of issues alongside the PDL (Personal Development Learning) modules. These Ethics and Belief modules are not only there because the law requires them, they also examine topics which are of interest or concern for society and the world we live in.

Approaches to teaching and learning:  

The Ethics and Belief course is designed to further develop a range of necessary skills and experiences to prepare students for their role in the adult and wider world. These include communication (expressing ideas clearly in writing, confidently in speech and listening to the views of others), participation (using a range of social skills, working confidently with a group and building positive working relationships with others as a team player) and critical thinking (identifying, constructing and evaluating arguments). We teach using a range of teaching activities including, discussion, debate, group work and the use of media clips. As with all RE at Robert May’s, students are free to have and express their own points of view and are always expected to treat the views of others with respect.

Ethics and Belief is a non-examined course.

Why the department has adopted this curriculum plan: (Curriculum Intent):

The curriculum plan allows pupils to enquire into a range of Ethical concepts. Pupils can contextualise these in a way that helps them to understand religion (non-religion), belief (non-belief) and spirituality as a human experience. They can communicate their own response to these concepts whilst applying them to a range of other situations. This knowledge can be applied to numerous other subjects in the school and to life-long learning, offering a springboard to success for further study and life experiences.

Principles of sequencing learning in this subject: 

We aim to build upon learning at KS2 by starting with Sikhism. We start with the concepts of Community, Teacher/ Guru to allow pupils time to develop communication and explanation skills during their transition from primary to secondary school. All of the knowledge and skills developed throughout years 7-9 are to support pupils with answering GCSE exam style questions but also develop an enjoyment of learning, where pupils' views are discussed and related to the views of others. By exploring a range of views in lessons, we believe that pupils generate an ability to recognise that difference in belief is common amongst all people, expressing differences in a respectful way is an excellent set of skills for life.

How students will receive feedback to enhance their knowledge and skills:

A variety of verbal and written feedback is given and AFL is embedded after every assessment.  Peer assessment is also used throughout KS3 and KS4 to support students with developing their skills and knowledge.

Reading List (Key Stage 3): 

Reading for pleasure is an excellent way to boost literacy skills and also develop an understanding of topics that may help you with your GCSE also. All listed books can be read at KS4 but are listed here as they are suitable for reading from age 11.

  • Matters of Life: “Big Fish” D Wallace
  • Belief in God: “Go Tell the Mountain” J Baldwin, “The Alchemist” P Coelho, “Life of Pi” Y Martell
  • Crime and Punishment: “Monster” W D Myers, “Junk” M Burgess
  • Peace and Conflict: “The Book Thief” M Zusak, “Refugee Boy” B Zephaniel, “The Return of the Soldier” R West
  • Medical Ethics: “Brave New World” V Huxley, “Pig Heart Boy” M Blackman

Reading List (GCSE): 

  • WJEC Eduqas GCSE Religious Studies Route A Revision guide. (Hodder Education) ISBN: 978-1-5104-1462-4
  • WJEC Eduqas GCSE Religious Studies Route A Text book (Hodder Education) ISBN: 978-1-471-86634-0

Extracurricular and enrichment: 

  • A comprehensive revision programme is delivered for year 11 students. 
  • 1:1 sessions offered for pupils.
  • Visiting speakers attend lessons on Humanism, Islam, Sikhism.
  • Year 11 visited the Mosque in Southampton as part of their GCSE course.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural opportunities:  

The Department make a significant contribution in lessons to the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education that students receive. Across all lessons:

  • Students think deeply about their own and others’ experiences and try to relate them to a clear set of personal values.
  • The “Enquire/ Contextualise/ Evaluate/ Communicate/ Apply” methodology, as set out by the locally agreed syllabus “Living Difference II”, ensures that each student has the opportunity to apply religious ideas to their own lives. In all lesson plans pupils are given the opportunity to reflect upon their own lives and the lives of others whilst exploring religious/ moral issues, beliefs and attitudes.
  • Through the modules taught in RE pupils have a very good insight, often based on first-hand experience, into similarities and differences between their own and others’ cultures and how these are constantly changing. 
  • Discussion is a natural part of RE lessons and is embedded in our planning.
  • Student Voice is used by the department to steer planning and creation of resources.
  • Pupils interact with visitors from different faiths and Humanist beliefs.

Character development and British Values opportunities: 

All RE lessons allow pupils to accept and engage with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain. 

Specific units of work focus on the religious demographic of Britain.

Useful weblinks: 

Re:Quest (For KS3 Christianity topics)

BBC Bitesize - Religious Studies (GCSE revision of Christianity and Islam) TrueTube (GCSE clips)

Subject Documents Date  
Religious Education and Ethics Curriculum Information 06th Jul 2022 Download
Learning Journey Ethics and RE 06th Jul 2022 Download