The following statement is shared and discussed with all students in lessons:
“In our RE lessons at Derby Cathedral School, we explore life’s big questions in order to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to the way they live.
We are encouraged to make sense of a variety of religions and other worldviews as well as having the opportunity to reflect on our own ideas, beliefs and ways of living.”
The planning, delivery and application of RE will all be done with a clear focus on the importance and value of learning and living within the diverse community of Derby City. As a subject it will therefore not only reflect pupil’s own personal experience but will also broaden their view to consider different attitudes, opinions, ideas and beliefs. The key attitudes of tolerance, respect and understanding are consequently developed and encouraged in both the content of the lessons and the way in which they are taught.
Reflecting and celebrating the diversity of our school community is at the heart of everything we do in RE. From an exploration of different festivals and holy places in Y7 to understanding how different cultures respond to environmental concerns in Y8, the value of difference and the need to include all is part of every lesson taught. This is particularly relevant when students gain new knowledge about other faiths, beliefs or cultures since removing ignorance is a step towards promoting acceptance.
Religious Education at the Derby Cathedral school also:
- Promotes the progression of knowledge and skills, specifically continuing the key elements of ‘Believing, Expressing and Living’ from Key Stage 2 into Key Stage 3 and beyond.
- Develops literacy skills, particularly the ‘religious literacy’ of all pupils.
- Encourages a number of wider, transferable skills that can be readily used in other subject areas and beyond. For example, the 6 key skills that are promoted at KS3 are: asking questions, providing descriptions, making comparisons, showing empathy, developing evaluations and expressing opinions.
- Values academic rigor and prepares students for the requirements of examinations at Key Stage 4 and beyond.
- Recognises the value of issues that go beyond the academic and encourages discussion and questions relating to identity, belonging, commitment and the treatment of others.
- Inspires responsibility for the way we treat ourselves, each other and the environment we live in.
- Enables students to develop their spiritual awareness and grow in their understanding of Christian values.
- Explores beliefs and the spiritual dimension to life, especially the role of faith in encouraging ‘courageous advocacy’.
- Asks life’s important questions, like “How did the world begin?” or “Does God exist?” or “Why do people suffer?” and allows the opportunity to explore possible answers.
In conclusion, RE at the Derby Cathedral School helps to prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain. It studies Christianity as a living and diverse faith, focusing on the teaching of Jesus and the Church, promoting a rich, deep knowledge and understanding of Christian belief and practice. It explores a range of religions and worldviews, fostering respect for others, giving opportunities for pupils to understand the role of foundational texts, beliefs, rituals, and practices and how they help form identity. It engages with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience. It develops confident religious literacy in our pupils and provides a safe space for them to explore their own religious, spiritual and/or philosophical ways of seeing, living and thinking, believing and belonging.
The RE curriculum is a major contributor to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and supports the whole school FAITH values by promoting fellowship, aspiration, integrity, tenacity and humility in both the specific content of the lessons and the way in which it is taught.
|S Richardson||Head of RE|
|C Noble||Assistant Head and teacher of RE|
Homework is regularly set in RE and will either focus on recalling and checking knowledge and understanding gained from previous lessons or will challenge students to research and discover topics that are covered in future sessions.
These set tasks are checked in a number of different ways, but will often be done at the beginning of lessons. Some homework will also appear as online tasks where students can also receive feedback on their work.
Each unit of work in RE has its own ‘Knowledge Organiser’ for students to use in their homework. Tasks are often set based directly on the content of these organisers, but they are useful for any piece of work in a particular topic.
RE knowledge organisers can be found here: ……………………………………………………………?
Formal assessments in RE take place at the beginning of each year and at the end of each key unit of work. The marks from these assessments are used to show students how close they are to achieving their target grades. Once complete, each assessment will include feedback to show what went well and what could be done to improve next time.
Students in RE are also assessed throughout the year through their written work (both in lessons and at home) and their verbal responses in class.
Study skills & revision
RE is based on developing 6 important key skills:
- Ask Questions … to improve understanding of the beliefs of others.
- Provide Descriptions … to show detailed knowledge of religious beliefs and practices.
- Make Comparisons … to identify similarities and differences between faiths.
- Show Empathy … to see things from other people’s point of view.
- Develop Evaluations … to present reasoned arguments for and against different issues.
- Express Opinions … to give my own ideas and present alternative views and conclusions.
These can be achieved through discussion and debate in lessons, but students will also need to work on them in their private study. One key element is to ensure that the structure of written work is accurate. When considering a potential controversial issue, the answer must include details, reasons and examples from at least two different points of view and conclude with the students own, thoughtfully argued, opinion.
For those students in years 10 and 11, the AQA exam website is extremely useful for study, revision and exam preparation:
AQA Religious Studies A Full Course (8062) https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/gcse/religious-studies-a-8062
AQA Religious Studies Short Course (8061) https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/gcse/religious-studies-short-course-8061
The internet has a wealth of useful information that would be of use to students studying RE.
For KS3 one of the best places is the BBC bitesize page that covers all the major world faiths and non-religious beliefs as well as dealing with philosophical and ethical issues.
For KS4 a good site to use is the AQA exam board pages for RE. Not only can you find detailed explanations of the syllabus content but you can also download past paper exam questions and mark schemes that are vital for revision and preparation.
AQA Religious Studies A Full Course (8062)
AQA Religious Studies Short Course (8061)