The Ethics curriculum area enables students to explore fascinating questions relating to ethical behaviour, morality and spirituality. Students are given opportunities to investigate a wide range of religious teachings and secular worldviews, and to address issues such as the existence of God, the afterlife, authority, conflict, justice and charity. Lessons help students to develop many important life skills and to develop their understanding of the people and the world in which we live. Through the careful and sensitive consideration of different cultures, belief systems, traditions and moral issues, students learn to understand and respect the similarities and differences that exist within local and global communities.
Ethics helps to develop successful and independent learners by posing life's greatest questions and giving all students the opportunity for self-reflection; to develop their own opinions and beliefs, to respond to contemporary moral and ethical issues, to challenge themselves and to ultimately understand more about themselves and others.
Ethics is also a rigorous, academic subject, with consistently high expectations for student attainment. Furthermore, as the teaching of Ethics is always unbiased, there is a place for all pupils to express their individual opinions.
In their R.E. lessons students will develop their knowledge and understanding of human behaviour and its consequences for other human beings, as well as developing a greater awareness of the world in which we live.
R.E. not only develops subject specific knowledge as students learn about religions, it also promotes a wider range of skills and attributes, as students learn from religion and each other. Examples of how students may benefit from their R.E. lessons are listed below:
Key Stage 3
All students have one period of R.E. in Key Stage 3 in accordance with the Locally Agreed Syllabus and National requirements. Lessons cover a broad range of themes including the environment, animal rights, rights and responsibilities and the nature of authority. The primary religion studied is Christianity, although due consideration is also given to each of the six main world religions and secular viewpoints.
Year 7 programme of study:
The Island: Thematic approach to an introduction to skills required in R.E.
What is religion?: Asking key questions about the makeup of a religion and large groups.
Beliefs and concepts: Exploring the big questions in life: What happens when we die? What is a soul?
Authority: Working out who or what is a source of authority in people's life.
Jesus the man: An in depth study of the life of Jesus and his influence on the Christian faith.
Places of worship: A consideration of religious places of worship and their opportunities to work together.
Year 8 Programme of study:
Global Issues: Issues of creation religious and secular, treatment of animals, vegetarianism
Sikhism: A study of the basic principles of the Sikh religion and its practices.
Rights and responsibilities: Considering human rights and inspirational people who have fought for justice.
Pilgrimage: A study of key religious places of pilgrimage
Faith in Britain: An opportunity for students to begin to comprehend the diverse cultures and beliefs represented in Britain.
What is the significance of Israel?: Students will learn about how Israel is important to a variety of religious believers and how these beliefs can cause conflict.
Key Stage 4
At GCSE, students study for a GCSE qualification in religious studies.
In Year 9 students currently study WJEC GCSE Specification B, Option B for the Religion and Human Experience Examination which includes:
In Year 10, students will study the Religion and Life Issues unit which includes:
Currently year 10 students are studying the AQA specification B Course; Unit 1 Religion and Citizenship and unit 3 Religion and Morality.
In year 10 students complete unit 3:
There is no coursework element to either of the GCSE Religious Studies courses followed. It is assessed by two examinations, each worth 50% of the total marks.
The R.E. Department understands the rich contribution that learning outside of the classroom can make to a student's education. The Department therefore strives to create enrichment opportunities for students; we are hoping to include a range of Key Stage 3 trips to experience religions in a tangible manner for example cathedrals and Gurdwaras. We are currently considering forming a Philosophy for Children Club that encourages younger students to debate and discuss life's ultimate questions. The R.E. Department also provides a range of revision and support classes when required for Key Stage 4 students in order to help students achieve success in their exams. These are usually held at the end of the Academy day and are aimed at encouraging all students to fulfil their academic potential within the subject.