Religious Education

“True education enables us to love life and opens us to the fullness of life.” Pope Francis

Welcome to the Religious Education homepage, we hope that you are able to access lots of information about the work that we are doing, but please feel free to contact us with any additional questions that you may have. The department consists of 5 full time and 2 part time committed, specialist and enthusiastic teachers.

The vision of the Religious Education department is to produce pupils who not only have excellent academic knowledge and religious literacy, but to also enable them to reflect spiritually, to think critically, to act morally and justly, and to be responsible and conscientious members of our world.

In the department we strive to provide a wide range of innovative teaching and learning strategies to ensure that every student is stimulated, challenged and encouraged to succeed. The climate for learning is excellent in the Department.

As a department, we aim to provide our pupils with a wide breadth of knowledge. This is not solely within the Catholic or Christian tradition, but also incorporates a study of other world religions. This begins in KS3 where Islam is studied in year 7 and Hinduism in Year 8.

Living in a diverse multi-faith society which we do, it is not only important to be aware of our own religious belief, but also the religious beliefs of our neighbours and friends. It is through this understanding that we can grow and gain an insight into ourselves and others.

Teachers
A Narisetti Head of Department

At Key Stage 3 we follow the scheme of work as indicated by the Bishop’s Conference, using a variety of learning styles to ensure that students are allowed to develop to the very best of their ability. At Key Stage 3 pupils follow a programme that enriches their understanding of Catholicism and also gain a good grounding in the major religious traditions. We feel it is vital that lower school students are taught the teachings of the Church, along with building their knowledge in the Scriptures. Pupils use the ‘Way’, the ‘Truth’ and the ‘Life’ textbooks, in conjunction with a variety of other teaching materials, such as power point presentations, visual and audio materials.

Before progressing on to their GCSE studies, students will have a firm grasp of key concepts and issues that are central to the study of religion, including: living in a multicultural society, forms of interpretation, diversity of religion, the early Church, covenants, sacraments and vocations.

Pupils complete class work that develops a range of skills such as analysis, empathy, evaluation, debating and application of different Christian teachings and viewpoints. Pupils’ work is marked by teachers every two to three weeks. Pupils also complete two graded tasks every half term, with a test or assessment at the end of every term. Pupils are expected to reach or to surpass their target minimum grade.

The department works hard to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their religious background, feel included and can learn something that is relevant to their own lives in all Religious Education lessons.

Pupils’ attainment and progress are outstanding in GCSE RE. At Key Stage 4, Year 10s and 11s currently follow the EDEXCEL exam board. Judaism is studied as a second religion. In Year 11 will study Philosophy and Ethics based on Catholic Christianity, which looks at arguments for the existence of God as well as relationships and families in the 21st century. We provide students with analytical tools to explore ethical issues so they can explain the Catholic position and other perspectives, by being able to make theological links to beliefs, teaching and practices.

There are a variety of teaching methods used and at the end of each topic pupils complete an assessment using GCSE questions and marked according to the exam board criteria.

  • Every student will be given a copy of a revision book from RE department.
  • Every student will have an access to electronic textbook-Kerboodle textbook.
  • Two Saturday Revision sessions are held per each half term.
  • Targeted intervention will take place in collaboration with other schools.
  • Small group Interventions will also be put in place nearer to the exam.

Course Links

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/religious-studies-a-2016.html

Recommended Textbooks

Faith and Practice in the 21st century by Victor W. Watton

Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Religious Studies: Catholic Christianity Specification A

Core RE:

At St. George’s all 6th Form students attend 1 hour of Core RE lesson. Pupils explore different topics in terms of philosophical, ethical and religious issues at a greater depth than their GCSE. Pupils generally enjoy in participating these lessons. In these lesson pupils are challenged to think bigger and wider; and their role & responsibility in our world. We explore different topics such as Scientific and Christian creation accounts, Abortion, Sanctity of life, Euthanasia, Catholic Social teachings, Human trafficking, Stewardship and various Ethical theories. Pupils also explore current political and scientific discoveries and its impact on our society and Catholic teachings on these topics.

  • Guest speakers are usually invited.
  • Pupils are given the opportunity to engage in our outreach programmes in our local parishes.
  • Pupils get opportunity to enrol in youth leaders programme
  • Some pupils are encouraged to research further for their EPQ qualification.

A Level Religious Studies:

 

RS is quite popular subject at St George’s. We have at least 10 pupils choosing to study RS for the last 3 years. It is taught by the staff who is eager and have excellent qualifications. Teachers’ passion for this subject have truly inspired pupils to do well in this subject. It is a subject that by its nature requires students to consider individual, moral, ethical, social, cultural and contemporary issues in a religious context. develop their ability to make responsible judgements on significant moral teaching and religious issues. Pupils study OCR specification which consists of 3 units of study:

  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Religion and Ethics
  • Development in Christian Thought

There will be three examinations, with one for each of the three branches of the course. Each examination will last for 2 hours and each will have equal weighting with regards to the final grading of the A level qualification.

Types of Lessons

  • Some lessons will be very structured being designed to develop student knowledge and will use text books;
  • Discussions and debates; some sessions will be student led with peer presentations on a pre-prepared topic;
  • Suitable DVD clips or interviewing a visitor.
  • Students will be expected to write – sometimes taking notes, answering questions, and practising essay skills.
  • Individual especially in preparation for the RS4 examination.
  • At least two guest speakers visit from Russel group of universities.
  • At least one essay to be completed each week.
  • All pupils will be provided with a revision book.

Course Links

https://ocr.org.uk/Images/242913-specification-accredited-a-level-gce-religious-studies-h573.pdf

Recommended Textbooks

  1. Oxford A Level Religious Studies for OCR: AS and Year 1 Student Book by Libby Ahluwalia
  2. OCR Religious Studies A Level Year 2 by Michael Wilkinson & Michael Wilcockson

Pupils are leveled at the end of each half term. It is expected that all pupils continually progress in order to reach or exceed their target grade.

The RE department regularly monitors and offers relevant help to those who are struggling. Assessments are rigorous and regularly modified in line with expectations and changes to the Religious Education curriculum.

There are a number of enrichment opportunities offered which include; educational and religious trips to various places to increase pupils’ engagement and deepen their faith. Trips to Rome, Lourdes, the Jewish museum and visits to the different places of worship have been some of the highlights. Staff are eager to plan and provide these opportunities to develop pupils’ learning both in and outside the classroom.  Staff in the Religious Education department through their teaching and practice, encourage pupils to live out what is being taught in religious education. Pupils engage eagerly in supporting a number of charities throughout the year including the Christmas and Easter appeal.

Three Faith Forum: Pupils are given the opportunity to meet the Three Faiths Forum and attend a presentation with members of many different faith groups to give students a chance to develop their understanding of the diversity of religion in the UK.

Retreat Programme: The department is committed to ensure the development of the ‘whole’ person by investing in not only their knowledge within Religious Education, but also their own personal faith journey.

The Religious Education department organises retreat days for each class in KS3 and KS4, where they are given the opportunity to discuss and explore in an informal environment issues of personal faith and ethical action. These retreats are organised in form groups and encourage classes to form a sense of team spirit and mutual responsibility.

Liturgical prefects: are elected in each form and plan activities to promote the spiritual and moral development of students. For example, special prayer services are held on the anniversary of the Grenfell fire. The Religious department believes it is very important to show awareness and support for the wider community. Each form attends its own mass in the chapel; this encourages them to reflect on their spirituality during the academic year.

Philosophy club: The department runs a weekly KS3 ‘Philosophy club’ which encourages students to ask big questions in an informal setting.

Visit to St. Mary’s University: All those who study A level philosophy of Religion will have opportunity to visit and attend seminars.

Two pieces of homework are set in for every class each week. Homework tasks vary, sometimes expressing an opinion, writing an evaluation essay, researching a topic, explaining an issue or completing a creative task. It is expected to be completed for the following lessons. It is designed to extend and consolidate learning.

Useful links for help with homework:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zh3rkqt

http://request.org.uk/

http://www.truetube.co.uk/