Religious Studies

In the Religious Studies department, our vision is to support the development of our students so that they can become critical thinkers whom eloquently express their beliefs/ opinions. Our desire is that they be reflective thinkers and be brave in ask challenging questions. Our aim is to create an environment that offers opportunities for self-reflection and spiritual development. We want to teach our students the importance of tolerance hence we teach them about the six major religions of the world to give them better and broader understanding of the world. We believe it is important to develop our students not just academically but also their character. The characteristics that we want our students to develop from attending their RS lessons are: curiosity this could be through researching new topics/information outside the lesson, responsibility this could be through owning their learning and catching up on missed class work/homework, confidence this is through sharing your beliefs/opinion, leadership this is through being a good role model and eloquence this is through vocally expressing themselves during debates. Our ultimate goal is that our students become passionate, active, kind and resilient students who can flourish within their communities and global community.

We have designed a curriculum which is of relevance to our context and student body. At the heart of our curriculum is knowledge and information that adds to our students’ cultural capital. The more you know the more you can think about, as you cannot think about that which you do not know. We have decided what the key knowledge is that which will enable our students to leave our academy valuing their self-worth, engaging within their communities and a sense of purpose. At Key Stage 3 we explore the importance of RS to different religious believers (Buddhist, Christians, Hindus, Muslim and Jewish). We do this by looking at how and why they worship, their beliefs of afterlife, their key founders, their place of worship and their key beliefs. At KS4 we explore philosophical and ethical content that deals with ultimate philosophical questions such as ‘Why are we here?’ ‘What happens when we die?’. We also explore the changing landscape of religious beliefs and practice in Great Britain. Furthermore, we explore individuals that claim to have no religious beliefs and practice and may describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or humanists.

Our curriculum will be vocabulary rich as closing the advantage gap is about closing vocabulary gaps between word poor and word rich households. We mostly focus on Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary. Tier 2 vocabulary is high frequency/multiple meaning words such as Karma. Tier 3 vocabulary-low frequency, context-specific vocabulary such as A Priori. Our schemes of learning and individual lessons will have set vocabulary which from the foundations of department’s approach to eloquence.

Once students start Key Stage 3 we are preparing them for Key Stage 5. We have identified the essential knowledge for each unit in each year, planning backwards from Key Stage 5. The curriculum therefore sequences this knowledge in an order which creates schema which grow and develop in our students’ minds.

All of our schemes of learning use questions to stimulate our students’ curiosity and develop their independent learning. These questions require developed responses from our students and each lesson provides part of a response to the enquiry question which is answered through acquired and applied knowledge.

Religious Studies forms part of the Humanities Department. For more information please contact humanities@park-aspirations.org.

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