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Religious Education focuses on human behaviour and human experiences.
Students are encouraged to develop habits of empathy and understanding, and are encouraged to become individuals who ask questions and who have inquiring minds.
Students are encouraged to express who they are and be proud of it. We start with our baseline test to understand the students prior experiences and knowledge of Religious Education. Students are able to show their skills of enquiry and research about a religion that is not their own and compose a letter to their teacher about their findings. Students will discuss what makes someone a ‘hero’ before going on to find out about a number of inspirational people from different faiths. Students learn about inspirational figures such as Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, Mahatma Gandhi modelling inspirational behaviour to show how they positively contributed to society despite the immense barriers that were put in their way.
We address misconceptions whilst developing a secure culture of mutual respect and empathy. We want the students to know that there is life beyond Portsmouth and it is something they can aspire to. We also want the students to have pride in their own faiths and cultures and feel that they can express themselves in a safe environment. We draw on personal experiences to show that what they ‘might hear or see’ at home or in the media is far beyond what a multicultural society is all about. We instil in our pupils the British values which are in line with our school values of aspire and respect.
Pupils continue their work on Inspirational figures by looking in depth into the life of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement and analyse the impact of his faith on the work that he did. Pupils put all their substantive knowledge together to produce a newspaper report showing disciplinary knowledge by using skills of enquiry, evidence, cause and consequence.
Pupils move on to study a major world religion- Buddhism. Pupils have an opportunity to find out basic beliefs and teachings of the religion as well as having a taster of what life is like for a Buddhist monk. Pupils also take part in some experiential learning when they have a lesson on meditation.
Students learn about ultimate questions and how these link with myths that they may have heard of leading onto the idea of religious beliefs which try to answer some ultimate questions, such as ’ how was the world created?’ this allows pupils to engage in meaningful and respectful dialogue. Students are introduced to the idea of using stories to help provide education and moral messages leading them to understand about parables. and the work of Jesus.
We get students to explore their own beliefs about God and try to verbalise how/why they may have these views which follows onto developing a deeper understanding of suffering and its cause as well as why suffering makes it hard to believe in God. We address misconceptions whilst developing a secure culture of mutual respect and empathy throughout all our lessons.
Pupils are introduced to a major world religion- Judaism. Pupils have an opportunity to find out basic beliefs and teachings of the religion as well as having a taster of what life is like for a Jew. Pupils get a taster of what a Shabbat meal is as part of an experiential learning element.
We move on to look at the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust, pupils develop their skills of metacognition, empathy and understanding of the injustices faced by ordinary Jews due to extreme racism. Pupils have an opportunity to empathise with someone their age when we look into the story of Anne Frank and imagine how they may have coped in such horrific circumstances.