RE develops students’ understanding of Christianity and other principal religions, including nonbelievers and offers responses to challenging questions. Personal reflection and spiritual development are central to the curriculum. RE enhances students’ awareness and understanding of religions, beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression. Essential to good learning is open-mindedness, self-awareness, respect for all and appreciation and wonder.
Key Stage 3
The course is delivered on 6 RE days per year. On these days the curriculum is collapsed and a theme is set for the day. Often an enquiry question is proposed. These days have included trips to different places of worship, such as, the Mosque, the Greek Orthodox Church, Plymouth Synagogue, St Andrews church, Ashoka Kadampa Buddhist Centre as well as a trips to the Barbican Theatre.
The students have the opportunity to consider subjects, such as, creation, charity, good and evil, the environment and much more. As well as writing, students’ express ideas and beliefs through art, drama and music.
Each year one of the Religious Education days is dedicated to entering the Spirited Arts Competition, a national competition which normally selects up to 30 winning entries per year out of as many as 30,000 entries. Both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 take part in this. Since taking part in the competition, Brook Green has had three students successfully chosen as winning entries.
Key Stage 4
The course is delivered over 6 RE days per year. On these days the curriculum is collapsed in order to facilitate a thematic approach with an enquiry question provoking thought and discussion. In Key Stage 4, students build up their reflective skills and are encouraged to form opinions and to be able present their summations to their year groups. For example, an RE day which enquired, ‘How can I stand up for my beliefs?’ started the day with looking at people such as Malala Yousafzai and Socrates and responding to situation ethics. From these lessons they considered what they felt passionate about and researched their chosen issue. Finally, students’ presented their ideas, as individuals or as groups, to years 10 and 11.
Each RE day includes a guest speaker, often from a faith community, who will talk from the perspective of their belief, as well as, offering a platform for discussion and questioning.