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What happens in this subject?
The purpose of the RE curriculum at DSTC is to expand students’ knowledge of the world’s diversity and open their minds to the different values, ideas and cultures around them. Dartford has a very diverse religious population.
Questions are encouraged above all things, as curiosity and a passion for the world around us underpins everything we achieve in RE at KS3. We engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and world views address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.
We focus on delivering the solid factual foundations of the six major world religions, before building upon these roots by tackling a wide variety of ethical topic explorations. Ethical debates and deep thinking continues throughout KS3.
The RE curriculum builds upon the DSTC Co-operative values and there is a strong link between RE and ICE (PSHE) at DSTC.
Building on from KS2 or KS3
In KS2 the Kent agreed RE syllabus encourages schools to ensure children learn about the beliefs and practices of Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jewish people. This builds on previous learning in the reception stage where children will encounter Christianity and other faiths, as part of their growing sense of self, their own community and their place within it. Therefore the KS3 RE curriculum continues to develop learner’s understanding of different world religions as well as broadening philosophical inquiry via ethical debates.
During Key stage 3 we develop the core skills needed to study RE through the use of precise and concise literacy, analytical and descriptive writing and the use of numeracy and IT. We develop social skills through carefully structured activities that encourage students to express their own opinions and work well within groups. We cater for all learning styles and offer a wide range of different activities.
The KS3 RS curriculum is largely informed by Kent agreed RE syllabus, and we also aim to approach standard topics in ways that engage pupils whilst developing essential empathetic, problem solving and academic skills. Students have one hour per week for RE.
In Year 7 students will explore ideas about belief, have an introduction to Christianity and the teachings of Jesus, consider the purpose of Holy buildings and explore what it means to be a Buddhist.
In Year 8 students will make judgements about the ideas of Jesus, examine ideas about how spirituality is expressed through Art, focus on the core questions: ‘Does being religious help you be good? And ‘Should Happiness be the purpose?’. They will also examine how religions celebrate rites of passage throughout the life course.
In Year 9 students will learn the main features of Sikhism, and consider the core question ‘Does God Exist’. They will also examine the role of religion in war and peace and consider ‘Why is there suffering’. They will finish their RE studies with project-based learning on the Sanctity of Life.
Through assemblies, form time and focus days students will extend and deepen their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews (including non-religious worldviews), explaining local, national and global contexts. Building on their prior learning, they will appreciate and appraise the nature of different religions and worldviews in systematic ways.
They will learn to use a wide range of concepts in the field of Religious Studies confidently and flexibly to contextualise and analyse the expressions of religions and worldviews they encounter. They will be given opportunities to research and investigate the influence and impact of religions and worldviews on the values and lives of both individuals and groups, evaluating their impact on current affairs. They should be able to appreciate and appraise the beliefs and practices of
different religions and worldviews with an increasing level of discernment based on interpretation, evaluation and analysis, developing and articulating well- reasoned positions.
Aspirations and KS5
They move on to KS5 having the toolkit and disciplines of religious study to analyse the nature of religion, which is an important foundation for many of the Post 16 programmes of study, for example Criminology, Psychology and Media Studies.
RE is also delivered via focus days, assemblies and tutorial programmes.