Welcome to RE, Philosophy and Ethics at Burscough Priory Science College!
At the heart of our department we strive to enable students to develop their thinking skills, philosophical enquiry, resilience, confidence, empathy, tolerance and understanding. In lessons our students explore ethical issues in the world around us and shape their own learning communities for philosophical discussions and debates.
Through these enquiries, our department aim is to challenge students to open their minds up to different beliefs, values and ways of thinking, to give them a wider framework of reference for making their own decisions. We want all students to be confident in and passionate about expressing their own beliefs and values with respect for others. Through enjoyable lessons in which pupils are consistently encouraged to strive to achieve their best, we hope they will be inspired and empowered to make a positive contribution to the world in which they live.
Students in Year 9 have two hours of RE lessons each week, whereas pupils in all other years have one hour per week. At present we have three members of the RE team – Mr Edgar, Mr Harvey and Mrs Tattersall (Head of Department).
Course Content Overview KS3
Pupils in Year 7 and 8 currently follow the Lancashire Agreed Syllabus. They explore the six main world religions along with other world views such as humanism.
Year 7 topics include:
Year 8 topics include:
- Belief and Action
- Islam – Pilgrimage
- The Bible
- A Just World?
Course Content Overview KS4
In Years 9 and 10, pupils follow Eduqas Route A GCSE RE. The exam board requires pupils to study Christianity and Islam as well as looking at other world views such as atheism and Humanism.
Year 9 and 10 topics include:
- Christian Beliefs and Teachings
- Good and Evil
Current Year 11 students follow GCSE EdExcel Units 1 and 8 – Religion and Life Issues and Religion and Society.
- Crime and Punishment
- Rights and Responsibilities
How we Stretch and Challenge our students
In every RE lesson we strive to ensure all learners are stretched and challenged through ‘Challenge Questions’ which often require students to evaluate and form judgements on issues/beliefs/practices they have been studying. Homework in Years 9 and 10 is in a project format allowing pupils freedom to be creative and stretch themselves with their research. We also have a variety of visitors from different backgrounds to give learners chance to meet with experts in different fields.
How we support our students
As a department it is a priority to offer targeted intervention to students who may require some additional support, time is built into lessons for pupils to re-draft and improve their work after having received feedback. Hard work, achievement and good behaviour is rewarded and celebrated with students, staff and parents through post cards, merits and communication via diaries, phone calls and email. In Year 11, intervention is run on a weekly basis on a Tuesday lunchtime and after-school with an additional session during Easter.
How we deliver Literacy and Numeracy
Pupils practice PEEL paragraph structure (Point, Evidence, Explain, Link) from Year 7 and complete extended GCSE exam answers from Year 7 to 11. For every unit of work, pupils have a list of key terms to use and are awarded higher grades for coherent religious literacy. Students explore numerous opportunities for literacy including investigating statistics about religions in the UK, and some of the moral financial dilemmas such as exploring issues of poverty and charitable giving.
All pupils will study RE up to GCSE standard with the majority of pupils being entered for full course RE at the end of Year 11. The exam board students follow is Eduqas and pupils will sit two exams at the end of Year 11 to gain their GCSE. Exam questions require essay style answers, and as a result of this opportunities to develop literacy skills are embedded throughout RE lessons right from Year 7.
In addition to visitors in lessons, pupils have had the opportunity to visit places such as the Buddhist temple in Ulverston, Edge hill University to meet with a Holocaust survivor, Community Day visiting local businesses and places of worship and our Christmas service at St Johns Church in Burscough who help support some of these visits. Pupils also have the opportunity to join our Charity Champion team, who raise funds for our three school charities: Cancer Research UK, Alder Hey and the Pearl of Africa Choir.
How parents and carers can support
Support from parents and carers is invaluable in helping students to be successful in RE. Below are some suggestions of ways in which pupils can be supported at home:
- Discussions about issues and beliefs studies in lessons
- Support with homework (every other week in Year 7 and 8 and projects in Year 9 and 10, revision in Year 11)
- Support with revision for end of unit tests in Years 9, 10 and 11 – these are done at the end of every term and pupils are emailed resources to revise from
- Encouragement to attend intervention if necessary.