RE, Philosophy and Ethics
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. Philosophy is wondering if that means ketchup is a smoothie. Here at Verulam we encourage the exploration of knowledge, the development of wisdom and the challenge of philosophy.
Throughout the Key Stages, Religious Education at Verulam, in its various forms, makes a distinctive contribution to the overall school curriculum. It develops students’ knowledge and understanding not only of the beliefs that religious and non-religious people hold, it also explores the practices, language and traditions that influence individuals, communities, societies and culture.
Our students engage with contemporary contentious issues, developing social, cultural, political, philosophical and historical awareness. The curriculum we follow allows the students to respect themselves and understand their own identity, to respect the views of others, and to understand their own and others’ rights and responsibilities.
Religious Studies is a rigorous and demanding academic discipline. At Verulam we have a varied curriculum that engenders critical thinking and rigour in the search for truths in uncertain fields. Our students have the opportunity to develop their skills of dialogue, interpretation and analysis whilst working in a multidisciplinary nature involving: philosophical and ethical thinking, social understanding and the skills of analysis and reasoning. We encourage and explore decision making skills, collaboration and independent working skills alongside the search for compromise and conflict resolutions.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 the Religious Education journey begins. In year 7 boys have one lesson a week and are taught in their form groups.
We explore the following key questions:
- What does God mean?
- What can the Simpsons’ teach us about faith?
- Do animals have rights?
- Inspirational people?
In year 8 boys have one lesson a week and are taught in their form groups. We turn to explore the faiths in more detail, exploring the following religions:
In year 9 boys have two lessons a week and are taught in mixed groups. We continue with religious beliefs and then turn to some wider themes:
- Religion and Sport
- What happens if prejudice is able to grow (an in depth study of the Holocaust)?
There will be three key pieces of work fully assessed at various points in the year. Boys will have the opportunity to reflect on their learning and set themselves targets for moving forward.
The nature of these assessments is usually in written format but may include a presentation to the class.
At Key Stage 3 homework is set when required. If set, the task should be no longer than 30 minutes in duration.
Where can RS take you?
Religious Studies qualifications open up a large number of career paths.
For example you can go into:
- Legal sector
- Media sector
- Financial services sector
- Publishing sector
- Voluntary sector
- Social work
- Social & pastoral care
- Community work
A number of Verulam alumni have gone on to study Religious Studies (in its various forms) over the past few years. Many have combined their subjects, for example: Physics and Philosophy, Religious Studies and Criminology, Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
How parents can support their child’s learning?
Please do look at the overview of lessons for the year. Encourage the students to talk to you about their lesson and the wider implications of their learning. Keeping abreast of current events at home, talking about news items and other cultural issues will also help the students.