Religious Education Department at Rivers Academy
The RE Department
The RE department has achieved some excellent results in recent years, attaining up to 65% A*-C grades. We set the highest of expectations and demand 100% effort both in class and homework from all students. It is our priority to support the needs of all students and to push them to reach their full potential. The department is currently working alongside the English and Citizenship departments to deliver an innovative new syllabus focused on developing students’ oracy skills at key stage 3.
The RE Classroom
The RE classroom at Rivers Academy is bright and welcoming, decorated with motivating displays encouraging students to explore themes from world religions, philosophy and ethics. Students’ work is regularly displayed to showcase very best effort and inspire others. Students are encouraged to question and examine ideas through a broad range of discussion-based tasks including ‘philosophy for children’ sessions. RE lessons can be active including lively debates and thinking games, or more quiet providing space for thoughtful reflection and discussion.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 students explore themes from Religious Education, Philosophy and Ethics alongside Citizenship through the Oracy syllabus. Topics include comparative studies of world religions, ethical questions such as ‘how can we celebrate diversity?’ and philosophical questions such as ‘what is real?’. The course is taught from an objective standpoint and we encourage students to delve into religion, philosophy and ethics so as to gain a better understanding of their own beliefs and values. Lessons provide an open and supportive environment with emphasis placed on respecting other people’s beliefs and culture.
Oracy has been developed to provide students with a meaningful opportunity to work on their speaking and leadership skills. They apply their subject knowledge to a range of speaking tasks including debates, presentations, TV news reports and even Dragon’s Den style pitches. Through these tasks students develop all aspects of their oracy skills: speaking, listening, thinking and non-verbal. Effective communication skills are vital for the future success of our students, whether that be further study or in the wider world. It is our aim that dedicated Oracy lessons will equip students with the skills they need to be effective communicators and future leaders.
Key Stage 4
The new Religious Studies GCSE focuses on the beliefs, teachings and practices of two world faiths: Christianity and Islam. In year 10 students complete a detailed study of both religions. In year 12 they go on to study four religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes to which they must apply their knowledge of both religions. Students will explore and discuss a range of inspiring topics including: religion, human rights and social justice; relationships and families; the existence of God and revelation.
Students are encouraged to become critical thinkers, developing their own responses to the religious, philosophical and ethical topics studied. Lessons involve many discussion-based tasks in pairs and groups, which allow them to articulate their opinions and develop informed arguments. However the GCSE is assessed through two written examinations and therefore students also develop their ability to produce detailed answers in writing.