The Senior Prefect’s foreword
From my experience, Teachers in RE help students such as myself to make good progress by always engaging in lessons and communicating well with the students. Whenever someone had a question or is struggling they can always be assured to have an answer or help if they ask. The teachers are always making the class serious in order to work but have a certain rare quality to bring the class together and make the students actually have fun at the same time.
RE lessons are enjoyable because of the vast amount of knowledge we learn and as well as this we go in depth and take time with each topic sometimes doing games for revision, the occasional surprise debate, class discussions and of course the active classwork.
Students can use RE in the future with everything, due to it not just being learning about religion and life but also gaining the ability to interpret things, finding arguments for topics you wouldn’t usually think about and gaining a larger understanding of our society. Learning about religions also helps you acquire personal experience and knowledge about the people in society; how they live, work, interact. My faith and own spirituality has grown as a result of these lessons.
(RE Senior Prefect)
The RE Department
To develop learners who can:
- Work in collaboration with other students.
- Justify their own beliefs and values and be understanding tolerant towards others.
- Rigorously and academically evaluate and address moral issues and religious concepts within our society.
- Continue on their own faith development and to reflect on the beliefs and values of the school. Support with their peers and the wider community with their spiritual faith.
What do the pupils say about RE at St Edmund’s?
‘It tries a lot to explain different spiritual features to help students in the future. Let’s not forget about prayer and the its deep connection with prayer. It shows the value of prayer and enlightens students on the importance of having a good relationship with God.’ Isabella, 8 Teresa
‘In RE lessons we learn a lot about Catholic beliefs and how we can apply them in our own lives.’ Bethany, 9 John Paul
‘RE lessons teach us about Christian beliefs and teachings through well-structured and interesting lessons what intrigue and engage students as well as brining them closed to God which is mirrored in student’s behaviour and personality.’ Joseph, 9 John Paul
‘We learn about Jesus and how his actions and teachings influence us and what we do.’ Fiona, 7 Damien
‘The lessons are really invested in Catholic practices with very detailed questions as fun lessons. Filled with experiments and other relevant information.’ Taddeo, 7 Damien
- A holistic and inclusive curriculum which allows students the freedom to grow and develop in their knowledge and understanding of our society and the world around them.
- A curriculum that gives pupils a comprehensive understanding of the main world faiths with a more in-depth understanding of the Abrahamic faiths.
- A curriculum that is multi-disciplinary and encourages learners to draw upon knowledge from other subjects.
- A wide range of experiences outside that enhance and complement the learning in the classroom including external speakers and school trips.
Analyzing data using graphs and charts/ Reading numbers/ Conversion of money (Maths skills in WORLD RELIGIONS/WHY SHOULD WE GIVE? And HOLY WEEK)
Big bang theory, Evolution theory, Impacts of fasting on the body, (Science skills in WHY ARE WE HERE/HOLY WEEK)
Map reading, Identifying countries around the world, evaluating life in LEDs (Geography skills in WHAT DO CATHOLICS BELIEVE? WHY SHOULD WE GIVE)
How to make a positive contribution to our society, Civil Rights Movement, Moral responsibility/influence, care for society and environment. (Citizenship skills in IS JESUS THE MESSIAH?/THE PROBLEM OF EVIL/MODERN DAY DISCIPLESHIP)
Pupils are given the opportunity to utilize technology to research and create their own presentations. (IT skills in MODERN DAY DISCIPLESHIP/ HOW CAN WE BECOME SAINTS OF THE 21ST CENTURY)
Understanding chronologies, history surrounding the American Civil Rights Movement and Holocaust. (History skills in HISTORY OF THE JEWISH FAITH/IS JESUS THE MESSIAH/THE PROBLEM OF EVIL)
Pupils are exposed to French when examining pilgrimage in Lourdes, Arabic when studying Islam and Greek when exploring the different types of love. (Language skills in PILGRIMAGE/LOVE AND SACRAFICE/ISLAM IN THE UK)
Pupils are constantly given opportunities to exercise their literacy skills within RE through letter, diary writing, debating and discussion, presenting presentations. (English skills in ALL)
Literacy is well imbedded through the RE curriculum as students are encouraged to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills throughout their lessons. Pupils are also encouraged to develop their academic writing skills within RE from Year 7.
The teaching and learning within RE has the following impact:
• Pupils who enjoy learning about different religions and cultures and are able to accept and tolerate others.
• Pupils who can confidently evaluate and address concepts to a high academic standard.
• Pupils that are well-rounded individuals that contribute and strengthen the community of Portsmouth.
· Pupils of all abilities and backgrounds demonstrating excellent progress at GCSE.
(APS 5.65) (TAG)
(APS 5.90) (TAG)
How Religious Education has supported our former students
Once pupils go on to leave St Edmund’s they have many pathways open to them. They may go onto study RE at A-level or other humanity related subjects such as Sociology or psychology. Within RE students are not only able to develop and enrich their knowledge of religion. They are also given the opportunity to refine their academic skills and writing. Pupils learn how to analyse texts and interpret their meaning within RE. They are also challenged with evaluating and analysing religious beliefs and practices. These essential skills are also taken away by the students and allow them to flourish in their future.
Here are a range of comments from former students on their experience of RE and how it has benefitted them:
I was able to submerge myself into debates and conversations about prominent topics in the world and could discuss opinions and views in a classroom setting, through an angle of faith. My religious beliefs always having been strong, I felt that St Ed’s gave me the space to be able to both learn and grow in my faith as well as explore other peoples perspectives; in turn enabled me to conduct mature and complex conversations with both my peers and teachers. Progressing on to University , I was able to share my knowledge and ensure that topics and discussions had a religiously biased angle, which in my chosen field is imperative as sharing and displaying misinformation could easily be misconstrued or cause offence. RE provided me with a strong morality and confidence to debate among others.
Louise E (2020 Grade 9), Bird College- Conservatoire for Musical Theatre and Dance, Year 3
Religious education at St. Edmunds gave myself and others the opportunity to expand our knowledge of global faiths in detail. Not only did we have the resources to develop our debating and thinking skills during the five years of content, but we were also introduced to real life scenarios in which religion, ethics and philosophical thinking played an important role. All of the knowledge acquired from these lessons has been transferable to university in the political aspect of my degree, allowing me to continue to build on the foundations RE provided.
Eloise B (2020 Grade 9), University of Bristol- Politics and Spanish, Year 1
Studying R.E. at St Edmund's wasn't just about learning about religions, it was also a way of looking at various social and philosophical issues through religious lenses. As well as helping me to reflect on what values I hold within my own faith, these lessons helped introduce me to philosophical concepts, and the possibilities of the debates which they could inspire. This then inspired me to study philosophy at A-Level, something I felt confident doing thanks to the solid basis in understanding and analysing religious and philosophical concepts provided by my secondary education.
Pip CW (2020 Grade 8), University of Sheffield- Maths and Philosophy, Year 1
Key Stage 4 (Year 10-11)
The RE department follow the AQA Syllabus A (8062) GCSE course.
There are two components that have to be studied for the qualification:
Component 1: The study of religious belief, teaching and practices.
Component 2: Thematic studies.
Component 1 which is 50 % of the total marks includes the study of Christianity and Islam.
Christian beliefs including the nature of God, the problem of evil and suffering, The Incarnation, life death and resurrection of Jesus. Beliefs about salvation, death and the afterlife. Sources of authority including the Bible and sacred tradition.
Christian practices including Worship, prayer liturgy and the sacraments. Pilgrimage and festivals the role of the church, ministry and evangelisation.
Islamic beliefs including the nature of God, diversity within Islam, The life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, The Qur’an and sacred texts. Angels and life after death.
Muslin practices including the Five Pillars, the Ten Obligatory Acts, Jihad and Festivals.
Component 2 which is also 50% of the total marks includes the study of four religious, philosophical and ethical themes. The themes we have chosen to study are
Relationships and families
- Religion and life
- Religion, peace and conflict
- Religion, crime and punishment
The course is assessed by two written examinations each of 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Marks are awarded for spelling punctuation and grammar.
‘When Mrs Humphries taught us about the environment and how in order to protect it we must recycle already used materials or maybe try to use renewable resources such as solar power, hydro power and much more. I have learnt it is really important for the youth to hear about this in order to act upon climate change and to strive for a safer future. I think it is really important to understand the crisis around the world, especially to learn about it in a fun, productive way. I believe everyone should protect and love the world since it was a gift from our loving Lord God.’
Leon L – 7 Kolbe
‘When CAFOD came to visit us, we learnt about a lot of things like how to help the environment and the three main ways CAFOD provides aid which are long term aid, emergency aid, and campaigns. We also learnt about the six ‘Rs’ which are; reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink, refuse and repair and how we can do this to support the environment.
It is important to learn about this because, it makes sure that in the future young people like us grow up to help everyone and everything. We also played a game which taught us different facts about the environment! We should look after the environment because God created the world and made us stewards so we have the responsibility to look after what He gave us.’
Isabelle A – 7 Kolbe
Careers in RE
Studying RE can support many future careers. As well as the academic benefits, students have the opportunity to develop their own social and emotions skills that will impact their future careers. They also develop their ability to critical thinking and analysis which is required for any future job in any managerial position!
Jobs directly related to studying RE include:
Religious Vocation: Priest/ Religious sister or brother
Higher education lecturer
Primary school teacher
Secondary school teacher
Jobs where RE would be useful include:
Civil Service administrator
Community development worker
Equality, diversity and inclusion officer
The first school Pilgrimage to Rome was held from the 7 - 11 April 2015. 24 students from the school took up this exciting enrichment opportunity.
The students got to see:
- Castle Gandolfo and Lake Albano.
- Papal Audience - audience with the Pope.
- Piazza Navona.
- Pantheon and Trevi Fountain.
- St Pietro in Vicoli and St Maria Maggiore.
- Roman Forum.
- St Peter's Basilica.
The Pilgrimage continues to take place every two years.
‘Learning about Judaism has been very interesting and has widened my knowledge of other religions in the UK and around the world, it has made me understand more about festivals on the calendar that are not of my own beliefs. Learning about different artworks such as the Creation of Adam has also been very different and has provided me with a different aspect of religious belief.’
Djamila – year 10
‘In my opinion, RE is one of the most enjoyable subjects St Edmunds has to offer. I especially like the philosophical elements such as the creation of the world which leads us to develop a broader scope of life and gives us the opportunity to understand the different religious perspectives. Learning more about Christianity and Judaism is extremely fascinating and RE lessons have expanded my knowledge about different beliefs and practices.’
Milly – year 10
Section 48 Validation Report
The school had a Section 48 validation in November 2016.
The report indicates that:
St Edmund’s provides an outstanding experience of Catholic community living and is committed to meeting the needs and developing the talents of all its pupils.
Religious education (RE) is good, with outstanding features. The RE department is at the heart of the school and works closely with the chaplaincy to deliver a cohesive and rich curriculum.
The spiritual and moral life of the school is outstanding and is underpinned by a well-developed liturgical life and encompassing Christian ethic.
"Students from all backgrounds and faiths work and socialise together happily."
All KS4 students have access to Kerboodle. Kerboodle is electronic access to the AQA textbook used by students as part of the course. They are able to access this to aid with their homework and revision. All pupils are given a username and the institution code is ju4.
Pupils are able to access the following holy books for free to assist in completion of homework and learning:
Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)
|AQA-8062-SP-2016 Religious Studies Exam Spec.pdf
|RE KS3 CURRICULUM MAP.pdf
|RE KS4 Curriculm Map.pdf
|Year 7 Religious Education Curriculum Letter.pdf
|Year 8 Curriculum Letter Oct 23.pdf
|Year 9 RE Curriculum Nov 2023.pdf