‘Be a free thinker and don’t accept everything you hear as truth. Be critical and evaluate what you believe in’ Aristotle.
The core purpose of RS at Newark Academy is to provide all students with the ability to develop their cultural, moral, religious, spiritual and social understanding which is needed in order for them to flourish as individuals in a multi-cultural society. We feel passionate about developing their understanding of religious and non-religious beliefs so that they can contribute to a global society.
The curriculum has been carefully crafted so that all students are engaged, challenged and inspired to become independent thinkers with three main areas of study; Religion, Ethics and Philosophy. We want students to become independent, creative, analytical and reasoned thinkers who have a deep knowledge of other faiths and religions. We want them to be able to understand how and why they can contribute to the rich tapestry within a diverse and multi-cultural society.
It is vital that students have access to a range of religious, non-religious and ethical beliefs as this will help them to foster tolerance, respect and empathy. We want students to be able to recognise our school’s GREAT values within RS, for example the resilience shown by survivors of the Rwandan genocide, the tenacity it took for William Wilberforce to help end slavery or the great work done by Guru Nanak to bring about equality despite the caste system.
We want all students to develop their curiosity by questioning the unknown through philosophical enquiry which will cultivate a love of learning. We want students not to blindly accept what is told but to become deeper thinkers who explore the answers to questions and concepts such as the soul, why are we here and does life after death exist?
All students will be encouraged to become experts in the three areas of RS through exposure to topics, thoughtful questioning, and strong pupil-teacher relationships and through an ambitious curriculum with topics such as the problem of evil, the nature of God and injustice and inequality. We want all students to be able to see how and why the content of the lessons related to their lives and to also empower them to confidently make excellent life choices and to challenge what they view as unethical or unfair.
All topics that students will learn have been carefully sequenced so that pupils undertake their own learning journey of discovery. We want all students to be successful both academically as well as personally through the development of core and ambitious knowledge and the opportunities within the curriculum (both in and out of the classroom) that ensures that pupils are exposed to opportunities that help develop cultural capital that enables them to operate and contribute to society at large.
Lessons are all carefully and intelligently sequenced so that pupils are continuously exposed to powerful knowledge. Pupils will be provided with a range of opportunities to secure this powerful knowledge in their long term memory through the recall and retrieval activity and regular mini quizzes based on their knowledge organiser independent learning and high-level questioning in lessons to ensure that knowledge ‘sticks’.
In RS, it is equally important to provide pupils with opportunity to apply their knowledge to a range of activity and the RS curriculum continually references modern day current affairs so that pupils can apply what they know and develop their wider skills sets including their ability to communicate both orally and in writing. By providing regular contextualised learning, our aim is for pupils to develop a powerful knowledge base as they progress along their own ‘learning journey’ as well as the cultural capital that will benefit them in their wider studies and beyond.