World events in the 21st century draw attention to the continuing power and significance of religious belief and other beliefs and philosophies in shaping human minds and communities. An understanding of different faiths and beliefs has never seemed more relevant. At Castle Donington College, we believe that our RE curriculum should promote understanding between all people and enable understanding of concepts and the development of skills and attitudes so that our pupils can explore wider issues of religion and belief in religiously literate ways.
Our RE curriculum prepares pupils for active citizenship in a diverse and rapidly changing world, exploring some aspects of British values in relation to religions and worldviews. Leicestershire is a vibrant and unique county with much diversity of religion and belief. The population of the city and county includes very large communities of tens of thousands of Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, and smaller groups of other significant faith communities including Jews, Jains, Buddhists and members of the Bahá'í faith. Many children in Leicestershire come from families that hold non-religious life stances. RE taught at Castle Donington College allows all learners to share their experiences and to learn from one another and the religions and beliefs in our community and makes space for all pupils to explore their own beliefs, values and traditions, and those of others, in engaged and engaging ways. The RE curriculum aims to support children to develop positive attitudes of respect towards people from all religions and worldviews.
The principal aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own
At Castle Donington College, the RE curriculum follows closely the expectations set out in the Leicestershire Agreed Syllabus that requires all pupils to learn from Christianity and from the principal religions represented in the UK (Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Judaism). Non-religious worldviews, for example Humanism, are also a focus for study.
The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews so that they can describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals. Pupils will be taught to appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning. A key area of focus of the RE curriculum is to enable pupils to express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can explain their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities.
Pupils are taught about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues and appreciate varied dimensions of religion. In doing so they will learn how different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all and be able to articulate beliefs, values and commitments in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.
Pupils receive two lessons of RE each fortnight in KS3 as part of Humanities. RE is taught to all pupils in all years in mixed ability groups. Pupils follow discreet units in Year 7 and 8 under the broader Humanities curriculum and then specialising in Year 9, with key skills running throughout.