The Religious Studies Department contributes to the whole school curriculum intent by:
- Having a curriculum that will allow students to explore the deeper philosophical, cultural, ethical and sociological issues of the modern world through religious and non-religious world views.
- Adopting and constructing a curriculum that is highly ambitious and designed to give all learners the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
- Having a curriculum that is planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment both with and beyond the field of Religious Studies.
- Learners studying a wide and relevant curriculum. Thus allowing them to have a ‘deeper’ knowledge. Students will feel confident to debate and discuss their knowledge and respond to feedback to ensure that they are making progress.
- Religious Studies students will have the ability to cope with the demands of the new curriculum and its demands. They will develop social skills that will allow them to work effectively with those around them. Students across KS3 and KS4 will understand how to revise and prepare for examinations.
- Religious Studies students will develop keen critical thinking skills focused around evaluation and analysis. Allowing them to interrogate information presented effectively across the curriculum.
- Religious Studies students will be thoughtful, tolerant and respectful of others. They will be able to explore complex moral and theological issues with empathy, thoughtfulness and critical analysis. They will encourage and support others in their exploration of these issues.
- Promoting literacy and numeracy across all teaching, where applicable. The department will link to careers via the Gatsby measures and contribute to whole school initiatives and promote staff well-being.
Implementation of the Religious Studies Curriculum:
- Teachers within the Religious Studies Department have an excellent knowledge of the subject and courses they teach.
- Teachers will present subject matter clearly, promoting appropriate discussion about the subject matter being taught. Teachers check learning and understanding systematically, identify misconceptions accurately and provide clear, direct feedback. Teachers will respond and adapt their teaching as necessary.
- Over the course of the curriculum, teaching is designed to help learners to remember in the long term the content they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.
- Teachers and leaders must use assessment well, for example to help learners embed and knowledge fluently, or check understanding and inform teaching. Leaders understand the limitations of assessment and do not use it in a way that creates unnecessary burden to staff or learners.
- Teachers create a classroom culture that allows learners to focus on the learning. Resources and materials that teachers select reflect the teacher’s high expectations for the students and support the planned curriculum, sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment.
Schemes of work
- 2019/20 revised curriculum and homework at KS3
- Literacy and numeracy activities incorporated into lessons wherever possible – literacy based task also within all assessments and numeracy where appropriate. Literacy is most appropriate and enhances the Religious Studies curriculum.
- Curriculum at KS3 and KS4 is appropriate and engaging to students. Content is relevant to all learners and diverse. Developed with LEA and through student voice activities during consultation period.
- Revision is woven into long term plans as part of school assessment calendar to ensure content is retained in the long-term.
- Assessments are reviewed and amended where necessary to support outcomes and to ensure the ‘deeper learning’ approach.
Quality of marking and feedback
- Creative ways of feedback and monitoring across qualifications (written, whole class feedback.)
- Clear expectations and routines for student response to feedback.
- Standardisation activities and departmental work scrutiny completed.
- Informal learning walks.
Transition from KS2
- Y5/6 transition day to formulate links with local feeder primary schools.
Extra-curricular and intervention
- High quality teaching to ensure gap is narrowed.
- Year 10 intervention
- Trips used to bring the curriculum to life: Combined Humanities Trip Y8, Significant Sites of Seaham (Enrichment Week)
- Star Theologians – Half-termly per class
Use of social media
- Twitter used to promote department and extra-curricular activities.
- Reminders for mock exams/homework.
- Photos to promote trips, extra-curricular and success lessons.
- Text messages
- Google classroom
Communication with parents and carers
- Positive phone calls made termly re: progress/attitude/commitment
- Concerns communicated via phone calls, letters and through during meetings.
- Close communications/ parents meetings in the build-up and during trips and activities.
- Progress letters to be sent to parents following formal mock exams.
- Cards home to celebrate student successes.
Impact of the Religious Studies Curriculum:
- Learners within the Religious Studies Department at Seaham High School will develop wide ranging knowledge and skills across the curriculum and, as a result, achieve well.
- The impact of the curriculum seen through knowledge expressed in discussion and written work of various types.
- Assessments, in time, will indicate that students have a secure grasp of knowledge for units and prior learning.
- Learners are ready to move to the next stage in education, employment or training. They will have embodied the school vision statement of ‘engaging minds and broadening horizons.’ Where applicable, they gain a GCSE Religious Studies qualification that allow them to go on to destinations that meet their interests, aspirations and the intention of their course of study.
Assessment in KS3
- KS3 assessed as per the School Assessment Calendar.
- Assessment marked, moderated and improved by students.
Assessment in KS4
- Assessment throughout KS4 qualifications – a minimum once per half term.
- Mock papers used throughout KS4.
- Assessment marked, moderated and improved by students.
Outcomes at KS3 & KS4
- Comparisons made nationally and locally.
- Break down of components within each qualification – QLA.
- Break down of vulnerable groups.
- SISRA data scrutinised termly by teachers and leaders.
- Participation rate in extra-curricular activities and interventions.
Feedback / Marking
- Students make changes to work confidently and correctly.
- School marking policy applied by all teachers.
- Whole Class Feedback slides used to generate feedback and DIRT.
- Marking moderated and standardised during formal department meetings.
Student Voice groups
- Students are asked to rate the quality of teaching experienced via student voice.
- Students asked to evaluate the curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities offered.
- Student voice results shared with staff and results used to inform future planning.
- Experienced, knowledgeable and expert staff within the Religious Studies Department.
- Creative and innovative staff, who take ownership for individual classes, but contribute to cohorts.
- Professional dialogues for T&L, work scrutiny, appraisal and lesson observation.
- Workload is manageable and sustainable.