God and Learning-centred, Purpose-driven, Pupil-empowering.
RE retains a central place on the Curriculum at St. Christopher's. At our Church School, it is often seen as a part of core curriculum provision, alongside English, Maths and Science. As the curriculum arm of the Worshipping life of the school, it carries the spiritual DNA of St. Christopher's. RE is always taught within the context of our strong Christian ethos.
An 'Outstanding' RE Department and 'Gold' Quality Mark Standard:
In November 2011, we were given high praise by the Church of England's Inspector:
The effectiveness of the religious education is outstanding
"The RE department, led by a very able and outstanding teacher is strong. It has a record of outstanding academic success and contributes significantly to pupils' spiritual development and the school's distinctiveness. The head of department is supported by a talented, committed team of specialists and all use a variety of interactive approaches to learning. Lessons are characterised by opportunities for independent enquiry and discussion through group work."
This independent assessment of the quality of our work was confirmed in December 2012, when we were one of the first schools Nationally to be awarded the coveted RE Quality Mark Gold Standard! This accolade was then renewed for a further three years in 2015. This achievement acknowledges the Department's contribution as a 'lead' department in the school and also the influence we have been able to have on other schools through our networks.
Key Stage 3
We are proud to be one of the Diocese of Blackburn's ten Church of England Secondary Schools. RE provision at KS3 reflects this as we deliver to the KS3 diocesan framework for RE. We are also delighted to have launched the Archbishop of York Young Leaders Award for our Year 8 and 9 pupils this year and are looking forward to a visit from Dr John Sentamu himself on 22nd February 2017, to present the award. This content sits very comfortably alongside the diocesan framework's 'illuminating pathways' mechanism for framework delivery. We have carefully selected the units that we deem most helpful to our pupils and which reinforce the GCSE units on the new specification (see Key Stage 4 below).
Key Stage 4
All pupils, with very few exceptions, leave St. Christopher's with a formal GCSE qualification in RE. Pupils will sit 2 equally weighted, 90 minute papers, each carrying 50% of the final mark. We follow AQA's Specification B: Unit 2 includes the following 6 topics: 'Animal Rights,' 'Planet Earth,' 'Prejudice,' 'War and Peace,' 'Early Life,' and 'Young People.' Unit 3 covers: 'Medical Ethics,' 'The elderly and Death,' 'Drug Abuse,' 'Crime and Punishment,' 'World Poverty' and 'Rich and Poor in British Society.'
To view the AQA Religious Studies (B) specification, please click HERE.
All of the above remains current to summer 2017 for our current Year 11 pupils. Our current Year 10s are working on AQA's brand new, exciting sylabus, where all pupils will focus on an in-depth study of the Christian faith, alongside either Islam or Judaism, in line with staff specialisms. We believe that as a Church school, the Jewish faith gives our pupils an appropriate grounding in the Christian faith, but lcoated as we are in East Lancashire, we believe that it is crucial to equip many of our pupils to engage with Islam too.
In addition, pupils engage with themes including 'Religion, Relationships and Families', 'Religion, Peace and Conflict' and 'Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice'.
Key Stage 5
A' Level RE is a popular choice with our students. During Year 12, students follow a course on 'Religion and Ethics', one on 'Philosophy of Religion' and one on Christianity. Each carries a third of the marks and is built upon in Year 13. Again, this is a brand new specification for first teaching in September 2016. Our current Year 13 students are following 'Eduqas' legacy specification, studying ethics and a pre-released question on religion and human experience.
RE is everywhere at St. Christopher's. From our assembly programme, through to our strong package of themed Spirituality Days for each Year Group, to our Christian symbolism in all classrooms and communal areas, RE is absolutely not confined to the RE classroom. Throughout pupils' time with us, they will receive multiple opportunities to go on extra-curricular trips and visits, sometimes organised in partnership with the Diocese. Christian Unions, in our Sixth Form, Main School, and in a local Primary where our pupils can help out, are regular and routine ways in which pupils can get involved in 'extra-curricular RE.' In addition to basic equipment, all pupils are required to bring with them to their RE lessons is an open mind, a willing spirit and a teachable heart!
Application to Life
Finally, RE is relevant to any job that involves working with people. Apart from a lighthouse keeper, try thinking of a job that does not involve working with people! In the form of 'Theology,' 'Divinity' and 'Philosophy' courses, RE is one of the very oldest academic subjects around, and as such, is a very credible A-level subject, recognized by all universities.
- Mr. C. Pountain (Head of Department and Director of Spirituality)
- Miss L. Davey (Second in Department and Assistant Head of Year 10)
- Mr. P. Cuff (Deputy Headteacher and Head of Sixth Form)
- Miss J. Diggins
- Mrs. V. Kershaw (part-time)
- Mrs A. Snape (RE Specialist based in Sixth Form with Foundation Pathways)