The intent of PRE (Philosophy, Religion and Ethics) is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
The PRE curriculum is sequenced to take students on a journey that begins with the origin of religion as a concept. At the start of Year 7 the students look at how beliefs and ideas became a system and then a religion. We examine the Abrahamic faiths in chronological order so that they can see how the beliefs developed and affects subsequent religious identities; Judaism and then Christianity.
In Y8 the students contrast Judaism and Christianity and with Islam before examining other religious tradition such as the Hindu Dharma. Students also examine philosophical questions that have been informed by religious understanding. These can include how religion affects behaviour, the understanding of existence and if (a) God can be real. Students also gain an insight into non-religious ideas through the study of atheism. It’s important to examine this perspective to understand how a growing number of non-religious persons understand the world and understand their beliefs about morality.
In Year 9 students study ethical issues with units on Life and Death, Extremism and Equality. The core units of this year being Life and Death and Equality.
Throughout the PRE curriculum we give the students the opportunity to form their own informed opinions. In doing so we enable them to interrogate a belief or practice and compare it to their own. We believe that the opinions and beliefs of each individual student is as valid as those that are studied in class and we encourage them to use the opportunities in lessons to further develop their wider views of the world so that they have a fuller and informed opinion of various issues. To support an informed opinion we regularly evaluate sources of religious authority such as the Qur’an, Bible, Torah, Vedas and many others.
Assessment in PRE is primarily formative with a range of low stakes quizzing, cold calling and discussion opportunities providing insights into the knowledge and skills acquired. Ultimately, we aim to ensure our students gain an appreciation for how these worldviews have impacted the world they live in at a local, national and global level.