Department: Religious Education

Head of Department: Mrs D Palfreyman

If you wish to learn more about the curriculum, please contact the Head of Department by email: ­­­­d.palfreyman@oaklandscatholicschool.org

Curriculum Intent

The aim of the curriculum within the  department at Oaklands is to:

  • Serve the needs of students from the Catholic tradition, from other faith traditions and those with no faith. In doing so ensure all of our students have the knowledge and understanding to think spiritually, ethically and theologically and to be aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life
  • To ensure that students develop spiritually and morally, understanding the school’s mission to serve each other through the teachings of Christ.
  • Provide every student with high quality Religious Education that meets the needs of every student as fully as possible.
  • Enable students to engage in learning that helps develop their faith as well as acquire the knowledge necessary to make academic progress.
  • Provide a curriculum that presents opportunities to explore values and virtues that support the ethos of the school.

Our Religious Education curriculum is ambitious because:

  • We aim to ignite a passion for learning and enable students to take this with them into their lives outside school.
  • At the heart of our ambition is the desire to ensure that all students can access this curriculum. Therefore, liaison with the SEND department, including daily communication with LSAs plus referrals and reports to the SENCO are intrinsic to our actions and vision.
  • Religious Education at Oaklands contributes dynamically to student’s education by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. Students are therefore prepared to think in critical and scholarly ways about the representations of religion and non-religion that they learn through the curriculum and encounter in the world beyond.
  • Careful consideration has been given to the knowledge that students build in RE. They learn about and from religions and worldviews in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
  • High expectations about scholarship in the curriculum to guard against students’ misconceptions. They learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response, and to agree or disagree respectfully.
  • The depth of study in certain areas of the RE curriculum provide students with detailed content that is connected with the concepts and ideas that they learn.
  • It is well sequenced and prepares students with prior knowledge they need for future topics and areas of study.
  • Different Types of assessment are used to help teachers make necessary judgements about lesson and the curricular direction of travel.

We aim at deepening young people’s knowledge, understanding and effective appreciation of the Catholic faith tradition, of other religions and of contemporary religious moral and philosophical issues.  Our curriculum is coherently planned and builds upon the ‘God Matters’ programme used by Portsmouth Diocesan schools  at Key Stage 2, developing increasingly detailed and varied knowledge about a range of traditions and faiths, including the Christian, Sikh, Muslim and Jewish faiths. We also recognise  that some students have experienced a different curriculum at Key Stage 2, prior to Oaklands, especially if they come from a non-Catholic feeder school, and therefore core Christian beliefs and practices as well as essential thinking skills are taught early in the Key Stage 3 curriculum.

Our curriculum is designed to build a student’s cultural capital, for example at Key Stage 3 students study the Sikh and Muslim faiths and Judaism at Key Stage 4. This enables them to be knowledgeable and tolerant members of an increasingly diverse 21st century society. Use of case studies from a range of cultures, historical periods and perspectives is an ongoing feature of learning in Religious Education.  Moreover, they are regularly invited to share their opinions on ethical issues which in turn helps provide students with the cultural capital they need to succeed later in life.

Religious education is specifically concerned with informing young people about religion so that they will be in a better position to assess what religion and personal faith might contribute to their lives.  As students move through each Key Stage they will grow in independence;  students will increasingly, over time,  develop an objective, empathetic and critical study of religion that can be actioned in their lives and interaction with others.