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RE

Religious Education at Gosforth Academy is committed to the provision of high quality learning experiences which challenge, provoke and inspire students to address issues of belief, truth, purpose and morality in a purposeful and stimulating learning environment. As such, the subject promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students and it seeks to inspire a life-long love of learning and enquiry that will extend beyond their years at school.  We are passionate in our desire to enable students to engage with the fundamental ideas that shape religious belief and practice in an articulate, informed and insightful manner, demonstrating a clear understanding of diverse views and practices within, and between, religious traditions. This core knowledge and understanding equips students to engage in discussion, debate and dialogue within our multi-faith and plural society in a mature, respectful and reflective way. Importantly, the subject strengthens students’ understanding of the value of having the freedom to express personal views in British society whilst, at the same time, demonstrating respect, understanding and consideration towards those with whom they disagree. The ability to critical analyse and evaluate ideas is a skill that is highly valued within a wide range of career pathways.

The RE curriculum is designed to extend learning by building on prior knowledge, and it challenges and inspires students at each stage of study with evermore sophisticated philosophy, theology and moral theory. This includes the introduction of new specialist vocabulary and concepts, as well as reference to named philosophers and theologians pertinent to each topic. Students are encouraged to articulate independent responses to ideas explored and are challenged to justify viewpoints with well-constructed and cogent arguments. In addition, they are encouraged to respond to criticisms confidently and with reflection. The subject inspires pride in one’s hard work, perseverance in the face of challenge and empathy in relationships with others, both within the classroom and beyond.

Religious Education helps students to understand the complexity of beliefs within our pluralist society and the differing, and sometimes conflicting, sources of authority on which these beliefs are based. Such knowledge helps students understand the basis of many different narratives that they encounter in contemporary debates within our society, for example on the ethics of euthanasia and abortion. Such knowledge enables students to be better informed citizens of the future. Not only do we seek to introduce diverse religious views on issues such as the origins of the universe and life, medical and environmental ethics, war and peace, crime and punishment, we explore atheist views in response to these issues in recognition of the significant influence this outlook has on our society today. Indeed, students are encouraged to reflect on the reality that British society is becoming increasingly secular in nature, and they consider how religions are responding to this challenge.

Students gain a valuable insight into the role religion plays within the life of an individual and within a faith community. For the majority of believers a life of faith is expressed in a rhythm of life that is oriented towards devotion, discipline and diligence, with this world seen as a preparation for a world beyond. An awareness of this within RE means the subject provides an important counterbalance to the often negative picture of religion presented in the media, thereby ensuring our students are well-equipped to participate in, and contribute to,  modern society as religiously literate young adults.