Religious Studies

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Welcome to the Religious Studies Department.

Here at Dormston Religious Studies is taught to all students from Year 7 -10.

At the end of year 10 all students sit a Full Course GCSE Religious Studies Exam.

During their time at Dormston all lessons are designed and planned to explore and express opinion about belief and morals. As part of their learning journey in Religious Studies out pupils will experience four key strands of study, these are- Theology (Christian Focussed) Philosophy, Ethics and World views (other religions and Atheistic views) we do not “convert” but we do educate. This fits into to our School Values as it supports the concepts of: Effort, Knowledge, Respect, Resilience and Responsibility. 

Meet the Team

 

Mrs Bethan Siviter-Coupland – Head of Religious Studies

I always wanted to be a teacher, but the desire to teach Religious Studies was triggered when I was studying GCSEs. Not only were my teachers interesting, but my own personal situation triggered a need to study the subject further. I was raised to be a Christian (although I do not practise as much now) and being taken to a Methodist church to worship but sent to a Catholic school to study suddenly made me very aware that there was not just one straight forward Christianity- here I was believing in the same God and yet discovering differences in belief and practises and acceptance. For this reason, my desire to research religion began and I continued to study religious Studies at A- level at King Edwards VI in Stourbridge and then a BA (Hons) at the University of Birmingham in Applied Theological studies, where I studied Old and New testament Studies, Islamic and Christian Theology, Youth Work, Religion and Education, Feminism in Religion, Philosophy and Psychology of Religion, and ancient religious languages; Greek and Hebrew. After taking a gap year I returned to study at Newman College to complete a PGCSE in Secondary Religious Studies with QTS

I Started teaching in 2003 for Birmingham City Council where I was assistant Head of year 7 and later became Head of Year 7, and Ks3 co-ordinator for Religious Studies. I moved to Dormston in 2008 as Head Religious Studies alongside this role I have been a CPD leader and am now training to be a Visible Learning Coach. Whilst being Head of Religious Studies I have also taught History and Geography with in our Humanities department.

I love my subject, Religious Studies covers all aspects of life, it opens the mind and allows for new ways of thinking. It allows a person to make their own decisions when weighing up what they see read on the internet to the true key facts explored in our safe learning environments. I enjoy seeing young minds grow and opinions mature and flourish.

Mr James Salton-McLaughlin (aka Mr Mac)

 I always knew I wanted to teach, but it wasn’t until my A Levels that I developed a passion for Religious Studies. I read BA (Hons) Study of Religions at Bath Spa University, where I studied a broad range of religions and spiritualities including African Religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Paganism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism and New Religious Movements. I also enjoyed investigating philosophical and ethical questions, with particular interest in eschatology (afterlife) and medical/sexual ethics. I went on to complete my teacher training at the University of Brighton, securing a PGCE (secondary) & QTS in Religious Studies, with PSHE being my second subject.

 I’ve been teaching in Dudley and Sandwell ever since 2007, where I’ve performed a range of roles including Head of RS, Head of Humanities, Head of English Baccalaureate, ITT Co-ordinator and Year 7 Strategy Leader. I’ve taught Religious Studies, History, Geography, Citizenship and Psychology up to GCSE level. I’m currently enjoying my role as Deputy Head of Avon, Stonewall Champion, and teaching Religious Studies to Dormston students.

I love Religious Studies as it is a true cross-curricular subject. We delve into so many other subject areas and disciplines, it never feels like I’m just teaching one subject. I love the discussions we have in Religious Studies lessons, and developing debating skills. I enjoy studying and teaching the diversity within and between religions, and there is always something new to learn.

 

Mrs Indy Bassan – Assistant Head teacher.

As a second-generation immigrant, who was brought up in the seventies, I am a firm believer of equal opportunities for all and that everyone should have the chance to achieve their potential whatever their background. This, alongside my own experience of schooling both in London and the Midlands is why I opted to become a teacher of Religious Studies. 

The discussions we are able to have in this subject support students in their realisation that not only tolerance but celebration of differences is key if we are to be successful in society. I love being able to teach the various facets of Religious Studies and watch as students grow both in terms of their knowledge and confidence in their ability to put their own points across as well as listening to the views of others.

 

 

Welcome to our learning zone.

 

The Religious Studies department is Based in F block our corridor and class displays are designed to inspire and intrigue.  Entrance to our corridor allows you to understand that we focus on our four areas of learning; Theology, Philosophy, Ethics and World Views which are explored through non confessional teaching and learning.

 

The Religious Studies department is Based in F block our corridor and class displays are designed to inspire and intrigue.  Entrance to our corridor allows you to understand that we focus on our four areas of learning; Theology, Philosophy, Ethics and World Views which are explored through non confessional teaching and learning.

 

Our classrooms are full of stimulus to help re-cap knowledge learned during our student’s time with us.

 

We pride ourselves on using visual items to bring a sensory essence to our lessons. Being able to see, hear and even touch items that are used by other people in the world brings a new way of learning and understanding for our students.

How can you help your child on their journey in Religious Studies?

In Religious Studies we draw upon current affairs to demonstrate modern examples of the Ethical, Controversial and Philosophical topics and issues we discuss. Please encourage open and honest discussion about the current affairs, push your child to justify their opinions with examples and reasons, as this is a good skill for our evaluation essays.

Reading stories and exploring artwork can help the demonstration of the impact belief has had on life issues and culture across our world, in both positive and negative ways. As discussed in History human actions have been positive and negative; we believe that our students are the generation that can learn from the mistakes of those before them, to ensure that there is a society, both locally and worldwide, that will be Just and peaceful.

 

Encourage them to watch BBC bitesize/Learn clips- found both on bitesize and youtube- especially on Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam.

Understand that religions differ and everyone in a faith is different, sometimes we allow the basic overviews to narrow our vision and understanding there is much diversity within each religion is important.

KS3

After reviewing our curriculum, we have re-launched our programme of study, the Learning Journey here applies to Year 7 and year 8.

We explore the subject through four different lenses- Theology (Christian Studies), Philosophy (Answering ultimate questions), Ethics (discussing controversial and moral issues), and World View Analysis (exploring culture and debate for other religions and Atheism.)

Through our chosen course of studies, we hope that we give All our KS3 and KS4our students a full rounded taste of experiential religious studies enabling our students to become respectful members of society and a future of young accepting adults who celebrate the positives and can face the challenge negatives that our world offers.

KS4

All students sit a GCSE in Religious Studies at the end of year 10.

At present we study:
AQA Spec A

Paper 1 Beliefs and Practices

Christianity and Islam

Paper 2- Themes

Theme A- Sex and Relationships

Theme B – Life

Theme C- The Existence of God

Theme D- Peace and Conflict

Please follow link to discover full specification and expectations.

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/gcse/religious-studies-a-8062/subject-content/component-1-the-study-of-religions-beliefs,-teachings-and-practices

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/gcse/religious-studies-a-8062/subject-content/component-2-thematic-studies

How we assess

Please see the AQA Religious Studies objectives that are required.

Formal Assessment:

From Year 7 to 10 we establish key skills required for final GCSE.  At the end of each unit of study in both KS3 and KS4 we complete an assessment that follows format of GCSE

1 mark- multiple choice- words /definitions

2marks- Bullet point knowledge- key words, teachings, actions.

4 marks- detailed knowledge- what do religious believe- why? How?- what impact can it have on life?

5 marks- detailed understanding- using scripture to support key beliefs in faith.

12 mark- Evaluation essay- Using full knowledge and understanding (evidence, examples and scriptures) of religious and non-religious views to give a written debate about a controversial statement provided.

 

Informal Assessment:

Classwork and homework are looked at to see how well students have understood our discussion and activities.

We promote both Peer and Self-marking in order to allow pupils to understand what is required of themselves as well as to aid them in repeating common mistakes. As teachers we feedback to pupils when we formerly mark work, and when we have discussion- our responses can be both written and verbal.

Subject specific websites to support independent learning and revision

Trips & Visits

To help us give our pupils the full experience, in line with our new Religious Studies Scheme of work we are aiming to set up several trips over the journey of learning for our students.

We hope to visit:

Places of Worship:

Local Church and Worcester Cathedral

Mosque

Vihara

Gurdwara.

 

Theatre – The Prince of Egypt.

For KS4:

Iona in Scotland – restriction depending

Candle light revision Conferences.

On Site Speakers- Members of Faith communities and volunteers from Food bank and Street Pastors.

Knowledge Organisers

 

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