S5/S6 Core RERC
The S5 and S6 course has a primary focus on Trinitarian Theology. That is, the study of the true meaning of God’s nature being Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Pupils focus on one ‘person’ of the Trinity, and in S5 this is God the Son: The key beliefs in Jesus Christ which Christianity is built upon. With the exception of S4, there is a unit dedicated to Our Lady each year. The key focus is Mary’s relationship with the Holy Trinity and her role as Mother to the Church.
The Church describes the Eucharist as ‘The Source and Summit of Christian life.’ This is right at the heart of Catholic Christian theology and therefore central to the Catholic School. Pupils have had the opportunity to encounter Christ in the Eucharist through school Masses and visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Additionally, Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist (The Doctrine of Transubstantiation) permeates the R.E. curriculum throughout. Unit 4 (much like the Catholic Church) has been built on the words found in St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: ‘Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it.’ (1 Cor. 12:27). The aim of this section of the course is for pupils to deepen their understanding of ‘Church’.
The core theme of the ‘Responding in Faith’ unit is our personal relationship with God: How we communicate with him, how we show love to him and to others. Called to Love is a Catholic vision of love and relationships. It was established as a partnership project, involving the Scottish Catholic Education Service and Healthy Respect, to develop teaching materials and support to underpin the coherent programme of relationships and moral education in Catholic secondary schools. The purpose of sex education goes beyond explaining reproduction, preventing unwanted pregnancies, or promoting confidence about sexuality. It promotes the development of values and attitudes which guide behaviour and relationships.
- Nature of God: Trinity (Son of God)
- Mary: Mother of the Church
- The Body of Christ (The Eucharist)
- The Body of Christ (The Church)
- Responding in Faith
- Called To Love
Each unit covers outcomes from A Curriculum for Excellence: Religious Education in Roman Catholic Schools, as well as core learning from level 6 ‘This is our Faith’. A key focus comes from the Principles and Practice of A Curriculum for Excellence. One of the aims of this document reflected in the unit is to:
- Develop the skills of reflection, discernment, critical thinking and deciding to act in accordance with an informed conscience when making moral decisions.
(A Curriculum for Excellence: Religious Education in Roman Catholic Schools – principles and practice. P.2)
Page 3 of the same document sets out approaches to Religious Education, which are integral to the delivery of each unit, and to the delivery of all subsequent materials. This means that each unit should be engaging and reflective. Questioning, responding and explanation are also central to the themes and practices of the unit. This unit also fulfils aspects of the principles and practice document, which take into consideration experiences of learning and teaching, as it seeks to:
- Help learners to recognise the significance of their experience and nurture their capacity to reflect on and evaluate it.
- Take account of the developmental stage of children and young people and their capacity to engage with complex ideas.
- Help children and young people to develop critical thinking skills.
- Maximise opportunities for collaborative and independent learning.
- Draw upon a variety of creative approaches which promote active learning.
- Engage learners in the assessment of their own learning.
- Make imaginative use of resources.
Pupils and their parents have a right to know how they are doing in RE. Clarifying with pupils the objectives of lessons, the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes they could be developing and giving them opportunities to reflect, with teachers, on their progress are the essential elements of the assessment process. This sort of on-going, learning-centred assessment can be a powerful means of motivating pupils while also raising their expectations of themselves and of the subject itself. RE deserves this style of effective teaching as much as every other subject in the curriculum. Not all learning in RE can be assessed. However, within the framework of the whole school curriculum, assessment in RE is about:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Beliefs, Values and Practices
Each unit aims to incorporate all aspects of AiFL. The main aspect which runs through each unit is sharing learning intentions as all lessons include learning objectives and a re-cap or extension task, which ensures learning intentions have been met.
Where an outcome is to be assessed, pupils will be informed that the task will be a piece of evidence for assessment.
To promote assessment by pupils there is a range of peer marking activities and evaluative exercises, including clock partners, traffic lights and homework activities.
In order to mark less to achieve more, the departmental scheme for marking jotter work will be used in each unit.
All units aim to tune into learners minds by using a range of questioning techniques throughout the course.
To step forward with feedback, evaluation and assessment is kept informal, pupils are given the opportunity to comment upon and evaluate each other’s contributions to class discussion, and praise is encouraged throughout.
Recording & Reporting
Within the RE department, assessment of day-to-day progress depends heavily upon the marking and correction of written work and other tangible forms of pupil response.
The main purpose is formative – helping pupils to see how their work can be improved and developed, identifying weaknesses and uncertainties as a basis for remedial action, and as a major and effective practical means of establishing suitably high expectations of each pupil.
Pupil progress will be reported via tracking, full reports and a parents evening.