Religious Education at NOA
The focus of RE at NOA is to expose students to the big questions to do with our existence, the order of our society and ethical quandaries.
Students come to lessons armed with observations they make in the world around them, and as such, RE allows them to gain knowledge and become confident to tackle some of the biggest questions humans have about the nature of existence. Students will explore and debate issues that have divided opinion for centuries, such as how the universe started and the purpose of life itself as well as contemporary ones such as medical ethical issues. All students are encouraged to build on their observations and initial thoughts with views from philosophers, contemporaries and religious scripture to come to their own conclusions about these philosophical and ethical topics.
The aim of the curriculum is to equip students with a firm understanding of the Abrahamic religions when they first begin the journey in Year 7. This not only sets the students up well for the rest of their time in RE at NOA but allows them to gain a deeper understanding of their peers at school and in their wider community as they learn about different religious parables, festivals and customs. From this point the curriculum then begins to focus on ethics and philosophy, where students are introduced to religious and non-religious arguments. There is a particular focus on ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ that aims to push students into high level thinking about why something is accepted or not accepted and who, if anyone, has the right to say this is so. Students are encouraged to understand and analyse views that are different from their own and discuss their impact on society.
By the end of their time in RE at NOA, students will have developed strong evaluative and analytical skills as well as a profound understanding of the world around them. The intention is to reveal to students the complexities of different ethical issues and to inspire them to learn more about the world around and how and why people behave in different ways with a respect and understanding of why people respond to situations differently.
Vocabulary remains central to lessons, and teaching subject specific vocabulary will allow students to speak and write persuasively and appropriately. Students will learn vital skills, not just academically but ones that help shape good people, such as tolerance and respect. Academically, there is a continuous focus on building sophisticated writing styles to form arguments, developing them using a range of sources and, finally, drawing strong conclusions from them. Overall, the curriculum will inspire students and allow them to become articulate and inquisitive individuals who ask big questions and have a developed grasp on the realities of the world around them.