Our Diocesan Youth Officer came into our school to ask us the question: “What could you not live without” in anticipation of our Lenten period of fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Here are the results – what have you given up???
Yes, I know it’s a bit like writing “Dog chases postman”, but it is good to see our Bishops expressing their mind on RE. At their November conference at our own Hinsley Hall they resolved the following:
The bishops agreed four resolutions relating to Catholic education and schools at their November 2012 plenary meeting: Religious Education and the Common Good, Religious Education in Catholic Schools, Religious Education and Parental Choice and the bishops welcomed the publication of the new Religious Education Curriculum Directory.
Religious Education and the Common Good
The Bishops’ Conference affirms the important role that good quality Religious Education, taught with proper academic rigour, plays in the education of young people and in developing the spiritual dimension of the human person. Therefore, the Bishops’ Conference urges the UK and Welsh Assembly governments to safeguard the place of Religious Education in the curriculum of all schools and academies, and, in the case of England, to reconsider the inclusion of Religious Education in the English Baccalaureate and in the proposed English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBCs).
Religious Education in Catholic Schools
The Bishops’ Conference reaffirms that Religious Education is the core subject in Catholic schools and academies requiring 10% of curriculum time. In view of the recent reallocation of resources in Initial Teacher Training to English Baccalaureate subjects in England, the Bishops’ Conference seeks assurances that the supply of highly qualified Religious Education teachers will be ensured as a matter of government policy.
Religious Education and Parental Choice
The Bishops’ Conference recognises that all parents and legal guardians have the right and duty to educate their children. Catholic parents have an additional duty and right to choose those schools and academies which best promote the Catholic education of their children (cf. Can. 793 §1). Mindful that Religious Education is at the very heart of the curriculum in Catholic schools and academies, its exclusion from the core academic subjects as defined by the English Baccalaureate effectively limits the ability of parents to choose schools and academies, and their right to ensure the education of their children is conducted in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions (cf. European Convention on Human Rights, Protocol 2, Article 1). The Bishops’ Conference therefore requests the government to uphold parents’ rights in this regard.
Religious Education Curriculum Directory
The Bishops’ Conference welcomes the new Religious Education Curriculum Directory for Catholic Schools published by the Department for Catholic Education and Formation as the foundational document for the development of Religious Education in Catholic schools, academies and colleges in England and Wales.
Ask yourself this: of the approximately 500 Year 9, 10 and 11 students who sat a GCSE exam in Religious Studies this summer, who got the highest mark?
Answer: Avery talented Year 9 student who scored 100%
We have all heard how impressive the A level and AS level results were at Fisher’s, we all know that last year’s GCSE results were the best yet;
85% of pupils got 5 or more higher graded (A*-C) passes.
More pupils than ever before got 5 GCSE’s at Grades A*-C, including English and Maths at 64%.
However, very few people know how well the Year 9’s did with their GCSE in Religious Studies. Miss Mollicone and the RE faculty made a bold decision 12 months ago to teach Year 9 a GCSE course. You may ask what is unusual about that, but think. Starting a course two years early and sitting the exam before apparently you’re ready.
Difficult for some but not for Year 9! All the students who sat the new paper received a GCSE, 89% got a Grade ‘C’ or better.
The course on offer from the exam board allowed us to combine our PSHCE and RE lessons and look at the influence of different religious and non-religious views on the world around us.
Covering areas such as Democracy and Human Rights, Crime and Punishment, War and Peace and The Environment and Medical ethics the course allowed Year 9 to really examine the world and their place within it. And as the results have shown it was a great success.
When asked for a comment Miss Warr stumbled over her words as she was so overcome, she wiped away a tear and eventually she whispered;
“I’m so proud of them, I had my doubts when we started last September, but they have all been incredible.
Their hard work and dedication was never going to be a problem. What struck all the teachers though was their real grasp of the issues and their ability to understand and then comment upon what are really difficult moral and ethical issues.
Brilliant, just brilliant, I think we may have the next Hans Kung or Albert Schweitzer here at Fisher’s.
You know the Bishop used to come to Fisher’s… honest Mr Preece taught him.”
In May last year 82 Year 9 students sat a Short Course Exam in Religious Studies. They all achieved a GCSE and the results are as follows:
Ryan Barnes scored full marks! Excellent!
Well done to everyone – very good results. A good foundation for this year’s course.