At Westacre Middle School we aim to provide pupils with a well-rounded understanding of the World around them. Pupils learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.
Why do we teach Ethics?
Religious Education contributes dynamically to children’s education in schools by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. In RE, they learn about and from religions and worldviews in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions. They learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response, and to agree or disagree respectfully.
This also links to our 6Rs approach which helps pupils to be responsible, resilient, ready, reflective, reasoned and resourceful learners.
Key Concepts in Ethics
Key concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema within our skills progression maps. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics across all year groups. Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, students return to the same concepts over and over and gradually build understanding of them. In Ethics, the key concepts are Believing, Living and Expressing and Philosophical Questioning.
Believing incorporates: religious beliefs, teachings, sources; questions about meaning, purpose and truth.
Expressing incorporates: religious and spiritual forms of expression; questions about identity and diversity.
Living incorporates: religious practices and ways of living; questions about values and commitment.
Knowledge Categories in Ethics
Knowledge categories in each subject give students a way of expressing their understanding of the key concepts and linking their learning across the year groups. In Believing, the knowledge categories are places of worship, founders/leaders, texts, rituals and beliefs. In Living and Expressing, the knowledge categories are expression and practice of religious beliefs, individual daily life and the wider world. In Philosophical Reasoning, the knowledge categories are questioning, ethical decisions and inspirational people.
What facilities can we offer pupils?
Everybody's life is a unique and special journey. As we travel along our own path - day after day, month after month - we become the sum total of everything that we do, everything that we say and everything that we think. With this in mind, at Westacre we strive to give our pupils opportunities to learn about and experience different religions.
Over their time at Westacre, pupils will visit 3 different religious buildings. In year 5 the children the children learn about Sikhism and visit a local gurdwara. Pupils in year 6 spend a day visiting our local Christian and Catholic churches in Droitwich and learn about religion in our local community. Finally in their final year at Westacre, year 7 pupils visit a mosque where they look at religion in action and what it means to be a Muslim in Britain.
Additionally, we regularly have visitors from various faiths to talk to the children in assemblies about their beliefs and their faith.
Year 6 Faith Day - Tuesday 16th October
Today, all of Year 6 spent the day working on Christianity-based activities including an information text on churches and a mathematical design for a stained glass window. The highlight of the day for every class was to visit Droitwich Methodist Church and Church of the Sacred Heart and St Catherine of Alexandria. The focus of our visit was to compare and contrast the two places of worship and consider the reasons behind the similarities and differences. We all found the visit extremely interesting and we have some invaluable memories and knowledge to bring to our upcoming RE topic on religious buildings. Our experience today will really bring our topic to life!