Birkdale is a Christian school and so Christian theology and morality make up a significant part of the RE curriculum. These Christian ideas are always thoughtfully analysed and students are encouraged to find their own response to questions of belief.
Moral education is a major part our curriculum. We teach basic human values and help students to think through the moral consequences of their actions. We would explain the Christian foundation behind these values but we would leave space for pupils to build their own rationale for following a basic human ethic. A significant aim of the department is to produce moral responsibility amongst our students.
Our students also explore the important worldviews of Judaism (S1/Year 7) and Islam (S2/Year 8) as well as Eastern concepts of religion (S3/Year 9). Nearly a third of curriculum time is given to understanding these religions. It is important to us that students are ‘religiously literate’ and have had a chance to learn from these different perspectives.
RE is allocated 2 periods of 35 minutes a week in S1 (Year 7) and S2 (Year 8). In S3 (Year 9) this increases to 3 periods. In S4 (Year 10) and S5 (Year 11) ten periods of compulsory RE form a part of the General Studies curriculum. These lessons focus on moral and philosophical questions. There is an optional GCSE course – Philosophy and Ethics through Christianity. We also have a successful A level course in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics.