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Kilkeel High School, Knockchree Avenue, Kilkeel

Aims/Vision

In the Religious Studies Department, we believe that having a clearly defined vision is crucial to the success of the department. Vision allows both staff and students to see the end goal and journey into it together. We believe that our students should develop spiritually over the 5 or 7 years they spend with us. We want our students to leave at the end of GCSE or A-Level and look back on the school career and see a clear spiritual journey that they have encountered. We hope that after studying in KHS, students would be given the opportunity to explore different religions in order to bring a new awareness of what other people think and believe. We are passionate about seeing our students develop an 'open-mind' when it comes to religious belief. The last thing we want to do is to see students released into the world with a dogmatic, 'my way is the only way' attitude. Having said that, as our school is based on Christian principles and the majority of the Core Syllabus for Religious Education is Christianity, we will spend majority of our time and study will be spent within the Christian faith.

In doing all of this, we believe we are giving our students opportunities to develop and deepen their own sense of Spirituality while appreciating and understand other beliefs and viewpoints. We feel it is important that before students try to look at what others believe, it is important that they understand what they believe themselves. Then, with this framework in place, they are in a position to consider, debate with, think about and engage with viewpoints that are contrary or different to their own, without feeling threatened or intimidated.

 

All of this is done with an academic focus. We want our students to excel within our classes and work towards academic excellence at all stages of the school, whether Key Stage 3, 4 or 5.

 

Taking all of this into consideration, we came up with the following Vision which is underpinned by 4 Core Values. These are outlined below.

 

Vision

The Religious Studies Department of Kilkeel High School exists to enable students to engage with and explore religion, particularly Christianity, so that they may develop and deepen their own sense of Spirituality, appreciate and understand other beliefs and viewpoints and work towards academic excellence at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.

 

Core Values

 

(1)     Explore Religion

  • To support the school’s Christian ethos by helping students to engage with and explore the Christian religion
  • To uphold Christianity as the main faith studied through all Key Stages
  • To help students understand that is good to study religions other than Christianity
  • To give students the opportunity to learn about different beliefs and religions so that they develop a greater understanding of the world that they live in
  • To nurture inclusion and diversity within students so that they are tolerant of other beliefs and do not feel threatened by difference or change

 

 

(2)     Develop Spirituality

  • To help students understand that Spirituality is a vital part of human existence
  • To help students develop and deepen their own sense of Spirituality
  • To lead students on a journey of understanding of their own faith, beliefs and viewpoints
  • To help students be sure of what they believe and why they believe it
  • To give students the opportunity to consider some of life’s biggest questions

 

 

(3)     Appreciate other viewpoints

  • To help students appreciate and understand other people’s beliefs and viewpoints
  • To help students understand that the world is full of people whose views may differ greatly from their own
  • To enable students to respect someone else’s viewpoint, even though it may differ greatly from their own
  • To equip students with the skills needed for dealing with situations where they encounter differing viewpoints and challenges to their own thinking
  • To help students understand that Kilkeel High School is a school where “Every child matters”, therefore everyone’s opinion matters, regardless of race, colour, religion, gender, age or sexual orientation

 

 

(4)     Academic Excellence

  • To help students achieve “excellence” in their studies at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5
  • To enable students to achieve more than they ever believed they could
  • To transfer ‘B’ grades into ‘A’ grades and ‘D’ grades into ‘C ’ grades at GCSE, AS and A2
  • To eradicate the ‘U’ grade at GCSE, AS and A2 Level and reduce the ‘D’ and ‘E’ grades at AS and A2 Level
  • To understand that “excellence” incorporates teaching, not just student achievement