What is it like to be a pupil in RE at BGN?
The R.E. Department plays a key pastoral and academic role in the school. Religious Studies is an important part of the Catholic school's curriculum and is to be approached in an enthusiastic and challenging way which allows for individual expression and develops the knowledge and necessary skills for a mature Christian life. In so doing it also hopes to serve the needs of the wider Christian community and society at large.
In accordance with the school Mission Statement the R.E. department endeavours to tackle the dual aim of educating the individual in faith and promoting the individual’s faith in the local Church community. This is done by the programme of study; the way in which we teach; the provision of opportunities for prayer and worship; the links with the local parochial communities in prayer, worship and pastoral activities; the forming of links with the local clergy; and the celebration of the sacraments, particularly Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
The department has strong links not only with the local parishes but also with the Archdiocese of Birmingham and Oxford University. We are recognized by Oxford University as a valued training partner and we regularly receive students wishing to gain experience in an environment where religious education is held in high regard and taught to all students 11-18 years, whatever their background or ability.
The R.E. Department at BGN consists of six qualified teachers who are subject specialists and several learning support assistants who work together, sharing a common vision and faith, to achieve agreed objectives. We have a variety of gifts, talents, backgrounds and skills which we employ to the advantage of students and the department as a whole; students learn through a variety of teaching styles and are stimulated by the range of interests and breadth of experience each teacher brings to the subject.
Religious Education is an important academic subject. The knowledge and understanding imparted here both develop the human potential of the individual, and the academic potential and qualification. At the same time, it is of fundamental importance in a Catholic school that it is one of the facilities/environments in which an individual's faith can be nurtured, strengthened and directed as a personal relationship with God and as a member of the Church community. The department does not seek a compromise between these two different ideals, but the full pursuance of each in the formation of pupils in the school.
All students in Key Stage 3 follow The Way, The Truth and The Life series. In St John’s Gospel, Jesus calls each one of us individually and together, as Church, to live in him, who is the “Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6).
All students in Key Stage 4 follow AQA GCSE Religious Studies B Catholic Christianity with Judaism, with a few students being entered for the Islam paper which they study independently.
All students at Key Stage 5 complete an Edexcel Level 3 Extended Project Qualification, submitting a dissertation, performance or artefact.
Many students opt to study Edexcel A Level Religious Studies, following the Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and New Testament options.