Religious Formation is the ‘core of the core curriculum’ in a Catholic school (Pope John Paul II), and placing it at the core of the curriculum helps us to fulfil our mission to educate the whole person in discerning the meaning of their existence. Religious Formation is not only concerned with intellectual knowledge, but also includes emotional and affective learning. It is in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of what it is to be human truly becomes clear.
The Religious Formation faculty at St Bede’s is an outstanding faculty and teachers’ expertise and mastery of the subject leads to engagement in lessons. The subject is taken by all students at GCSE and is one of the top performing subjects in the college. The progress of students, including SEND, BAME and Pupil Premium, in both GCSE and A level, is significantly above average. The subject is valued by all students, as the faculty have extremely high expectations and positive relationships. The faculty models the St Bede’s Way and the Gospel values in each interaction. We are consistent in our use of praise, house points and other rewards, as well as sanctioning. Teachers’ excellent subject knowledge helps students to respond well, to feel challenged, and learn about their own faith and other world religions. The subject is well-respected and is a popular subject at A-level.
We are unashamedly aspirational and ambitious for all our students, with all members of the faculty working tirelessly to maintain the quality and excellence in students’ learning experiences. We want to ensure that when they leave St Bede’s, they will fulfil their mission and have a deep sense of respect, responsibility, and resilience to prepare them for future life. In addition, we want all our students to discern their call as stewards of God’s creation, their role in college, the communities they serve, and the world we live in. We aim for all our students to be strong and committed in the faith of Christ and be active in the way they respond to Christ’s call to care for others.
Our curriculum is well-aligned to “Curriculum @ St Bede’s”, and is broadly aligned with the KS3 “People of God” curriculum and Edexcel Catholic specification A at GCSE. It is well designed, with the knowledge required carefully considered and ordered, with opportunities throughout to practice retrieval and strengthen threads running through different topics. Students are knowledgeable and articulate about faith, using religious language confidently and with understanding. The breadth of knowledge and skills gained, inside the classroom and beyond, means they become Catholic of character – people who put the needs of others before themselves. Our curriculum provides all students with opportunities to reflect on their own faith and learn about the faiths and practices of others, enabling them to express themselves freely whilst demonstrating mutual respect and understanding for all those around them. Our curriculum is carefully sequenced so all students learn relevant topics at an appropriate time. They know more and remember more, grappling with contemporary issues in an appropriate way, preparing them fully for life beyond college.
All teaching staff fully understand the theory underpinning “Teaching and Learning @ St Bede’s” and has a varied toolkit of practical methods to implement these ideas. The faculty has a culture of constant improvement with the momentum for this coming from the Head of Faculty and by a well-qualified, skilled, and enthusiastic team.
The faculty is an outstanding and inspiring place to work. Our core mission is to ensure that each child is challenged and given every opportunity to flourish and grow spiritually, academically, and socially within a Christian environment, founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Everything we do has its foundation in love, and we want to encourage all in our community to partner with God, to walk in newness of life.