Curriculum Statement - Beliefs and Values
“Difference is the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth, and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.” – John Hume
Powerful Knowledge in Beliefs and Values
To understand the world around us, and how we fit into that world, we must attempt to understand the cultures, traditions, customs and beliefs of the people we share it with, as well as developing a better understanding of who we are. It is every child’s right to become equipped with the powerful knowledge that will allow them to be a respectful, tolerant, and active citizen who can form and evaluate their own opinions whilst accepting those of other people.
Within Beliefs and Values and through the subjects of Religious Studies, PSHE and Citizenship, we believe that the powerful knowledge that enables pupils to achieve this understanding is through:
- being taught about how to make their own decisions about moral, ethical and current affairs
- understanding the differences and similarities we hold with others and to celebrate these
- being empowered on how to make decisions that will have a positive impact on their physical and/or mental wellbeing.
- understanding how to form respectful, meaningful and happy relationships through understanding of how we should treat others and how we should be treated
- knowing that many things are ambiguous, and developing empathy to see things from other perspectives
- developing pride in one’s own sense of self
- inspiring students to look beyond their own sphere of influence in order to open minds, reduce prejudiced views and limit narrow-minded behaviours
- knowing the choices that are open to everyone, and how to make the most of these choices
- being taught about key religious beliefs and practices and also how these practices impact society.
Beliefs and Values at Didsbury High gives students the opportunities to become aware of the world, the people and the issues that surround them. Religious studies explores philosophical, theological and sociological disciplines, through this academic rigour our pupils can develop a full understanding of what it means to be religious and how that looks in modern Britain and throughout the world. We intend for our students to recognise and appreciate diversity and develop an understanding of, respect for and tolerance towards others.
Students will learn about themselves, what it means to be a global citizen, religious and secular beliefs as well as Philosophical and Ethical theories. As part of this students will engage with living religions that are active and relevant in our world and in our school whilst also considering philosophical discussions about the nature of God and existence of Evil and suffering.
Through PSHE and Citizenship they will learn how to care for themselves and others, how to debate key topics and engage with modern and historical ethics and themes. Building on a basis of PSHE and Citizenship with religious knowledge gives students the power to apply the ideas of a range of other people to things that have an impact on them.
Students are asked to think politically, decisively and analytically in order to make their own decision, evaluate the decisions of others and engage with modern topics whilst being knowledgeable, respectful and thoughtful.
Out of the Beliefs and Values department we work with the local religious leaders, charities and organisations to ensure the religious make-up of our school is represented by guest speakers who can express their religious beliefs first hand thereby giving students an opportunity to engage with a living religion.
Students are invited to participate in the National Spirited Arts competition where they can apply themselves creatively to religious and philosophical themes. KS4 students are also invited to compete in the National Ethics cup competition, where they must debate and discuss a range of different ethical issues against teams from other schools.
PSHE and Citizenship curriculum is also complemented by assemblies, form times, drop down sessions and special events. We work with charities, organisations and agency to provide a full programme of events that enhance learning done in Beliefs and Values lessons, empowering pupils to be confident and active citizens. We have electives that pupils can take part in to help them with their identity and understanding of society, for example the Bee You group for LGBTQ+ pupils and their allies.