Why is the PTE curriculum as it is?
The PTE department in Bede Academy seeks to develop each student’s eternal, spiritual awareness, helping them to discover what being made in God’s image looks like, explore their gifting and purpose, and apply this to their own lives, the lives of others and their communities both in the present and future. PTE aims to develop a sense of student worth and gives students the opportunity to understand their local and global community, as well as themselves. Through a developed understanding of their own worldviews and the worldviews of the world in which they live, students can begin to understand their place within it, with knowledge of what other people and faith communities believe to be true. In line with the Academy aims, PTE seeks to provide excellence in academic achievement for students of all abilities, but also to allow for personal, moral and philosophical and spiritual development.
Biblical foundations underpin the Academy’s Christian ethos and PTE curriculum. This is such as the awareness of the interaction between God, through his word the Bible, and His people. Students will come to understand both the loving and wayward behaviours of humanity, mankind’s role in stewardship; mankind’s fallibility and tendencies; and the interpretation of patterns of blessing and adversity. They will develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and nations, enabling students to appreciate the link between faith and practice.
Students acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of the principle teachings of Christianity and understand why Christians believe that these Biblical principles are relevant to modern life. Students have the opportunity to give their own opinions and can give a reasoned response before accepting or rejecting them. We recognise the importance of PTE in the everyday life of all people including our students. All topics are designed with the intention to inspire, engage and challenge students in a relevant way to the student’s world.
Our aim is to give all children an understanding of the awe and wonder of the world we live in, to explore how and why the world is corrupted and not the way it should be, and to consider how it might be redeemed and restored and the purpose our students have in this. Students will also gain an understanding of their unique identity and value and how this derives a sense of purpose and direction in their lives. Substantive knowledge is developed to ensure our students are ready to continue to develop their understanding of and skills in PTE with the ability to interrogate and evaluate sources as well as the fundamental knowledge and understanding of world religions and worldviews, ethics and theology.
Key concepts are built on and re-visited in order to ‘make it stick’. This model allows children to build on prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for topics whilst embedding this knowledge into their long-term memory and allowing them to make connections with previous learning and context in which they live their lives.
Disciplinary knowledge is embedded into each topic students study and are re-visited and developed throughout the school spiralling up into GCSE and A-Level. All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including identifying, interpreting and evaluating knowledge and evidence of sources of philosophy, worldviews, theology and ethics. As students mature they come to understand that their beliefs and behaviours reflect the worldview of their creator, and that consideration of alternative worldviews increases their understanding of the beliefs and behaviours of others. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. To promote respect for truth and to provide students with a foundation in certainty, PTE teaching at Bede Academy begins by emphasising the foundational sources of knowledge that underpins the subject, before moving to consider the role of alternative worldviews of others.
Where possible, links are made to our local context of Blyth – especially the religious historical context, prevailing worldviews in the community and how these impact on the social and economic culture of Blyth – where we strive to enthuse our students into thinking about their character and how that influences their career and life choices in the present and future.
Enrichment opportunities, such as visits and day events (such as visits to the Mosque and Church, Christian initiatives for people in poverty overseas), and activities and initiatives brought into the academy by external groups are planned for to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of both substantive and disciplinary knowledge. Some of these events also involve families and the wider community.
Through our teaching of PTE, we seek to reveal the fascinating variety of human experience by teaching a broad spectrum of topics and issues to show the students how belief and worldview impact on every area of life, both personally but also in the wider communities of family and society.
PTE seeks to encourage our students into the academy learning community by providing the knowledge and skills that are central to enable them to consider their own beliefs and the beliefs of others to better understand their role and purpose in society.
Through the development of a cooperative and respectful learning community, relevant values developed in students include: honesty, integrity, accountability, responsible stewardship, cooperation, clarity, validity, discernment and logical reason, creativity, beauty, perseverance, respect for life, precision, judgement in interpretation and accuracy. These values are taught through the reference to and understanding of religious scripture, reference to the examples set by some of the characters from the Bible and Christians throughout history. These include Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Esther, David, Amos, Mary, Jesus, the disciples, Paul, Martin Luther King Jnr, William Tyndale, William Wilberforce, Nicky Cruz, Cory Ten Boom.
The sources of character values are explored, together with the application of character to ethics, and the application to other worldviews and world issues.
Subjects include GCSE Religious Studies and A-level Religious Studies.