St Edmund’s is a school which is properly proud of its Christian foundation, of its strong links with Canterbury Cathedral and its status as a school of special religious interest. That does not mean, however, that it sees its mission as enforcing an expectation of Christian conformity on all its pupils – far from it; it is a school that embraces pupils of all faiths and which encourages them all to respect the beliefs of other faiths.
The teaching of Religious Studies at Lower Fifth (Year 9) level is compulsory, and looks at the core values that the major religions have in common. Many pupils exercise their option to continue to study Religious Studies to GCSE; again, this option is valued by those of all faiths, or, indeed, by those who have none. Pupils are encouraged to think about the answers provided by different faiths to the big questions surrounding being a good human being, and to explore their own beliefs and the reasoning behind the conclusions they draw. It is a subject that develops significant transferable skills such as constructing and articulating an argument, writing cogently and coherently, and thinking critically.
The Department’s key objectives at GCSE include:
- To raise pupils’ awareness of the links between current affairs and religious, philosophical and ethical ideas
- To encourage pupils to evaluate issues from a range of perspectives
- To enable pupils to construct and support arguments detailing their own views in relation to the religious beliefs of Christians and Buddhists, in particular
- To familiarise pupils with a diversity of beliefs within the Christian and Buddhist faiths
For full details of the GCSE course content and structure, see The Right Course.
The Department boasts two experienced and stimulating teachers who, between them, have taught to post-graduate level and published journal articles and teaching resources.