The OAKS Partnership School Direct Religious Education course attracts Trainee Teachers from a wide variety of backgrounds. You may be a recent graduate in Theology, Religious Studies (or in a related degree) or you may have worked in a range of occupations prior to commencing the course which will have provided you with an opportunity to develop your subject knowledge and wider experience of education and work. Whatever your background, you will have a love of beliefs, values and cultures with an enthusiasm for and a passion for conveying this to pupils and students.
Religious Education is a core National Curriculum subject (once adopted by the local Statutory Advisory Committee for Religious Education into a Locally Agreed Syllabus using the non-statutory guidance) but that apart, it is a multifaceted, fascinating and potentially contentious subject which allows considerable scope for the autonomy and personal qualities of the individual teacher. These facts are recognised in the course which encourages you to question the nature of the subject, to explore priorities and to develop constructive means for meeting the needs and interests of your pupils. You will consider the results of recent and relevant research and meet tried and tested teaching and learning strategies and programmes but, as importantly, you will be encouraged to develop your own ideas and strategies.
All aspects of the subject are addressed during the course, including meeting the requirements of the Locally Agreed Syllabus and national initiatives such as Assessing Pupil Progress (APP) and Assessment for Learning (AfL), and with focused study of Religious Education at post-16 you will not only be equipped to teach pupils and students in the 11-16 age range but will have opportunities to gain experience of teaching at the 16-19 level.
Through mostly practical workshops and seminars, the course considers meaningful contexts for the teaching of Religious Education including using a range of religious texts, use of places of worship for learning, thematic and subject specific focuses, questioning skills and using Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach, using symbol for concept lead topics, tackling difficult and contentious issues, and affirming beliefs for those belonging to a faith and those who do not. In addition to main methods seminars, all Trainees undertake supplementary courses in Media Studies and Drama, and there are opportunities for you to develop your experience and skill in the teaching and practice of Imaginative Writing.
Key models for the teaching of Religious Education are analysed and different styles of teaching are explored. You will be encouraged to read widely and to employ Information and Communication Technology (ICT), role-play and audio-visual aids such as electronic whiteboards in the classroom.
While the course aims to help you meet the Standards which qualify you to teach, it also has wider horizons which encompass the Induction (Newly Qualified Teacher) Year and the early years of teaching. Many of our ex-Trainee Teachers progress rapidly through the profession so we provide you with an appropriate foundation in knowledge, skills and understanding for meeting the teaching, administrative and management demands which lie ahead.
To sum up, the course aims to help you become a competent, professional and, above all, creative teacher, capable of developing the imaginations and abilities of the young people with whom you have the privilege of working.