Broughton Business and Enterprise College is a mixed comprehensive school of 892 students aged 11-16 in a semi-rural area to the North of City of Preston.
The proportion of students from ethnic minority backgrounds is higher than average and includes Pakistani, Indian and Caribbean students, many of whom speak English as an additional language. The school recently received an Outstanding grading where RE had a specific mention: ‘Students achieve very well in religious education which, as one student stated, “doesn’t tell us what to believe, but makes us think about our values.”‘
How is RE distinctive?
- Teachers in the RE department work with their students encouraging their input into lesson planning and subject development.
- Learning is a partnership between teacher and students. Students have co-written module for the local RE syllabus.
- A core group of students are members of Lancashire SACRE’s youth group disseminating RE developments from Broughton to SACRE and vice versa.
- Planning centres on current issues and adapts to take in local, national and global issues as they occur.
- Good relationships have been built with local faith groups. Students communicate electronically with peers across the world though Face to Faith.
- High numbers of students opt for GCSE – the rest do not follow an examination course but experience very popular core RE curriculum.
- Classrooms are planned to help students engage and reflect when learning.
- Teachers ensure they refresh their enthusiasm and aptitude for RE through regular networking and CPD opportunities.
- There is excellent support from SLT.
What can other schools take from this?
- Find ways of enabling students to have input into planning for RE.
- Seize opportunities to allow students to use their RE to interact with local, national and global faith groups to make RE real.
- KS4 examinations are not the be all and end all – core RE can provide student centred learning to enrich students search for meaning as they explore big questions.
- Engaging SLT and governors with what RE is achieving results in support that promotes further growth for the subject.
- The classroom environment can make very positive contributions to learning.