Religious Studies department
Boys study Christianity and the fundamental tenets of the other five principal religions represented in the UK. They are Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.
Due to their representation in the school other religious traditions such as the Baha'i faith, Jainism and Zoroastrianism are also touched upon.
Religion is linked with contemporary and moral issues. For example: 'Was the war in Iraq morally justified?'
Pupils are taught to respect religions of fellow children and this should develop a sense of understanding and tolerance. The aim is to make the most of the variety of faiths represented at St Martin's.
Religious Studies in the Kindergarten and Pre-Prep
At this stage in pupils development religious education is not taught as an isolated subject, but as a stimulus and focal point for teaching a core set of values and developing appreciation, respect and understanding of different cultures and belief systems through cross curricular activities i.e., stories, art and music, 'circle times', assemblies and class talks investigating festivals and celebrations.
The curriculum is designed to help pupils develop social, moral, cultural and spiritual awareness, by thinking about their own beliefs, values and experiences and considering them against a background of other religious teachings.
Style of Teaching
"Teachers are seeking to initiate pupils into knowledge through exploration rather than into a system of belief which they are required to accept." (Durham Report).
The emphasis in the Senior School is on independent learning. Project work based on exploring enquiry questions, as well as study skills like the use of index cards and mind mapping are used. In addition, card sorts, role-play, DVDs, chants, interactive ICT programmes and art are some of the activities which add to the variety.
There are often no right answers and this is regularly explored through debating sessions.
Post 9/11 RE teaching
In Year 7 and 8 boys are provided with a more sophisticated understanding of RE as is required in a post-11 September world. Boys are made aware of ways in which religion is not always a force for good. The attempt is to teach religion 'warts and all.'