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The RS and P4C Specialist

Currently teaching across the Key Stages as the Head of Ethics in an inner-city comprehensive secondary school. Previously I have taught Humanities in an inner-city secondary school and have experience of teaching Geography at KS3, as well as History at KS3 and KS4. A Religious Studies and Philosophy specialist, having studied Philosophy at university and taught RS at KS3, KS4 and KS5.

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Currently teaching across the Key Stages as the Head of Ethics in an inner-city comprehensive secondary school. Previously I have taught Humanities in an inner-city secondary school and have experience of teaching Geography at KS3, as well as History at KS3 and KS4. A Religious Studies and Philosophy specialist, having studied Philosophy at university and taught RS at KS3, KS4 and KS5.
Comparing Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism
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Comparing Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism

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NEW 2018 AQA Religious Studies Specification ‘A’ lesson on ‘Buddhist Beliefs and Teachings’ following the 1-9 grading criteria. The lesson includes differentiated tasks for every activity, designed to stretch and challenge all students. Students investigate and compare some of the main features of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism including differences regarding; sunyata, Buddhahood, the five aggregates, kamma and nibbana. This can be done through a carousel task, or peer teaching, with students being asked to take notes from the information sheet. Students then use their knowledge to create a poster outlining the key differences between the two types of Buddhism, with particular emphasis on the concept of 'self' and 'enlightenment'. The spinning plenary wheel, allows for a random plenary from a selection of 8.
Explore the meaning of the Three Marks of Existence for Buddhists
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Explore the meaning of the Three Marks of Existence for Buddhists

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NEW 2018 AQA Religious Studies Specification ‘A’ lesson on ‘Buddhist Beliefs and Teachings’ following the 1-9 grading criteria. The lesson includes differentiated tasks for every activity, designed to stretch and challenge all students. The first task gets students to explore the definitions of the three marks of existence, before completing a specific task on each mark of existence; dukkha, anicca and anatta. For dukkha, students investigate different causes of suffering. For anicca, students consider ways in which humans change over time in different ways. This is extended during the anatta task, to include specific elements of a person and what makes someone who they are. Students then respond to 'sacred writing' through the story of Kisa Gotami and link it to all three marks of existence. As a plenary, students complete a 'why-tree' based on the key question: why does suffering happen?
Muslims festivals and commemorations
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Muslims festivals and commemorations

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NEW 2018 Edexcel Religious Studies GCSE lesson on Living the Muslims Life, with a focus on Sunni and Shi'a festivals and commemorations. The lessons follows the new 1-9 grading criteria with stretch and challenge tasks built into every activity. The main task revolves around using De Bono's Hats to thoroughly examine four Muslims festivals; Id-ul-Fitr, Id-ul-Ghadeer, Id-ul-Adha and Ashura, including their origins, purpose and relevance to Sunni and Shi'a Muslims respectively. Students then get the opportunity to respond to sources of wisdom and authority relating to Muslim festivals, before applying their knowledge to a practice exam question. There is a student friendly mark scheme to allow for either self- or peer-assessment. The plenary allows students to reflect on their performance using Personal Learning and Thinking Skills as prompt questions.
Symbols and artefacts in Christian worship
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Symbols and artefacts in Christian worship

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NEW 2016 Religious Studies KS3 curriculum lesson on the symbols and artefacts used by Christians during worship. The lesson focuses on symbols and artefacts linked to Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Church services. Quotes from the 'Last Supper' in the Bible are used as sources of wisdom and authority to get students to explore why religious symbols have survived thousands of years and are important to Christians today. The plenary asks students to use scrabble tiles to create between 2 and 5 words linked to the lesson and compete to get the highest scoring words.
The Tri-Murti in Hinduism
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The Tri-Murti in Hinduism

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A lesson exploring the relationship between the Tri-Murti and Brahman in Hinduism focusing on the characteristics of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in relation to Brahma as a whole. Suitable for all Key Stages - but especially effective at GCSE or A-level. Video clip to play in conjunction with slide 4 - what is a mum?.
The Design Argument
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The Design Argument

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KS3 lesson based on the NEW SACRE RS specification, focusing on Paley's Watch argument and how this can lead to a Christian belief in God. Also suitable as an introduction to the Design Argument for KS4.
Dependent Arising in Buddhism
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Dependent Arising in Buddhism

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NEW 2018 AQA Religious Studies Specification ‘A’ lesson on ‘Buddhist Beliefs and Teachings’ following the 1-9 grading criteria. The lesson includes differentiated tasks for every activity, designed to stretch and challenge all students. Students are hooked into the lesson by a picture of the Buddhist Wheel of Life and asked to ask a question about it, without any further context before engaging with the concept of 'dependent arising' through its definition. Students then complete a creative task, by adding key information to a diagram of samsara focusing on: samsara, kamma, nibbana, the three poisons, the nidanas and the various realms. This task can be done in a variety of ways, either as a poster, leaflet, mind-map, carousel task (and many more). Students then use sacred writing to evidence Buddhist beliefs in dependent arising before applying their knowledge to a GCSE exam type question, including scaffolded sentence starters and a student friendly mark scheme, which can be used for self- or peer-assessment. As a plenary, students attempt to answer their question about the Wheel of Life from the starter task.
The purpose of life from a Christian perspective
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The purpose of life from a Christian perspective

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A GCSE or A-level lesson exploring the Christian view on the purpose of life using sources of wisdom and authority including Aquinas' Natural Law, the Biblical creation story and the 10 Commandments. I have used this lesson to introduce the topic of abortion and euthanasia and get students to understand the underlying values and principles which shape the Christian beliefs on the purpose of life. There is plenty of scope to teach this lesson through class discussion which always goes down well on this topic.
Introduction to Morality and Ethics
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Introduction to Morality and Ethics

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An introductory lesson to morality and ethics revolving around 5 contentious moral issues, which students are asked to respond to through discussion. A very engaging lesson that motivates all students to participate and promotes debating skills. In my experience, this works best when students can discuss each issue in groups before feeding back to the class and allowing different groups to go into short 'head-to-head' debates. Alternatively, this works very well in a P4C format, where each student is given a set amount of contribution tokens for the lesson and has to 'pay' for every contribution and can then no longer contribute when they are out of tokens. This really forces students to consider when to put forward their view.
Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies 2018 Assessment Criteria
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Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies 2018 Assessment Criteria

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NEW Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies 2018 assessment criteria. A PPT with templates for the new GCSE style questions (a, b, c and d) for use during lessons or assessments with students at KS4. There is a clear and student friendly breakdown of the new question types, including tips for how to answer each question as well as sentence starters. There is also a student friendly mark scheme for each question, perfect for use as peer- or self-assessment. There are also basic instructions for how to write in PEE paragraphs as well as a student friendly overview of the requirement for both AO1 and AO2. Also included is a single information sheet with the assessment criteria, brief instructions for how to answer each question (a, b, c and d) and a breakdown of marks for every question, which has been extremely useful for students to use either as revision, during an assessment, or as a self- or peer-marking sheet.
AQA GCSE Religious Studies 2018 Assessment Criteria
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AQA GCSE Religious Studies 2018 Assessment Criteria

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NEW AQA GCSE Religious Studies 2018 assessment criteria. A PPT with templates for the new GCSE style questions (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) for use during lessons or assessments with students at KS4. There is a clear and student friendly breakdown of the new question types, including tips for how to answer each question as well as sentence starters. There is also a student friendly mark scheme for each question, perfect for use as peer- or self-assessment. There are also basic instructions for how to write in PEE paragraphs as well as a student friendly overview of the requirement for both AO1 and AO2. Also included is an information sheet with the assessment criteria, brief instructions for how to answer each question (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) and a breakdown of marks for every question, which has been extremely useful for students to use either as revision, during an assessment, or as a self- or peer-marking sheet.
Christian views on gender prejudice and discrimination
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Christian views on gender prejudice and discrimination

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NEW GCSE Edexcel RS specification. A lesson focusing on Christian attitudes to prejudice and discrimination, leading into a discussion on divergent Christian denominations and their views on women playing a leading role in the Church. There is a practice exam question built in at the end of the lesson for students to examine both sides of the argument for women as Church leaders.
Christian and Buddhist attitudes to the use and abuse of animals and the environment
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Christian and Buddhist attitudes to the use and abuse of animals and the environment

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NEW 2018 AQA Religious Studies Specification ‘A’ lesson on ‘Buddhist Beliefs and Teachings’ following the 1-9 grading criteria. The lesson includes differentiated tasks for every activity, designed to stretch and challenge all students. Students identify different uses and abuses of animals and the environment and which are acceptable, as well as suggesting possible solutions to unacceptable treatment. Students reflect on their learning so far with a progress bridge linked to the learning outcomes. A YouTube video by Al Gore introduces global warming and students identify areas of pollution. Students then respond to sacred writing from both Christianity and Buddhism, followed by another progress bridge linked to the learning outcomes. Lastly, students respond creatively to case studies and information from Catholic Christianity, the Parable of the Talents and Buddhism and the Holy Isle project.
PEEL writing structure
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PEEL writing structure

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Excellent revision tool to use with GCSE and A-level students to stretch them in their written work and improve paragraph fluency, particularly in Humanities subjects.
The importance of Al-Quadr (Predestination) in Islam
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The importance of Al-Quadr (Predestination) in Islam

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NEW 2016 Edexcel Religious Studies GCSE lesson on the importance of Al-Quadr in Islam, following the 'Religion, Peace and Conflict through Islam' unit. The lesson is split into Muslim beliefs on predestination focusing on the universe as a whole as well as relating to human lives in particular. There is a strong focus on using sources of wisdom and authority from the Qur'an and for students to interpret Muslim beliefs based on religious teaching. There is also an exploration of the concept of Free Will in Islam and how this is interpreted differently by divergent Muslims following both the Sunni and Shia traditions of Islam. Students use the Hadith Sahih Al-Bukhari 78:685 as a source of wisdom and authority to suggest if Free Will can be compatible with a belief in predestination.
Belonging
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Belonging

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NEW 2016 KS3 Religious Studies curriculum lesson on the topic of 'Belonging'. This lesson introduces the concept of belonging in itself and explores how belonging relates to all aspects of human life. To help students grasp this concept, the example of school life is used to demonstrate how belonging can affect behaviour, attitude and appearance as well as bring benefits to each member of the community. Students then have the opportunity to write a paragraph about a community they belong to, which is peer assessed. The plenary asks students to create a Wordle about the topic of belonging. This is a great introductory lesson which engages all learners.
The role of the prophets in Islam
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The role of the prophets in Islam

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NEW 2016 Edexcel Religious Studies lesson on the role of the prophets in Islam following the 'Religion, Peace and Conflict through Islam'. Students start off exploring the nature of prophet-hood and the importance of prophets in religion. Students investigate the history and importance of all the prophets in Islam including; Adam, Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma'il (Ishmael), Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Isa (Jesus) and Muhammad. Students then get the opportunity to create a Facebook profile for one of the prophets. Finally, students evaluate reasons why the prophets are still important and relevant to Muslims today. The plenary involves students reflecting on their learning and progress through the PLTS (Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills).
Christian and Islamic responses to Abortion
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Christian and Islamic responses to Abortion

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GCSE lesson on the Christian and Islamic responses to abortion. Includes reference to Christian teachings and sources of wisdom and authority as well as a GCSE exam question WITH a model answer in line with the Edexcel specification up to 2017.
What is a belief?
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What is a belief?

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A KS3 Religious Studies lesson, using an enquiry based approach to learning and based on Christianity as a way to explore belief in God. Following the 2018 Berkshire SACRE agreed syllabus with a focus on exploring the principles of ‘believing, belonging and behaving’ in a religious context and secular context. This is lesson 1 of the topic ‘What do I believe’ and asks students to differentiate between fact, opinion and belief and apply this to a discussion about theism, atheism and agnosticism. The key question for the lesson is; ‘Is it reasonable to believe in God in the 21st Century?’.
Did God make the world
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Did God make the world

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A Philosophy for Children lesson suitable for KS3, exploring the concept of philosophy and facilitating independent thinking about the origins of the universe. Key words: God, Looking for God, who is God, did God make the world, philosophy, what is philosophy, the universe, who created the universe, the nature of God, KS3, RE, beliefs and values,