Research Bulletin

January 2023 (updated June 2023)

Editorial Introduction

Kevin O’Grady, Lead Consultant for Research, Culham St Gabriel’s

Welcome to Issue 2 of the Culham St Gabriel’s Research Bulletin. We begin this 2022-23 edition with Helena Moore’s report of her University of Birmingham master’s research. Helena begins by noting how religious views towards same-sex relationships are commonly featured in GCSE Religious Studies specifications. She then turns to her own teaching experience to reflect that this might detrimentally impact pupil welfare if homophobic views are aired. Helena next turns to her study of three of her own Y9 classes through a mixed-methods approach, following a series of lessons preparing pupils for the relevant parts of GCSE. Though the pupils’ reception of the lessons was generally positive, some felt that their religious identities had not been respected, and there was a larger division on whether homophobic views had been raised in the lessons. Whilst Helena recognises the need for and intends further research, she makes several interim recommendations including intensive work on British Values and the Equality Act, safe space and inter-faith engagement, inclusion of Queer Theology and coverage of responses from beyond the Abrahamic faiths.

In a second article based on master’s research, Jasmine Jacques-Butterworth writes of how her development of a new lower secondary scheme of work for her own school addressed the four purposes of the new curriculum in Wales (that children should be: ambitious and capable learners; enterprising and creative; ethical and informed; healthy and confident). The scheme of work was developed within the Humanities and because it is based on the story of Martin Luther King, gives a central place to Religion, Values and Ethics, whilst it calls on various disciplines. Pupils’ responses to the teaching suggest that an integrated Humanities approach can succeed in addressing the four purposes of the curriculum, though all the stakeholders should be involved in the creation of a scheme of work, not just in its evaluation. This is one of Jasmine’s recommendations, as is that colleagues attend to how Religion, Values and Ethics can be included meaningfully in Humanities rather than as an insertion or a filler.

The teaching of religious attitudes towards homosexuality in the Religious Studies classroom: An exploration of pupil reflections Helena Moore

How well does a cross curricular Humanities Scheme of Work reflect the four purposes of the new Wales Curriculum 2022? Jasmine Jacques-Butterworth

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