Skip to content ↓

In Social Sciences, a large part of our curriculum is intended to give our students the opportunity to develop analytical and evaluative skills.  In Religious Studies this is seen in both key stage three and key stage 4 though debate style responses that the students are invited to engage with in a considered way. In key stage three we use the 'flipped coin' strategy, where in lessons students are invited to present different arguments on a physical 'flipped coin' to help them see how the different arguments are being presented.  The strategy is then built upon in key stage four, where some students need to analyse and evaluate a wider range of arguments by introducing the jigsaw piece strategy.  This strategy enables students to see how different arguments can be used to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle to support the different religious points of view on the topics we are discussing.  

The analysis and evaluation skills are vital for students and their ability to present reasoned judgements which many will need after their time at National.  In the workplace, students will need to listen to the views of other people and work out their own opinion, which they are encouraged to do with both the flipped coin and jigsaw strategy.  At the end of the pieces of work, students need to reach a balanced conclusion, which is aided by looking over the different arguments they have planned on the coin or jigsaw piece and deciding which argument they feel is the strongest and be able to say why.

The skills that students are embedding through their Social Science curriculum also support the values of respect and humility, by giving time for empathy with people of other faiths and worldviews.  Religious studies in particular considers the world religions, but also the non-religious worldviews so students will have experience of debating and discussing a range of viewpoints throughout their time at National.

This year, some of the evaluative topics students have been asked to discuss have been:

Year 7: "The miracles Jesus performed are the best way to prove he was the Son of God".

Year 8: "You cannot prove the existence of God."

Year 9: "I need to behave now, because if I don't it will affect my life after death."

Year 10: "The only acceptable place for a sexual relationship is within marriage."

Year 11: "Human suffering means there cannot be a good God.” 

The strategies help students to see how arguments can be built in a visual way, which is helpful to see the different skills of evaluation and analysis to support the longer essay written responses.