Virtue and Ethics Education (VEE) Programme
In recognising Religious and Ethics Education as one of the eight Learning Areas, the National Curriculum Framework acknowledges that this area contributes to what is "Essential knowledge, skills and attitudes which learners are expected to acquire" (Ministry of Education and Employment 2012 p.34). Consequently, Religious and Ethics Education is an entitlement for all learners, regardless of their belief system. Through Religious and Ethics Education, learners will receive a holistic education that:
• leads to a process of self-discovery, developing the moral and spiritual dimensions,
• contributes towards their capacity to value, appreciate, perceive and interpret the world they live in,
• seeks to educate the notion of the dignity of the human being and the responsibility of each individual towards others for the building of a better society and a better world.
• nurtures and enhances a sense of spiritual self.
• develops their own identity and understanding of their cultural identity.
• promotes values that include justice, personal responsibility, respect, reflection and active engagement in moral issues. (Ministry of Education and Employment 2012, p.35)
In a constantly changing world, the aim of the Virtue and Ethics Education Programme (VEE) is to nurture the learners' character by encouraging them to become virtuous agents. The VEE programme will encourage our learners to formulate, explore and become committed to the question of "Who should I become within the context I live in?". In this way, VEE aims at nurturing the learner's moral and spiritual self.
Our Virtue and Ethics Education programme will promote an engagement with one's own and with one's family's belief system, as well as an exploration of the concepts, narratives and practical wisdom that have been developed over the millennia by different individuals and human communities. It will help our learners to connect to their human nature in order to fulfil their unique potential.
VEE will contribute to the formation of learners' (a) Symbol literacy, (b) Spiritual dimension and (c) Virtue Ethics.
Through Symbol Literacy students are empowered to connect and relate to their contextual realities. Learners will seek to answer the following questions as well as others: What is a good reason? What constitutes a fair society? Why does a global world create groups? What does it mean to be European? What does the Mona Lisa tell us about her community?
The Spiritual Dimension will seek to raise issues that may answer the following questions as well as others: What do animals need to live good lives? Does anyone own the forests, oceans and the atmosphere? How should we treat living things?
Students will develop Character and Virtues by being involved in cognitive, perceptual, emotional and behavioural processes that explore the good life. Learners will seek to answer the following questions as well as others: When should we give reasons? What are secrets and when and why is it OK to share them? What is prudence? Why is patience important in the modern world?
The VEE Programme will use an inquiry-based learning approach.
This Programme runs back-to-back with the Religious Education Programme at Chiswick House School and St Martin's College and therefore, students must opt for either one or the other. Parents whose children opt out of the Religious Education Programme are to apply for the Virtue and Ethics Education Programme.
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