Curriculum Overview – Islamic Studies
The Islamic syllabus covers five main areas which are imparted to students in a gradual and systematic way to understand and enhance their reflective and active learning processes within a British context. The main areas of study are:
Aqeedah – beliefs and dogmas
Ibadat – nature and philosophy of the Islamic rituals
Seerah – life of the Prophet
Islamic History – The Four Khalifs ,Biographies of Lives of the Sahabas, and Muslim civilisations.
Aadaab and Akhlaaq – morals, social ethics and Islamic spiritualism.
This curriculum has been developed considering the traditional Islamic teaching methodologies, such as Ramadan Al Buti’s evidential method coupled with Bloom taxonomy, Jean Piaget’s cognitive theory of learning, self-orientation learning and blended learning teaching approaches.
F2 is the stage where we need to acclimatise the child with their new learning environment. Students are introduced to the concept of Tawheed by identifying their own bodies and using their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation and wonder of the world in which they live in. Developing a vocabulary of religious words and listening and responding to stories of Prophets plays a prominent part in their initiation of Islamic knowledge. Students are introduced to the study of Seerah creating an opportunity to instil love of the Prophet and good character in them. To attain these objectives the usage of visual and auditory means, team work, play, motor and reflex system is adopted.
Year one is a crucial year as the child will be trained in acquiring two main skills: learning and self-development. The primary objective of their syllabus is to gain elementary knowledge of Tawhid, Seerah, Adab and Akhlaaq and Ibadat. While this knowledge is mainly factual in nature it helps develop their learning skills in a systematic way. Their learning is aligned to varying activities, such as: mix and match, flash cards, drawings and games. Knowledge of Akhlaaq and Aadaab is transmitted through stories of Sahabas and role plays.
Year two students can begin showing appreciation to more in depth lessons. Storytelling and relating to incidences and experiences of Prophets and Sahaaba is thus a dominant feature of their lessons. The focal point of the syllabus is firstly Aqeedah in which the life of Prophets is studied. From this they can extract lessons of love, trust, obedience and other important traits. Secondly, in Seerah students study and relate to the events during the youth of the Prophet. Quranic verses, Ahaadeeth and biographies of Sahabiyyat are also studied establishing a ground for Aadaab and Akhlaaq (morals and etiquettes). The significance, requisites and other relevant aspects of Salah, Sawm and Zakaah represent the learning content for Ibaadah.
Year three is an important educational transition whereby students are more aware of themselves and their environment. The primary aspect of the curriculum at this stage is to engage students with a cross-curriculum approach in order for the students to contextualise their secular knowledge within an Islamic ethos. The main content of the syllabus for this year is: dealing with more details on article of faith, such as introduction to the concept of prohethood and angels; biography of the Prophet focusing on events leading to the Hijrah; studying the lives of the Khalifs and lastly the philosophy of Ibaadah is reflected upon.
The objective of year 4 is to further consolidate the year 3 learning and development. Student will at this stage be required to analyse and apply their cognitive skills. Students are also given opportunities to start discovering knowledge. Several key topics are assessed: The selection of Hijrah for the start of the Islamic calendar, change of events in the life of the Prophet, the role of the Prophet as head of State, the history of Islamic civilization change its trajectory when the Banu Ummawiyah took the reign of leadership. The banu ummawiyah tribe is specifically opted as they contributed towards a centralised government and introduced many state departments. This helps student to compare and contrast with modern day UK policies and government. The combination of these opportunities and approaches are completed under the controlled environment of the classroom. Additionally previously taught knowledge is revisited using reflective learning techniques.
Year 5 is a start in preparing students towards a self-orientation learning which will equip them for their secondary education. From here the emphasis is on students researching and acquiring information from a range of sources. The educational skills and acumen developed over the years are synthesised in terms of revision and also more in-depth analysis of Islamic subjects. It is not simply a rhythmic memorisation of facts but these facts are to be processed and implemented in a wider society. Issues such as diversity and tolerance, ethics of living in a multi-cultural and pluralistic society, and interfaith dialogue from the life of the Prophet and Sahabas are analysed and contextualised. A wide spectrum of discourses, such as: the position of battles, need for compiling the Quran, experiences of Sahaaba, comparison of the concept of Godhead (unicity of God) in Christianity and the dictates of monotheism in Islam, rule and contributions of the Abbasids, is delved into so that students acquire a balanced application of Islam.
Year 6 is the pinnacle of the curriculum and it attempts to solidify the previous year’s curriculum development in that students will remember, understand, apply, analyse evaluate Islamic issues from the syllabus devise that will enable them to transit into a secondary school with a basic Islamic foundation and acclimatise and interact with the wider society. The syllabus extends itself on a wide horizon, covering topics such as social dimension of Islam, interfaith dialogue, civilizational conflict and remedy, compare and contrast lives and contributions of historical persons. Aqeedah requisitions the reflection and recognition of the power of our Creator through the study of space, the phenomenon of miracles, belief in the Hereafter and its effect on behaviour and the status of Wahi- Revelation. The program will help them develop five skills:
- Self-awareness, particularly of feelings surrounding an event
- Description of events
- Critical analysis i.e. the relevance of existing knowledge, challenging assumptions and imagining alternatives
- Synthesis i.e. findings of new meaning and perspectives.
- Evaluation, making judgements about the value of something or personalities.
HALAQA (Circle Time)
The principle of halaqah as a prophetic pedagogy that incorporates tarbiyah, ta’alim and taadib.
The traditional method of halaqah has always been part of tarbiyah. Muslim parents have always sat in circles with their children, telling Islamic stories and discussing Islamic beliefs and values. Prophet Muhammad (saw) established halaqah as a mode of tarbiyah. Although many of his companions were literate the transmission of learning was essentially oral and transformative. Islamic education has never been an ‘academic’ exercise; it has always been purposeful and transformative for individuals and society. We have taken this method and used it for developing essential Islamic values and etiquettes of behaviour. Each term we take a theme such as respect and develop from the personal to the community. Our aim is to make this practical, applicable and relevant.