Religious Education aims to provide students with the opportunity to explore and develop their personal beliefs and values.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 begins with a baseline assessment on Sikh pilgrimage to assess all students. They can work on this at home, complete extra research about Amritsar and will have level criteria to refer to so they can improve in their level.
We then study Christianity, looking at festivals, key beliefs, places of worship and charities. The students are assessed on this at the end of the topic and can again work on this assessment at home. Their assessment is about the key beliefs in Christianity. There are other homework tasks in the topic. For example, researching CAFOD and designing their own charity.
We move to a philosophy topic called ‘Looking for God’. In this, we look at the power of God, where God lives and what He looks like. We look at suffering and the creation of the world. The students are assessed at the end of the topic. This assessment is about how their ideas of God have been challenged in this topic. There are homework tasks set about the properties of God. The pupils are to find out the meanings of words such as omnipotent and omniscient and use them to describe ideas about God.
Next we look at Islam. We study festivals, key beliefs, places of worship and fasting. The students are assessed on this at the end of the topic and can again work on this assessment at home. This assessment is a comparison between Islam and Christianity; the students compare the differences in pilgrimage and worship. Homework tasks in this topic include writing a diary entry abut Ramadan and making an Eid card.
Finally, we look at Jesus, His life, the miracles He performed, His death and resurrection. The students put ‘Jesus in the dock’ and are to put a case together to either prove Jesus was a good man or not. They work on this for homework and it is part of a group task assessment the students complete in the lesson. This looks at their presentation skills and their ability to work together.
Year 8 begins with Hinduism. We look at festivals, key beliefs, places of worship and the different Gods. The students are assessed on this at the end of the topic and can again work on this assessment at home. This assessment is on some of the stories of Hinduism, for example the ‘Blind men and the Elephant.’ Homework tasks in this topic include designing their own God and comparing the differences between Hindu funerals and Christians funerals.
Next, we cover a project-based section called ‘Faith into Action.’ The students learn about key people from history that have put their faith into action, including Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Oscar Romero and Mother Teresa. The students then choose one of these people to work on and create a project about them. They produce information on their life and background, how they made a difference and their death. This project is completed in class and at home. This is a key assessment that enables us to look at how the pupils can work independently and prepares the pupils for GCSE RE.
We then move on to Judaism. We study festivals, key beliefs, places of worship and the ceremonies. The students are assessed on this at the end of the topic and can again work on this assessment at home. This assessment looks at the history of the Jewish people and what they have faced in the past. Homework tasks in this topic include looking at the Passover meal and Moses and the Ten Plagues.
Finally, we look at the environment, which is another project-based topic. We look at Christian’s teachings on the environment and Christians charities that work to keep the environment safe. Our pupils research at home and in lessons charities such as A Rocha and The Green Church Awards. Homework tasks include looking at the difference between Stewardship and Dominion Christians. The assessment for this topic is a project the pupils produce on their environment and how we can look after it.
Students begin year 9 studying Buddhism. They focus on the origins of this religion and explore the teachings of the Buddha. Students have an opportunity in class and within assessments to compare Buddhism with other wold religions they have studied in KS3; this allows students to reflect upon some pf the positives and negatives of belonging to a religion with no God. Homework tasks include looking at the idea of rebirth and karma.
In preparation for student’s subject options, students will have an opportunity to experience some GCSE Philosophy lessons. The Scheme of work focuses on the philosophy units that are studied by students siting a full course in RE. These topics include: Religion and science, Good and evil, End of life and Belief in Deity. Within these areas students will explore theories about creation (both scientific and religious), the problem of evil and the causes of suffering, also they will consider concepts and ideas about life after death/reincarnation. Homework tasks include practice GCSE questions and research tasks.
Finally, students study the religion of Sikhism, looking at festivals, key beliefs, places of worship and the 10 Gurus. Students are assessed in this unit with a focus on the 5 ‘K’s. Homework tasks include looking at the 10 Gurus and the 5 ‘K’s.
Key Stage 4
We offer Philosophy and Ethics for students in Key Stage 4 who choose to take a full course in RE. Over years 10 and 11, our students consider a number of ethical and philosophical issues. These include:
• Does God exist?
• What happens when we die?
• Is it right to help someone die if they have a terminal illness?
• Should abortion be allowed up to 24 weeks?
• Is it right to test on animals?
• When is it right for countries to go to war?
• What is discrimination?
• How did the world begin?
Pupils study units looking at medical ethics, peace and justice, equality and human relationships. Philosophical topics include religion and science, the end of life, belief in deity and good and evil. We expect our students to explore their own views and those of different Christian denominations. This is done via a wide range of teaching methods, including using video stimulus, researching on computers and taking part in debates.
This area is vital to understand the national and global world we live in. It will assist those wishing to go into a career where they will work with others and the public.
Students take Philosophy and Ethics over years10 and 11. They receive a full GCSE in RE. There is no coursework and at the end of Year 11, pupils will take four 1 hour exams. For each area they have studied, there are five questions which will ask them about their opinions and the views of others.
As well understanding how to answer GCSE questions, our students are asked to do mini research projects that examine moral and ethical issues. Homework can be completed by using a variety of preferred learning methods.
Students who do not choose Philosophy and Ethics as a GCSE option will have one hour per week core RE. These students will study the Ethics part of the course over years 10 and 11 and they will sit two 1 hour exams at the end of year 11; for this students will receive half a GCSE grade.
What can students go on to do after this course?
Religious Studies is now a very popular subject for further study in the Sixth Form. We cover Philosophy and Ethics, and look at all aspects of religion. Religious Studies is available here or through the Consortium.
Philosophy and Ethics help with the progression into many varied careers and roles, including lawyer, police officer, social worker, teacher, pilot and air stewardess.