Religious Education

Chapel 2SUBJECT INTRODUCTION

Religious education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops students’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions and other world views that offer answers to questions such as these. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development.

Religious Education is a core subject which produces outstanding GCSE results, with 83% achieving A*-C and 42% A*-A.

Aims of Religious Education

Religious Education is concerned with the deep meaning that individuals and groups make of their experiences and how this helps them give purpose to their lives.

The purpose of Religious Education is to help pupils to reflect upon the experiences and the mysteries of life and the contribution of religious and spiritual dimensions.

Religious Education should enable pupils to:

  • Acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions.
  • Develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures;
  • Develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues, with reference to the teachings of the principal religions and thereby develop confidence in their own beliefs and values;
  • Enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:
    • developing awareness of the ultimate questions of life raised by human experiences, and of how religions can relate to them;
    • responding to such questions with reference to the teachings and practices of religions and other belief systems, relating them to their own understanding and experience;
    • reflecting positively on their own identity, beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their study;
  • Develop positive attitudes:
    • of respect towards other people who hold views and beliefs different from their own;
    • towards living in and contributing to an inclusive and caring community and a society of diverse religions.

Religious Education is taught by Ms Holland (Head of RE), Ms Petrovics, Mr Dyer and Mr Williams. 

THE CURRICULUM

Key Stage 3

At KS3 students have one RE lesson per week and set homework every other week Students study the following topics:

Year 7

  • Introduction to RE
  • Festivals and celebrations
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Indian Traditions

Year 8

  • Christian Philosophy
  • Religious Rules and Laws
  • Spirited Arts (Philosophical Art)
  • Christian Charities

Year 9

  • Christian Ethics
  • Introduction to GCSE skills
  • Unit A - Relationships and Family (GCSE unit)

Students are assessed at the end of each half term through a range of assessments, including written GCSE style exams, debates, presentation and creative projects.

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

During KS4 students will be studying AQA Religious Studies A syllabus.  Students begin their GCSE content in Year 9 and continue into Year 10 when students investigate a variety of themes from a Christian perspective and with views from other world religions. Topics covered in Year 9 and Year 10 are:

  • Relationships and Family
  • Religion and Life
  • Existence of God and Revelation
  • Religion, war and peace
  • Religion, crime and punishment
  • Religion and social justice

In Year 11 students begin and in depth study on Christianity and Islam, investigating key beliefs, teachings and practices.

The AQA Religious Studies GCSE is examined in two exams at the end of Year 11. KS4 students receive weekly homework.

Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form - A Level

At KS5 students will study the OCR Religious Studies course. This course is split into three units, Philosophy of Religion, Religious Ethics and Developments in Christian Thought. It is examined by three, essay based, exams at the end of Year 13.

Students will study ancient philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, as well as debating issues such as the problem of evil and the existence of God. In the Religious Ethics unit, students will apply ethical theories to situations in order to delve into human morality and motivations for making decisions in ethical dilemmas. The Developments in Christian Thought unit explores theological issues such as how we can know anything about a transcendent God and whether Jesus was the Son of Good or merely a teacher of wisdom.

Students are set weekly homework and expected to complete regular essays in order to practice their ability to develop and criticise arguments.

ENRICHMENT & EXTRA-CURRICULAR

Students have the ability to develop their understanding of philosophical, religious and ethical issues through a number of extra-curricular activities. Philosophy courses will be offered to pupils, delivered by university lecturers and Year 8 and 9 students have the chance to enter a national competition to develop their own argument on a philosophical question. Year 12 and 13 students attend lectures delivered by Drs Peter and Charlotte Vardy to supplement their A Level studies.

LIFE AFTER CHRIST'S

Religious Education provides students with a range of skills which are transferrable to a number of different A Levels and degree subjects. The subject encourages students to think critically, analyse texts and develop arguments. These are essential skills within all humanities and social sciences subjects.

According to AGCAS - the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service, Philosophy and Ethics will prepare students for the following careers:

  • Financial services
  • Legal sector (Law)
  • Medicine
  • Politics
  • Consultancy
  • Journalism
  • Media sector
  • Education sector
  • Publishing sector
  • Social care sector
  • Voluntary sector
  • Social & pastoral care
  • Community work

LINKS & RESOURCES

You can find useful resources at the Philosophical Investigations website.

GCSE students will find the Mr McMillan Revision videos on Youtube beneficial for their revision.

BBC Bitesize - useful revision pages and quizzes for KS3 and KS4

TrueTube - videos on all aspects of religion and citizenship

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