What Is Religious Education?
Religious Studies seeks to inform pupils about the role religion plays in the lives of many people in the modern world. Religious Studies contributes to the moral, spiritual and ethical development of pupils, by enabling them to develop informed opinions, reasoned judgments as well as respect and tolerance for the beliefs and lifestyles of others. In particular, Religious Studies promotes critical thinking on a range of issues, many of which are topical.
At Key Stage 3:
In Year 7 pupils study 2 units “Journeys” and “Worship & Ritual”. In the first unit, pupils investigate special stages in the lives of Christians, Hindus and Jews, with a focus upon marriage and funeral customs. Pupils will be given the opportunity to discuss philosophical questions, such as “What happens when we die?” In the second unit, pupils will examine the importance of places of worship and communal worship, such as Holy Communion, Hindu puja and the Jewish Sabbath. Again these topics include philosophical elements.
In Year 8 pupils follow a unit called “Leaders &Texts” in which they will investigate the importance of holy books and religious leaders for believers. They will also evaluate the relevance of teachings such as the Ten Commandments. A thematic study of festivals is also a focus; pupils examine the festivals of Christmas, Easter, Divali and Pesach. Pupils will also study key elements from the religion of Islam.
In Year 9 pupils study Christian and Hindu ideas about God, suffering and creation from the unit “Looking for God”. The
religions of Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism are studied in the context of “Peace and Conflict”, where topics include
Martin Luther King, the Holocaust and Gandhi. The final unit is “Stewardship”, which allows pupils to evaluate the threats
to the planet and responses to this.
Pupils are continually assessed throughout the year, through homework tasks, projects and end of unit tests. Pupils will be given levels for 5 pieces of work in each year as well as an end of year examination
At Key Stage 4:
Pupils will either follow a Full Course or Short Course GCSE Qualification IN Years 10 & 11.
Full Course :
The WJEC Specification A is followed. In Year 10 pupils follow the Judaism option. A wide variety of aspects of this faith are studied, including rites of passage, festivals, worship, attitudes to moral issues such as abortion and euthanasia, holy writings and important Jewish figures. In Year 11 , pupils follow the “Christian Philosophy & Ethics” course. This involves philosophical questions, such as why there is suffering and whether God exists or not. Moral issues such as capital punishment and war are also studied.
Pupils follow the AQA Specification B - “Worship & Key Beliefs”.
Units studied include, places of worship, pilgrimage, worship, practices and belonging. These units are studied through the faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
Two examinations (duration – 1 hour 45 minutes) at the end of Year 11. There is no coursework. Pupils will be rigorously assessed throughout the course in terms of mock examinations, end of unit tests and extended writing opportunities.
The assessment follows the same path as Full Course although pupils will sit only one examination (duration – 1 hour 30 minutes) at the end of Year 11.
The department provides out of extra revision lessons, usually after school.
Out of lesson activities also include visits, to places of worship and in conjunction with the History Department, there is an opportunity for pupils to visit Poland and the Imperial War Museum, which focus on the Holocaust. Where appropriate guest speakers are also invited to speak to pupils.