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Religious Studies

Statement of Curriculum Intent

Religious Studies students will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues. Students will also gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture. They will develop analytical and critical thinking skills, the ability to work with abstract ideas, leadership and research skills. All these skills will help prepare them for further study.

Students should consider different beliefs and attitudes to religious and non-religious issues in contemporary British society. They should be aware that the religious traditions of Great Britain are, in the main, Christian, and that religious traditions in Great Britain are diverse. They include Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, as well as other religious and non-religious beliefs such as atheism and humanism. 

This means:

  • Students will study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity and their basis in Christian sources of wisdom and authority. They should be able to refer to scripture and/or sacred texts where appropriate.
  • Students will need to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of religion and beliefs, including the influence of the beliefs, teachings and practices studied on individuals, communities and societies.
  • Common and divergent views within Christianity in the way beliefs and teachings are understood and expressed should be included throughout.
  • Students will study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Islam and their basis in Islamic sources of wisdom and authority. They should be able to refer to scripture and/or sacred texts where appropriate.
  • Common and divergent views within Islam in the way beliefs and teachings are understood and expressed should be included throughout.
  • Students should be aware of different religious perspectives on the thematic issues studied within and / or between religious and non-religious beliefs such as atheism and humanism.
  • Students must also study religious, philosophical and ethical arguments related to the issues raised, and their impact and influence on the modern world.
  • Students will be expected to show their understanding of religion through the application of teachings from religion and beliefs.

 

In Religious Studies we learn about people.  By studying religion we explore important religious, philosophical, ethical, and social issues that affect us all.  The subject encourages reflection and debate in order to create a safe environment where students can learn and ask questions about different ways of life.  Above all, by learning how to respectfully explore contentious and challenging issues, we develop a better understanding of each other.  By learning about and from each other we become better, more tolerant and understanding members of a diverse, free and democratic society.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 acts as a bridge between the R.E. that students studied in primary school and the GCSE in Religious Studies.  Students develop the necessary skills and knowledge needed later on in Key Stage 4 by learning about the beliefs and practices of the 6 major world religions.  Students also explore philosophical and ethical issues that exist in society, and ways that we can learn from religious and spiritual figures.  Students are challenged to demonstrate their learning through questions inspired by the demands from Key Stage 4.  Additionally students are also encouraged to use iPads to enhance their learning, and many tasks that students will complete may involve a range of apps which enhances their learning. 

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 begins in Year 9 in the Religious Studies department as students are given the opportunity to study the GCSE.  This allows for a three year Key Stage which challenges our students since they have started a GCSE a year earlier than in other departments.  The use of iPads as a primary source of learning is a common feature in the department.  Students are challenged to explore various religious and academic sources to help them to acquire knowledge, rather than rely on the confines of a single textbook.  This approach to their studies helps students to learn rigorous research skills which, in turn, helps them to develop skill in assessing the validity and reliability of information available online.  The department teaches the AQA specification A (8062) whereby students study two religions in depth by examining their core beliefs, practices and ways of life.  The course also requires students to apply their knowledge and understanding of two religions to philosophical, moral, spiritual, and social contexts.  Students will study the nature of relationships and families in contemporary society, the place of religion in society and life, the existence and revelation of God, and the nature of crime and punishment.

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