Key Stage 3
The Religious Studies Department aims to encourage all students to discover their place in the world, and to live meaningful and fulfilled lives, by providing them with the framework within which they can explore world faiths surrounding them as well as on an international level. All students are encouraged to feel free to share their viewpoints and to seek to learn by listening to one another. Students are expected to achieve high academic standards and are challenged to think critically, learn from each other, and to question rigorously. By the end of the Key stage, students are expected to be able to have an understanding of the six world faiths, as well as work independently on a focussed project, which will involve them presenting to the class.
In Year 7 students cover the following:
- Term one: Hinduism
- Term two: Sikhism
- Term three: Buddhism
Within these topics, students cover main concepts including places of worship, their core beliefs, as well as cultural customs on a local and international level. In the spring and summer terms, students will be expected to present in groups on one of the topics they have covered. We also include Drama, Art, Geography, and English-based activities within the subject.
In Year 8 they cover the following:
- Term one: Islam
- Term two: Christianity
- Term three: Judaism
Students continue to learn about the 6 World Faiths and understand what life is like for people on a local as well as international level. An example of some of the topics we cover are The Five Pillars in Islam, The Resurrection in Christianity and The Holocaust in Judaism. Students will be expected to complete an independent ‘project homework’ – which will get them working on a unique area within one of the topics covered and will be assessed and students will be expected to present their project to their peers.
In Year 9 they cover the following:
- Term one: Rights & Responsibilities
- Term two: Environmental & Medical Ethics
- Term three: ‘Morality matters’
Students learn about different forms of rights and responsibilities within the UK and on a global level, including Human Rights. They have a platform to debate and are encouraged to consider a view they may normally oppose broadening their skills. They examine the case of Jamie Bulger and the ethical issues it raises on an individual as well as a national level. In Term two Students continue their exploration of ethical issues, examining the issues that arise in both environmental & medical ethics, including sensitive topics such as fertility treatments and transplant surgery. The summer term will see students explore morality issues including global genocide as well as The Holocaust, linking to the novel ‘The Sunflower,’ by Simon Wiesenthal. Throughout the year students will be expected to present independently as well as collaboratively.
Key Stage 4 – GCSE Year 10 and 11
Students in Years 10 and 11 study AQA Specification A which has 2 components. Year 10 begins with Component 1, which has as its main focus the beliefs and practices of the two chosen world faiths– Christianity & Islam. For example exploring beliefs about the existence of God, how those of faith share their beliefs with others, and what it means to be part of a worshipping community.
Component 2 examines moral issues, including those concerning crime and punishment, dilemmas surrounding quality and sanctity of life such as euthanasia, abortion, and the use of animals in research, and questions about how we should care for the world we live in including the effects of war and the use of weapons of mass destruction.
Throughout the two years, component topics are mixed in order for students to have variety throughout the course.