Religious Education and Religious Studies

At Key Stage 3 we teach a broad curriculum in Religious Education covering a variety of religions and themes.

In Year 7, students consider the following questions and topics.

What is RE? This includes the basics of religion as well as themes such as caring for others, different types of belief, respecting the beliefs and opinions of others.

How and why do people worship? This unit of work covers the religion of Hinduism and delves into the reasons for worship as well as the different forms worship may take.

Why was Gautama Buddha so special? This topic covers in detail the beginning of Buddhism and the place religious stories have within religion. Students also look at the values taught by Buddhism.

What are we doing to the environment? This topic deals with the issue of mankind’s treatment of the planet and the consequences associated with it. We look at the views of all six main world religions on the treatment of the planet and also non-religious views such as the beliefs of Native Indians.

In Year 8, students consider the following questions and topics.

What is the best type of guidance? This topic is based on the idea of a newly settled planet called Planet X. Students produce an essay explaining which type of guidance they think is best suited to the population of Planet X. Christianity, Judaism and Islam are studied in this topic.

Did Jesus Save the world? The focus of this topic is Christianity and the importance of Jesus to Christians. The idea of Jesus as a saviour is explored, as well as the work of Christian charities.

In Year 9, students consider the following questions and topics.

Where are we going? This topic explores the theme ‘life after death’. Students explore their own, others’, religious, atheist and secular views on what happens after death. Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism are the main religions studied.

Does suffering make it impossible to believe in God? This topic revolves around the study of the theme of good and evil. Students are introduced to some of the core ideas religious people have about God and questions non-religious people may ask about the existence of God.

At Key Stage 4 students follow a programme of study leading to the OCR GCSE in Religious Studies, Specification B: Philosophy and Applied Ethics.

Students study in depth religious beliefs and teachings in a way which is relevant to the society we live in today. There is a focus on two main world religions: Christianity and Islam.

There are four units within the programme: B601: Philosophy 1; B602: Philosophy 2; B603: Applied Ethics 1; B604: Applied Ethics 2

In Year 10 students study units B602 Philosophy 2 and B603 Applied Ethics 1.

B602 Philosophy 2 topics

  1. Religion, Good and Evil. (God, the Devil, The Fall, Original Sin, Suffering and responses, morality).
  2. Religion, Reason and Revelation. (Revelation, religious and mystical experience, conversion, prayer, worship, miracles, prophet-hood, Jesus and Prophet Muhammad, The Bible and The Qur’an)
  3. Religion and Science. (Origins of the world, origins of humanity, Creationism, Evolution, The Big Bang theory, stewardship and the environment, the treatment of animals and the relationship between mankind and animals)

B603 Applied Ethics 1 topics

  1. Religion and Human Relationships. (Marriage, divorce, remarriage, roles of men and men in society and religion, civil partnerships, sexual relationships, contraception)
  2. Religion and Medical Ethics. (Sanctity of Life, abortion, suicide, euthanasia, fertility treatment, cloning, genetic engineering and the use of animals in medical research)
  3. Religion, Poverty and Wealth. (Attitudes to wealth and poverty, the causes of hunger, poverty and disease in the world, responding to the needs of the starving, poor and sick, teachings about money and its correct use, moral and immoral occupations, charity and zakat)

In Year 11 students study units B602 Philosophy 1 and B603 Applied Ethics 2.

B601 Philosophy 1 topics:

  1. Belief about Deity (Beliefs about God/Allah, The Trinity, Reasons for belief in God/Allah, Miracles in Christianity and Islam, Jesus as God Incarnate and Prophet Muhammad’s teachings of the nature of Allah)
  2. The End of life (Beliefs about and relationship between the body and soul, God as Judge, Salvation and Redemption, Christian and Muslim funerals, Heaven and Hell, Supporting the bereaved)

B604 Applied Ethics 2 topics:

  1. Equality (Religious teachings on equality, religious views on prejudice and discrimination, racism, sexism, the role of women in religion, religious attitudes to other religions, reconciliation and forgiveness)
  2. Media (The influence of the media, portrayal of religions in the media, portrayal of religious figures in the media, censorship, the religious views on the portrayal of sex and violence in the media, religions representing themselves using media)

At the end of year 11 students will sit four one-hour exams to gain a Full Course RS GCSE qualification.