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Religious Education

R.E Curriculum Overview 2017/18 

Religious Education challenges pupils to ask questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life: Why are we here? Does God exist?  Is there a life after death? How was the universe created?  It encourages pupils to respect themselves and understand their own identity.  In R.E pupils learn about different world religions and how they should be tolerant and respect others, whose faiths and beliefs may be different to their own.  Religious Education is not about being ‘religious’, it is about helping pupils to live harmoniously with others in multicultural Britain.  It promotes discussion and encourages pupils to think for themselves about ultimate questions and moral issues.

 

Key Stage 3

Year 7

What is religion? Introduction to the study of religion using key skills and religious language. It includes the opportunity for a visit to local churches.  The second half of the unit poses the question: What would a church for all Christians be like? Christianity is studied as a local religious community; Atheism and Agnosticism are studied as secular world views.

What does justice mean to Christians? Investigation of different meanings of the word ‘justice’.  Case studies of Maria Cristina Gomez and Desmond Tutu.  The unit challenges pupils to engage in responsible social action themselves.  Investigation of Christian religious beliefs and practices through examining social justice in the preaching and actions of Jesus.

Year 8

Is it right to eat animals?  Investigation of a moral issue (animal welfare) and exploration of personal and religious responses to it.   The basic religious issues are: do animals matter as much as humans? Do they have rights? Case study of the cow protection scheme at Bhaktivedanta Manor.

How and why do people worship?  Investigation of worship as both a personal and a communal activity.  The unit is built around the analogy of a growing plant and Hinduism is used as a case study.

Year 9

From life to death: where are we going? The unit poses the fundamental question about what happens to us when we die.  It explores a range of viewpoints, secular and religious. The main aim is to help pupils to understand, compare and evaluate religious beliefs and practices about death and then in light of their learning, to give a personal response.  This unit addresses the complexity of identity and who or what makes us what we are. 

Who am I? This unit addresses the complexity of identity and who or what makes us what we are.  It draws on religious material for examples of how religion – Christian, Muslim and Jewish – affects identity.

Believing in God  This unit gives a taster of what it is to study RE at GCSE level.  The main aim is to get pupils thinking about their own personal beliefs about God and religion, be them atheist, theist or agnostic beliefs.  Encouraging pupils to develop and express their opinions enables them to practice this key skill which is essential at GCSE level.

 

Key Stage 4

GCSE Religious Studies is an Edexcel Full-Course qualification.  The course is split into two units: Religion and Life based on a Study of Christianity and Islam (Unit 1) and Islam (Unit 11).  Unit 1 requires students to study the relationship between religion and life in the U.K.  There are four sections covering believing in God, matters of life and death, marriage and the family and religion and community cohesion.  Unit 11 requires students to study the nature of Islam and its effects on the lives of Muslim believers in the UK.  There are four sections covering beliefs and values, community and tradition, worship and celebration, and living the Muslim life.

Each unit is worth 50% of the final exam score.  Both units are sat as examinations (1 hour 30 mins each) at the end of Year 11. 

 

Future Opportunities

GCSE Religious Studies is a stepping stone to a wide range of future opportunities.  The skills you develop will support you in further studies and employment.  Many GCSE Religious Studies students go on to study the subject at A Level and degree level at university.  When you enter the world of work, you will be expected to work alongside people with different beliefs to your own.  Religious Studies will help you to understand how to work with people of all faiths and cultures.  These skills are important in all careers, especially professions such as the police, teaching, the law, the caring professions and the armed forces.

 

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

At Key Stage 4 extra revision sessions are held each week after school. Revision days are also held during the Easter and half term holidays. In Key Stage 3 there is a visit to local churches and a visit to Chester to explore a religious building and experience its architecture, history and worship.  In Key Stage 4 pupils visit a mosque as part of their Islam unit of work.