Religious Studies

Why do we study Religious Studies?

1. Religious Studies is all about critical thinking and rigour in the search for truths in uncertain fields. It encourages philosophical thought, decision making skills, collaboration and independent working skills and the search for compromise and conflict resolutions that work. It creates opportunities for young people to develop their skills of dialogue, interpretation and analysis in a coherent context. All these are vital skills in a modern workforce where communication, collaboration and cooperation are core skills.

2. Religious Studies has a multidisciplinary nature, involving textual study, philosophical thinking, ethics, social understanding and the skills of analysis and reasoning developing core skills of literacy.

3. Religious Studies makes a key and unique contribution to understanding British heritage, plurality, values and futures. It provides an excellent opportunity for young people to engage with contemporary contentious issues, developing social, cultural, political, philosophical and historical awareness.

4. In Religious Studies, students learn to respect themselves and understand their own identity, to respect others, and to understand their own and others’ rights and responsibilities. At a time when communities are becoming more diverse there is an even greater need for a more religiously literate and tolerant society. Religious Studies plays a key role in creating social cohesion and generating genuine understanding between communities reducing friction, intolerance and social unrest.

Year 7

Learning Outcomes

Students start by looking at key concepts within religion including rituals, pilgrimage, sacred texts and divisions.
We then look at key philosophical arguments and try to make sense of why people might believe in a God.

In this topic we look at what our focus religions believe about God including:
• Judaism
• Christianity
• Islam
• Hinduism

Finally, Year 7 students focus on one religion (Hinduism) and look at its beliefs and practices.

Topics Taught

Autumn Term

The Island: How does religion shape our lives?

Does it make sense to believe in God?

Spring Term

What do religious people believe about God?

Summer Term

What does it mean to be Hindu?

Year 8

Learning Outcomes

In Year 8 students focus on a second religion (Judaism) and look at its beliefs and practices. Building on this work, students then look at the Shoah (Holocaust) and the impact this has had on the Jewish faith. Students then look at the Shoah and the impact this has had on the Jewish community.

Once we have completed our two focussed studies of a religion (Hinduism and Judaism) we can start to look at how religious people put their faith into action. We start by looking at worship and the ways in which Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus use buildings, festivals, actions and music to worship. Students then develop their understanding of religious expression further by considering how religious faith impacts upon the celebration of key moments in our lives by looking at marriage as a rite of passage and the different celebrations and significance of marriage.

Topics Taught

Autumn Term

What does it mean to be Jewish?

What was the Shoah?

Spring Term

How do religious people worship God?

Summer Term

Rites of Passage:
How do religious people celebrate marriage?

Year 9

Learning Outcomes

In Year 9 students begin to consider how faith might impact the way that people live and think about ultimate questions. Students start by considering what happens to us when we die by looking at our focus religion’s views.

Students then consider how faith might impact the decisions that people make in a range of moral dilemmas including abortion, fertility treatment and euthanasia.

Finally, students consider how faith can impact how we engage with the world; the way we treat others, the values we stand for and the choices we make.

Topics Taught

Autumn Term

What happens to us when we die?

Spring Term

How might people of faith make moral decisions?

Summer Term

What does justice mean to people with a religious faith today?

Year 10

Exam Specification

Learning Outcomes

Students are taught that Christianity and Islam are two of the diverse religious traditions and beliefs in Great Britain today and that the main religious tradition in Great Britain is Christianity.

Students study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity and Islam as specified by the exam board and their basis in Christian and Islamic sources of wisdom and authority.

Students study religious teachings and religious, philosophical and ethical arguments, relating to the issues that follow, and their impact and influence in the modern world. They are aware of contrasting perspectives in contemporary British society on all of these issues. They must also be able to explain contrasting beliefs on identified issues with reference to the main religious tradition in Britain (Christianity).

Topics Taught

Autumn Term

Christian Belief

Islamic Belief

Spring Term

Religion and Families

Religion and Life

Summer Term

Religion and Crime

Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice

Year 11

Exam Specification

Learning Outcomes

Students are taught that Christianity and Islam are two of the diverse religious traditions and beliefs in Great Britain today and that the main religious tradition in Great Britain is Christianity.

Students study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity and Islam as specified by the exam board and their basis in Christian and Islamic sources of wisdom and authority.

Students study religious teachings, and religious, philosophical and ethical arguments, relating to the issues that follow, and their impact and influence in the modern world. They are aware of contrasting perspectives in contemporary British society on all of these issues. They must also be able to explain contrasting beliefs on identified issues with reference to the main religious tradition in Britain (Christianity).

Topics Taught

Autumn Term

Christian Practices including review of Christian Beliefs and links to themes

Spring Term

Islamic Practices including review of Islamic Beliefs and links to themes

Summer Term

Revision and Exams