Religious Studies

Our objective is to encourage our students to develop an extensive knowledge of belief and critically reflect on what it means to be human.  Students are taught to explore issues within and across faiths, with the intent to understand different religions, values and traditions and their influence on individuals, communities and cultures.

Religious Studies plays a key role in promoting social cohesion and the virtues of respect and empathy, which are important in our diverse society.

It is intellectually challenging and personally enriching.  We teach our students the key skills and knowledge required to enable them to succeed highly in all exams, whether internal at KS3 or external for GCSE and A Level.

We foster curiosity, debate and reasoned argument and help our students understand the place of religion and non-religious beliefs, in the modern world.  Our students come from a wide range of primary schools, cultures, religious and non-religious backgrounds, we aim to ensure all students recognise and understand that ‘difference is good’, whilst gaining the knowledge necessary for sustained progress throughout years 7-13.


Religious Studies at Key Stage 3


 Term 1Term 2Term 3
Year 7Why study religion? An introduction to RS and the importance of faith and belief, including non-religious beliefs.
The importance of myths within religion.
Tribal Cultures and Symbols.
Christianity as a Living World Religion: with specific reference to beliefs about God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit; the nature and diversity of the Church; the role of the Church within the Christian community.
Hinduism as a Living World Religion: with specific reference to the beginnings of Hinduism; beliefs about the nature of Brahman and the diversity of Hindu deities; reincarnation/karma/dharma/moksha; Hindu worship; the 4 Ashramas.
Year 8Religion in Society 1: with specific reference to religious attitudes to medical ethics.
Religion in Society 2: with specific reference to religious attitudes to war and peace.
Both topics include an investigation of non-religious views on these issues.
Islam as a Living World Religion: with specific reference to The Five Pillars of Islam; Ummah; Food and Dress Laws/ Muhammed (pbuh); Issues encountered by Muslims living in the UK.
Buddhism as a Living World Religion: with specific reference to the Buddhist way of life/meditation; dukkha and the cycle of Samsara.
Judaism as a Living World Religion: with specific reference to Family life, Holocaust Survivors, ceremonies and food laws.
Ethical Theories which influence modern thought: with specific reference to Utilitarianism and Situation Ethics.


GCSE Curriculum:  Years 9-11

 

This is an exciting course for students with a genuine interest in the world around them.  Our students develop an open, analytical mind, discussing and evaluating diverse beliefs and attitudes, both religious and non-religious. This course encourages students to develop their confidence, independent research skills as well as their voice and opinions, with lots of discussions, group work and presentations.

The course consists of two main areas of study.

Peace and Conflict, which focus on issues surrounding:

  1. Crime and Punishment,
  2. Charity and international Aid,
  3. War and Peace.

All of these topics are discussed in relation to Christian attitudes.  This topic also focuses on key Christian beliefs and living the Christian life.

Religion and Ethics which focuses on issues surrounding:

  1. The importance of the Family
  2. Matters of Life such as abortion and euthanasia
  3. Animal Rights

All of these topics are discussed in relation to Muslim attitudes. This topic also focuses on key Muslim beliefs and living the Muslim life.


A Level Curriculum

 

RS is a popular choice for our students who enjoy using analytical skills, undertaking discussions and debates and working in groups?  Our curriculum enables them to develop outstanding independent research skills and gain an outstanding depth and range of knowledge. Results are consistently within the top 5% nationally.

The course consists of three main areas of study.

A study of Buddhism, with specific reference to:

  • The Life of the Buddha
  • The development of Buddhism within Japan
  • Feminist approaches within Buddhism
  • Key Beliefs and Practices within Buddhism
  • The Mindfulness Movement
  • Socially Engaged Buddhism

Philosophy of Religion, with specific reference to:

  • Arguments for the existence of God
  • The problem of evil
  • Freud, Jung and Atheism
  • Miracles
  • Issues within religious language

Ethics and Religion, with specific reference to:

  • Normative ethical theories
  • The influence of ethical thought on sexual ethics, animal experimentation, capital punishment and immigration
  • Ethical language and thought
  • Debates surrounding free will and determinism.

The Enriched Curriculum

 

Our commitment to whole-school intent is underpinned by a range of extra-curricular activities across Years 7-13. In Years7/8/9/11, students have the opportunity to meet with members of the local faith community in lesson time, discussing key issues which affect faith, culture and ethical behaviour. In Year 10 students are fortunate to experience a trip to Rome in 2020 which supports their GCSE course. In Year 13 students visit the Buddhist Centre in Manchester and also attend an intensive day conference, to enhance their knowledge of the course and hone their exam skills. All students are also invited to the school’s Carol Service each year which is created by the department in partnership with school Music.

The department also supports a local faith group who visit each week at lunchtimes to discuss with students issues and questions concerning belief, non-belief and faith. Advice and guidance for school assemblies is also provided by all members of the department, to support the wider knowledge of faith, culture, traditions and beliefs. We thoroughly enjoy supporting the school’s interfaith day each year, encouraging our students to perform at the evening events as well as helping to arrange speakers throughout the day. This event is particularly meaningful in enabling greater communication between ourselves and the local community, creating friendships and understanding; supporting community cohesion.