The aims of Religious Education are:
- Religion - to know about and understand the nature of religion
- Experience – to reflect upon life experiences
- Spiritual – to examine the purpose of life and what it is to be human
- Personal – to develop personal responses to moral and religious issues
- Explore – to encourage curiosity, open-mindedness and independent thought
- Culture – to understand the role of culture in human identity
- Tolerance – to question, explore and accept diversity of belief and practice
Running through every aim of Religious Education is development of respect within pupils – both for themselves and for others.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 investigate five ‘Big Questions’ during the year. These are:
- What are the important events in life?
- Is death the end?
- What do religions teach about God?
- What is religious authority?
- Should we care for the planet?
Pupils study Christian and Hindu answers to these questions.
Year 8 investigate five ‘Big Questions’ during the year. These are:
- How do Christians worship?
- How do Hindus worship?
- What is Islam?
- How do Muslims worship?
- How similar are religions?
Pupils study religious practices of Christians, Hindus and Muslims.
Year 9 investigate five ‘Big Questions’ during the year. These are:
- Is violence right?
- Can religion change the world?
- Does religion bring happiness?
- Is money important?
- Is there a God?
Pupils study important religious figures and organisations to find answers to these questions.
Key Stage 4 (GCSE) - years 10 & 11
Students who opt for the subject follow the WJEC full course GCSE qualification in Religious Studies. This looks at contemporary, relevant modern issues and how Christians and Muslims respond to them.
Year 10 – Religion and Life Issues
- Relationships – love, sex and marriage
- Is It Fair? – issues of justice and equality e.g. racism, sexism
- Looking for Meaning – beliefs about God and life after death
- Our World – creation, being human and our responsibilities to the world
Year 11 – Religion and Human Experience
- Religion and Conflict – violence, war and peace
- Religion and Medicine – medical ethics e.g. abortion, euthanasia
- Religious Expression – expressing a faith e.g. pilgrimage, clothing
- Religion and State – authority, punishment and human rights in religion and society
Students who do not opt for the subject as a full GCSE follow the Religion and Life Issues course over two years.
Key Stage 5 (‘A’ level) - years 12 & 13
Students who opt for the subject follow the WJEC A level GCE in Religious Studies.
Two AS modules are studied.
- Introduction to Philosophy of Religion - arguments for the existence of God, religious experience, suffering and evil
- Buddhism – the life of the Buddha, central beliefs and practices e.g. meditation
There are two examinations - one for each module – in May each year.
Two A2 modules are studied.
- Studies in Philosophy of Religion – miracles, science and religion, free will, faith and reason
- Religion and Human Experience – an investigation into Life, Death and Life after Death
There are two examinations – one for each module – in June each year.
Religious Education has a vital role to play in developing:
- Subject-specific skills of Engaging, Exploring and Expressing
- Literacy skills of Reading, Writing, Oracy
- Thinking skills
In order to facilitate these skills, a wide range of teaching methods are employed.
- Independent research e.g. QuADS grids
- Group collaboration
- Literacy techniques e.g. prediction, sequencing, home/expert groups, writing scaffolds
- Analysis and evaluation of an issue
- Visual stimuli e.g. DVD’s, photographs
- Empathy exercises
- Problem solving
- Thinking strategies e.g.5 W’s, Diamond 9, Odd One Out