Religious Studies provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops students’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions and other world views that offer answers to the ultimate questions. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances students’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence and impact of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures. RS encourages students to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning and developing their sense of identity and belonging. Pupils learn what it means to be a citizen in a pluralistic society and global community.
RS challenges students to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of faith, truth, belief, and ethics and to communicate their responses. Religious Education has an important role in preparing students for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables students to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. It promotes discernment and enables students to combat prejudice.
The aim of the KS3 curriculum is to give pupils understanding of the six major world religions, as well as introduce them to philosophical thinkers and ethical dilemmas. In Year 7 pupils are introduced to philosophy and ethics and study the beliefs and practices of Buddhists and Sikhs, as well as exploring aspects of Jesus’ teachings. In Year 8 pupils study Hinduism and Judaism, look at the concept of suffering from religious and philosophical perspectives, as well as multiculturalism and the issue of freedom of speech.. In Year 9 pupils study Islam, the development of Christianity, and a range of issues including poverty & wealth and war & peace using religious, moral, ethical and philosophical persepectives.
To view a copy of the RS KS2-4 Learning Journey click here.
This provides a solid foundation for those who go on to study RS at GCSE. The GCSE (WJEC Board) course focus on Christianity and Islam, along with issues such as life and death, good and evil, relationships and human rights.
To view a copy of the WJEC RS curriculum click here.
Assessment in Religious Studies
RS is taught using a mixture of written sources, including the sources of wisdom in each religion. This is supplemented with images and video, but most of all through discussion and reflection. Each KS3 unit (see below) is assessed with a knowledge test and a piece of writing. A copy of examplar exam papers for KS4 can be viewed at the WJEC link given above. Teachers are able to assess progress and identify misconceptions.
When possible pupils will have the opportunity to visit religious institutions, such as Bhaktivedanta Manor, Cambridge Mosque or the local parish church. The department also organises assemblies for events such as Holocaust Memorial Day and Eid.
The curriculum is not static and colleagues seek to respond to developments within the subject community, as well as applying our unique perspective to current affairs.