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Religious Education

Religious Education

Department Staff

Mrs Bair Head of Department
Mr Cormell Director of Teaching School
Mrs Darby Teacher of RE/RS
Mr McCourt Teacher of RE


The Purposes of RE

We are sometimes asked the question: “Why do we do RE in the academy?” These are some of the answers:

  • RE helps us to think through our own beliefs about life, death, the meaning of life, God, and many other ‘ultimate questions’.
  • RE helps us to understand the beliefs, values and practices of people who may be different from ourselves.
  • RE helps us to respect one another, even when we disagree about things.
  • If we belong to one of the faith traditions that are studied in the syllabus, RE helps us to learn more about it.
  • RE helps us to look at many different areas of life that are important to us all, not because we are religious, but because we are human.
  • RE helps to develop our ability to think ‘conceptually’. This means to think about things that we cannot see, hear, touch, taste or smell. It helps us to explore ideas. Everybody needs to be able to do this, whatever they believe.
  • RE is not about making us believe in God, nor making us not believe in God.
  • RE is not about promoting any particular religion, nor about criticizing any particular religion.
  • RE is not about promoting religion in general, nor about suggesting that religion is not good.
  • RE is about promoting theological literacy.
  • What is theological literacy? It is based upon knowledge of religion and religious issues, but it is far more than this. It is the learning of the understanding of religion and religious issues. It is the appreciation of why people participate in religion, why they see and understand dimensions of life and reality that are not seen and understood by secular materialism. It can be done through symbolism, through narrative, through image and through philosophy. Children who develop theological literacy do not necessarily develop a religious approach to life themselves, but they begin to understand that those who do have something that is of value. They are able to connect with the values that exist within religious worldviews and relate them to their own.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 & 9)

Years 7 and 8 involve a look at six major world religions:

Year 7

  • Introduction to RE
  • Judaism – A look at how the religion developed and at how the religion affects people’s lives today
  • Christianity – The Life of Jesus – A look at his life between Christmas and Easter.
  • Hinduism – Students look at a very different religion, with many gods and goddesses with fascinating stories told about them.

Year 8

  • Islam – A look at the world’s second largest religion, from its origins in Arabia to its present day position.
  • Christianity – This term students pick up the story from the end of the life of Jesus and find out how Christianity has developed into the world’s largest religion today.
  • Sikhism – A look at the youngest of the world’s major religions.
  • Buddhism – A look at how Buddhism developed and how it affects believers’ lives today.

Year 9

Year 9 allows students to look at the following ethical and philosophical questions:

  • Where did the universe and people come from?
  • How do people live together?
  • Is it ever right to kill?
  • Is war ever right?
  • Why do we punish people?
  • How is Christianity shown in film?

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)

Students study the AQA Exam Board’s Religious Studies A and the topics we cover are as follows:

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices 

  • Christianity
  • Sikhism

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 96 marks (plus 5 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG))
  • 50% of GCSE

Component 2: Thematic studies 

  • Theme A: Relationships and families
  • Theme B: Religion and life
  • Theme D: Religion, peace and conflict
  • Theme E: Religion, crime and punishment

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 96 marks (plus 5 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG))
  • 50% of GCSE

For more information about the course and useful resources, please see the following links:

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/rs/specifications/AQA-8062-SP-2016.PDF

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/gcse/religious-studies-a-8062/assessment-resources 

Key Stage 5

Religious Studies has seen an increase in numbers of the past couple of years.

Students study the OCR Exam Board’s Religious Studies and the topics we cover are as follows:

Year 12 (AS Level)

Philosophy of religion 

  • ancient philosophical influences 
  • the nature of the soul, mind and body 
  • arguments about the existence or non-existence of God 
  • the nature and impact of religious experience 
  • the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil

How it’s assessed

  • 60 marks 
  • 1 hour 15 minutes written paper
  • 33.3% of total AS Level

Religion and ethics

  • normative ethical theories 
  • the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance

How it’s assessed

  • 60 marks 
  • 1 hour 15 minutes written paper
  • 33.3% of total AS Level

Developments in religious thought - Christianity 

  • religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world 
  • sources of religious wisdom and authority 
  • practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition

How it’s assessed

  • 60 marks 
  • 1 hour 15 minutes written paper
  • 33.3% of total AS Level

For more information about the course and useful resources, please see the following link:

http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/242912-specification-accredited-as-level-gce-religious-studies-h173.pdf

http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-religious-studies-h173-h573-from-2016/ 

Year 13 (A Level)

Philosophy of religion 

  • ancient philosophical influences 
  • the nature of the soul, mind and body 
  • arguments about the existence or non-existence of God 
  • the nature and impact of religious experience 
  • the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • ideas about the nature of God 
  • issues in religious language.

How it’s assessed

  • 120 marks 
  • 2 hour written paper
  • 33.3% of total A Level

Religion and ethics

  • normative ethical theories 
  • the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance
  • ethical language and thought 
  • debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience 
  • sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.

How it’s assessed

  • 120 marks 
  • 2 hour written paper
  • 33.3% of total A Level

Developments in religious thought - Christianity 

  • religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world 
  • sources of religious wisdom and authority 
  • practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition
  • significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought 
  • key themes related to the relationship between religion and society

How it’s assessed

  • 120 marks 
  • 2 hour written paper
  • 33.3% of total A Level

For more information about the course and useful resources, please see the following link:

http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/242913-specification-accredited-a-level-gce-religious-studies-h573.pdf 

http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-religious-studies-h173-h573-from-2016/