Religious Studies and EPiC
Our vision is to encourage students to be empathetic and intrigued by other beliefs, cultures and ideas. Within Religious Studies and EP we want to challenge pupils, allowing them to question their own and others beliefs and opinions whilst also creating tolerance and understanding of others around them. We want our students to explore their own understanding of what is going on in the world thus becoming an authentic version of themselves. We ensure students have the opportunity to complete in depth explorations of religious and non-religious beliefs, ethical issues and big philosophical questions. Our curriculum has been created to inspire joy and curiosity within our students allowing them to explore current and past issues and the impact they have today. We hope that our students will stand up against injustice both in the local community and on a wider scale and will leave us as confident, independent global citizens of the future.
Overview/core aims for year 7:
Our core aim is to create a foundational understanding of all the major world religions. As students come from different primary schools having studied different beliefs and concepts in RS, we want to enable students to explore the six major world religions as a foundation to their study of RS across all of Key Stage 3 to 5. Students will also begin their first in depth exploration of a religion, Hinduism. This gives students the skills to look at religious beliefs and practices in detail, something that they will continue to do throughout KS3, 4 and 5.
Core knowledge to be learnt in Year 7:
Topic 1: Introduction to world beliefs. Students explore the beliefs and practices of the major monotheisitc world religions – Christianity, Sikhism, Judaism, Islam.
Topic 2: What does it mean to be Hindu? Students explore a contrasting Monotheisitc belief to those studied in term one through the religion of Hinduism. Students will investigate how they use their beliefs and practices to promote the concept of monotheism, with a focus on stories in the religion.
Overview/core aims for year 8:
Our core aim of year 8 is to build on what students have learnt in year 7, by expanding their understanding of different religious beliefs. They are introduced to the new skill of Philosophy. This will allow students to explore and practise asking and answering ‘Big Questions’ whilst also looking at how other belief systems/religions might answer them as well for example ‘How does religion justify suffering?’ Students undertake their second in depth exploration of a religion by looking at the concept of Authority in religion through the lens of Islam. They focus on the role of different types of authority in religion and how Muslims use authority to promote and live a peaceful life. Our final topic in year 8 is a synoptic topic focused on the idea of Rebellion. Students will be exploring different reasons for rebellion, examples of rebels for example Muhammad in Islam and Socrates and will ask if it is ever ok to be a rebel?
Core knowledge to be learnt in Year 8:
Topic 1: How is authority interpreted in Islam? Students will explore the concept of Authority and how it is used in different schools and beliefs in Islam. They compare the use of authority in traditional and modern Islamic beliefs to that of authority used by extremists groups such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and Iran today.
Topic 2: Are we all ‘One’ in Sikhism? Students explore the concept of the oneness of humanity through the religion of Sikhism and how they use their beliefs and practices to promote this idea of equality among all people.
Overview/core aims for year 9:
The core aim for year 9 is to not only challenge preconceptions of students’ understanding of belief and culture but students will also explore an in-depth investigation of belief and a lack of belief in the world today. Building on the work students have done in Year 7 and 8. This year is about sparking students’ interest, challenging their ideas of belief and allowing them to explore and question different understandings of belief in the UK and the world and how this is changing.
Core knowledge to be learnt in Year 9:
Topic 1: Is this weird? An exploration into different beliefs and ways of life around the world. We want pupils to challenge their misconceptions by looking at unconventional ways of life including:
- Is what I am doing to my body weird? Body Modification
- Is what I believe weird? An exploration into alternative beliefs such as Paganism and Satanism.
- Is how I live weird? An exploration of Polyamorous relationships and the Amish way of life.
- Is how I treat the dead weird? An investigation of Sky Burials and the Day of the Dead.
- Is how I celebrate weird? An exploration of alternative Christmas celebrations.
Topic 2: When different becomes dangerous? Religion in the world today – An exploration of how religion is viewed in today’s society. This will include and looking at the increase in secularisation, fundamentalism and extremist views in the world today. Students explore why there is an increase in these beliefs and how it impacts our lives.
GCSE Religious Studies
Overview/core aims for year 10:
Students conduct an in-depth study of both Christian and Buddhist teachings and practices. This will be done from an academic standpoint where students begin to make links between thematic and other religious aspects of the course. Students make links to other aspects of the curriculum and world events.
Core knowledge to be learnt in Year 10:
- Key Buddhist Teachings – The Buddha, The Dharma, The Four Noble Truths, Human Personality, Human Destiny and ethical teachings.
- Issues of Crime and Punishment – Crime and punishment, Forgiveness, Good Evil and Suffering.
- Key Christian Teachings – The nature of God, creation, Jesus Christ, Salvation and the afterlife.
- Issues of Relationships – Relationships, Sexual relationships and Issues of equality: gender prejudice and discrimination
- Buddhist Practices – Buddhist places of worship in Britain and elsewhere, meditation, Devotional practice, death and mourning and festivals
Overview/core aims for the year:
Students tackle and debate a wide range of issues whilst looking at them through both a religious, sociological and humanist lens. Students develop the skills to be able to create, explain and debate their opinions and be able to celebrate diversity and show tolerance to all.
Core knowledge to be learnt in Year 11:
- Christian Practices – Forms of worship, sacraments, pilgrimage and celebration, Christianity in Britain and the Church in the local community and the worldwide church.
- Issues with Life and Death – The world, The origin and value of human life and Beliefs about death and the afterlife.
- Issues of Human Rights – Human Rights and Social Justice, Prejudice and discrimination and Issues of wealth and poverty
Core EP (Ethics and Philosphy) – Year 10 and 11
Year 10 – Overview/core aims for the year:
Students tackle and debate a wide range of issues with the focus of Year 10 being on Philosophy. They learn key theories and arguments around key Philsophical questions such as: How did the world begin? Can you really have a religious experience? Can God exist, if there is evil and suffering in the world? Students will learn how to form arguments and debate from different view points whilst applying scholarly views.
Year 11 – Overview/core aims for the year:
Students tackle and debate a wide range of issues with the focus of Year 10 being on Ethics. They learn key theories and arguments around key Ethical issues such as: Animal rights, Personhood, Abortion, Medical Ethics and Euthanasia. Students learn how to form arguments and debate from different view points whilst applying scholarly and religious views.
A LEVEL Religious Studies
Overview/core aims for the year:
Students are introduced to the new disciplines of Philosophy and Ethics through collaborative and creative lessons. Students develop resilience and are prepared not only for A-Level study but any further education or work they might undertake.
Core knowledge to be learnt in Year 12:
- Life of the Buddha
- Key Teachings of the Buddha
- Practices of Buddhism
- The Buddhist Community
- Different Schools of Buddhism
- Key Teachers of Buddhism
- Inductive Argument – Cosmological arguments
- Deductive Arguments – Teleological arguments
- Challenges to religion – Problem of Evil argument
- Religious Experience
- New Atheism
- Situation Ethics
- Natural Law
- Ethical Thought
Overview/core aims for the year:
Students are encouraged to develop more independence in their studying whilst also reviewing past content from year 12.
Core knowledge to be learnt in Year 13:
- Japanese Buddhism
- Tibetan Buddhism
- Buddhist and issues of feminism, science, pluralism and secularisation
- The Psychology of Religion (Freud and Jung)
- Religious Language
- Ethical Though
- Deontological Ethics
- Free Will and Determinism