Religious studies is different. In our changing world, there is a need for understanding different points of view. To play a full part in our society we need a body of knowledge about:
• Different religions
• Moral codes
• Ways in which people express their faith
• How to recognise the spirituality in life
This can all be learned, but, religious studies is about more than this. It is about recognising the moral code within us; about how we, as individuals react and cope with life, its mysteries, its complexities and its wonders. Spirituality is not measurable and the most important aspects of religious study cannot, therefore, be assessed.
It is about education, not indoctrination; about finding the heart and soul of ourselves, our community and our world. It is about gaining a vital set of skills to help us work and function in society.
We encourage students to explore and express their own responses to spiritual and religious life. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from religious study lessons. This is a right rarely exercised at this school. However, if a student is withdrawn from religious studies parents will be contacted on an individual basis to discuss appropriate alternative arrangements.
The Island – An opportunity to explore how communities and beliefs develop over time.
Buddhism – An exploration of the Buddhist religion
What was so radical about Jesus? – An investigation into who Jesus was and why his message was so radical.
Should religious buildings be sold to feed the starving? – A look at the impact worship and community has on making people more generous.
Does religion help people to be good? – What are the benefits of belief? Can we make moral decisions without it?
Does living Biblically mean following the whole Bible? – Do Christians have to follow the whole Bible or are some parts more important than others?
How can people express the spiritual through music and art? – An opportunity to express our own ideas about the world creatively.
Is death the end? Does it matter? – An investigation into the meaning of life and whether this life is the only one we have.
Do we need to prove Gods existence? – An investigation into why some people think belief in God is important and why others don’t feel the need to believe in an ultimate being.
What difference does it make to believe in…? – A look at different key concepts from a number of religions and the opportunity to evaluate how useful they may be in our own lives.
Why is there suffering? Are there any good solutions? (Incorporating Holocaust education) – Students consider the problem of evil and whether any belief system can offer a solution.
Is religion a power for peace or a cause of conflict in the world today? – An investigation into war and peace and the part that religion plays in this.
Students are assessed each term both in the development of the skills needed in RE and in their understanding of the key ideas in the schemes of work.
The assessments in RE place emphasis on peer and self-assessment and clearly show students how to improve their levels and how to achieve a certain level in any assessment.
Students are encouraged to take GCSE in year 10 and are introduced to GCSE style assessments in year 9 to help them decide whether RE is a subject they wish to pursue further.
The department sets a range of engaging homework throughout the year.
Within the classroom all topic work has clearly identified extension tasks which are matched to students targets. Students are encouraged to challenge themselves and the department strives to promote higher order thinking about the moral and ethical issues that all students face as they grow up.
All lessons are differentiated and this is shown clearly in the texts that students use. The level of support and differentiation is carefully planned to meet the individual needs of all students needing support. Homework tasks are given in various formats to assist with independent study when necessary.