Religious Education aims to develop in students a more reflective approach to life and to enable and enrich this process through the study of living faiths. Through the study of major faiths, the department hopes to foster knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and practices which rest at the heart of these visions of life.
The course offers the opportunity to explore and discuss some of the key issues that face us today.
Lessons encourage the 'thinker' to emerge in students and this is promoted through the use of Philosophy for Children (P4C) in each unit of work.
Introduction to RE
This gives students an insight into what the subject is about and the relevance of RE in our society. Lessons aim to introduce students to ultimate questions such as 'Does God Exist?' and begin to develop creating their own questions. This unit also enables students to reflect on their own beliefs and vision of the world. Students explore the life of Nicky Cruz and are formally assessed on this.
An investigation into survival and the make up of society. The story of The Island evolves over a period of nine weeks, enabling students to discover the basic aspects and foundations of religion for themselves.
Finding themselves trapped on an imaginary, uninhabited island which they cannot leave, students react to the situations that are presented to them as the teacher unfolds the story, lesson by lesson.
The story takes place over 500 years, the students responding to the inevitable changes to beliefs, language, traditions and moral issues that this brings.
The Christian Vision
An investigation of concepts such as: Creed, Trinity, Redemption and an evaluation of the relevance of Christianity today.
Students explore the ways that these concepts form the basis of Christian beliefs, practices and actions of faith in contemporary life.
They will evaluate the importance of these concepts and the differences in their interpretation, and whether Christianity is relevant in a changing secular society.
The Environment and the Sacred
They will enquire into the key concepts of myth, stewardship, the Dreamtime and sacred in order to recognise how these concepts affect our perception of the world and how we respond to it. This enables students to make a comparison of the Aboriginal and Christian creation stories and how these affect those believers.
An in-depth study into key Muslim beliefs. Students produce their own presentations on how Muslims are portrayed in the media and what they feel lies at the 'heart of Islam.'
The unit also focuses on how Muslims adapt to living in non-Muslim countries, the interaction with those societies, especially British society, and the issues and implications involved. Students make an enquiry into the concept of ‘islamophobia’ and how events such as 9/11 have shaped perceptions of Muslims in the Western world.
Students' learning develops their understanding of how Islam in the West and Islam globally affects change in society and they are required to evaluate and respond to these changes.
Students will be investigating the life of Mahatma Gandhi. They will learn about his vision of life and how he attempted to achieve his vision in India. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on the key events (and concepts) in his life and consider the inspirational nature of Gandhi as a key spiritual figure of the 20th Century. They will consider his legacy and will be given an opportunity to reflect personally on how a person's beliefs can affect their way of life and on how inspirational individuals leave a lasting legacy personally, locally and globally.
This is supported by the text: ‘A Beautiful Lie.’
Martin Luther King and Malcolm X
An analysis of these inspirational figures and how their religious backgrounds/beliefs shaped their visions for the world.
To support literacy across the curriculum, each taught unit is supported and put into context with 2 texts:
- A Little Piece of Ground
- The Fault in our Stars
The unit provides opportunities for students to:
- Investigate the meaning and nature of belief, the reasons people have for believing in God, and ways in which people express belief in God
- Develop awareness and empathetic understanding of different responses to questions about God
- Discuss problems and difficulties about believing in God
- Evaluate the reasons people give for their responses
- Examine, reflect on and explain their own responses
- The problem of evil and suffering.
The problem of evil and suffering is then put into context with a study of the Holocaust and the impact/effect this had on Jewish people.
This unit is designed to introduce students to the religion of Judaism and forms a foundation for those students wishing to opt for RS at KS4. Students enquire how key Jewish beliefs affect the daily lives of Jewish people living in the UK. This unit also allows students to investigate the conflict between Israel and Palestine and explore the key issues concerning the need for a ‘homeland’.
What the Buddha Taught
This unit is the start of our AQA GCSE course and aims to help students to develop a coherent understanding of some of the teachings of the Buddha. They will explore the important concepts of renunciation, dukkha (suffering), samsara, sila (ethical conduct) and bhavana (mental discipline/meditation).
Students will enquire into the ways that these concepts are contextualised within the Buddha's life and teaching, and in Buddhism. They will evaluate the concepts by explaining their value to believers and identifying and describing some of the issues raised. They will have opportunities to express their own response to the concepts and explain how their own response can be applied in their own lives and the lives of others.
Students are regularly assessed according to the AQA Religious Studies A (8062) syllabus. The GCSE consists of two papers and is 100% exam. At GCSE the AQA syllabus drives forward the need for students to engage in a rigorous study of questioning and debating key philosophical and moral issues we face in our society.
Component 1 – The study of religions - Christianity and Buddhism – students enquire into the beliefs and practice of these religions.
Component 2 – Thematic Studies covers the exploration of Human rights and social justice, life issues such as prejudice, peace and conflict and crime and punishment.
Facilities and Resources
The department has a wide range of excellent textbooks, artefacts and other resources available. We are able to sell (at a discounted rate) revision guides for GCSE.
We have shared use of a Chromebook trolley that is used for research/group work and presentations. Google Classroom is used to share homework and revision resources with students.
Trips and Extra-Curricular Activities
The department runs the opportunity for students to visit a range of Buddhist places of worship in London.
We also run 'Deb-osophy Club' with the English department. This club is a fusion between P4C (Philosophy for Children) and debate.
Ms Collins is the Head of RE, you can contact her through this email with the subject line marked "FAO: Ms Collins Head of RE".