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- Religious Education
“Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe – the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me”
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose holy curiosity”
"…it is important that we understand each other. In the past, due to narrow-mindedness and other factors, there has sometimes been discord between religious groups. This should not happen again. If we look deeply into the value of a religion in the context of the worldwide situation, we can easily transcend these unfortunate happenings. For, there are many areas of common ground on which we can have harmony. Let us just be side by side - helping, respecting, and understanding each other - in common effort to serve humankind. The aim of human society must be the compassionate betterment of human beings”
The Dalai Lama
Staff List: From September 2012
· Laura Bambury – Subject leader – R.E.
· Helen Corner – Head of Humanities – Line manager of R.E.
· To promote an awareness, respect and appreciation of different religious beliefs, cultures and traditions
· To develop students’ awareness and understanding of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures
· To encourage students to reflect on fundamental questions challenging 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
· To develop students’ understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions and other world views that offer answers to these fundamental questions
· To provide opportunities for students’ personal reflection and spiritual development
· To encourage students to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses
Key Stage 3 R.E.
In Year 7 students study the six major world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism using a thematic approach. Each unit is centred upon a theme that is central to the core beliefs of that particular religion.
Autumn term 1: Judaism (Theme: Leadership)
· Who was Abraham?
· Who was Moses?
· The Ten Plagues
· The Jewish Passover
· The Ten Commandments
· Jewish food laws
Autumn term 2: Christianity (Theme: Love)
· Christian beliefs about God: The Trinity
· Who was Jesus?
· Jesus’ life and teachings
· Jesus’ trial and crucifixion
· Jesus’ resurrection: Who done it?
· The significance of Jesus’ birth
· Christmas celebrations
Spring term 1: Islam (Theme: Commitment)
· Evaluation of the 5 pillars
Spring term 2: Sikhism (Theme: Equality)
· Sikh beliefs about God
· Guru Nanak
· The 10 gurus
· The Guru Granth Sahib
· Sikh worship/the langar
· The gurdwara
Summer term 1: Hinduism (Theme: Soul)
· Hindu beliefs about Brahman
· The trimurti
· The cycle of samsara
· The caste system
· Hindu worship
· The mandir
Summer term 2: Buddhism (Theme: Happiness)
· The Buddha
· The 4 sights of suffering
· The Middle Way
· The 4 Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold path
· Buddhist monks
In Year 8 study embark on a comparative study of the main world religions based on key philosophical themes.
Autumn term 1: Symbolism
· What are symbols?
· Symbolism in Christianity: the Holy Communion
· Symbolism in Islam: the hijab
· Symbolism in Judaism: the Star of David
· Symbolism in Hinduism: Hindu gods and goddesses
· Symbolism in Sikhism: the 5Ks
· Philosophy for Children: How important are symbols to religious believers?
Autumn term 2: Religious symbolism in literature – Case study: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
1. Symbolism of main characters
2. Through the wardrobe: Truth or lie?
3. Good and evil
7. Film review
Spring term 1: Beliefs about God and the meaning of life
· Introduction to philosophy and ultimate questions
· What do we believe and why?
· What does it mean to be ‘religious’?
· Where did the world come from?
· Are religion and science in conflict?
· What is the meaning of life?
Spring term 2: Is there life after death?
· What do people believe about life after death?
· Near Death Experiences
· Angels, demons and ghosts – do they exist?
· Christian and Muslim beliefs
· Reincarnation and past lives
· Death rituals and rites
Summer term 1: Why is there evil and suffering?
· Types and causes of evil
· The problem of evil
· Who is responsible for evil?
· Theodicies in responses to the problem of evil
· Does evil prove that God does not exist?
· Should we always forgive evil?
Summer term 2: Does God exist?
· What is ‘proof’?
· The cosmological argument
· The ontological argument
· The teleological argument
· Religious experience
· Pascal’s Wager
Key Stage 4 R.E.
All students study GCSE R.E. and sit two 90 minute exams at the end of Year 11: Christianity: Ethics (AQA) and Islam: Ethics (AQA) giving them a full GCSE. During the course, students explore a range of moral and ethical issues from a Christian and Muslim perspective.
In Year 9, students complete a GCSE Foundation programme of study in the Autumn and Spring terms which introduces them to key topics such as moral decision making, the sanctity of life, human rights and responsibilities. They begin the GCSE course itself in the Summer term of Year 9 and continue through to the end of Year 11.
Topics studied include:
· The Right to Life – abortion and euthanasia, sanctity of life, quality of life
· The Use of Medical Technology – Fertility treatment (IVF, AID, AIH, Surrogacy) cloning (reproductive and therapeutic) genetic engineering, designer babies, saviour siblings, somatic cell therapy
· Human sexuality and relationships – heterosexuality, homosexuality, civil partnerships, dating, sex before marriage, cohabitation, contraception, the role of the family, marriage, divorce and remarriage
· Lifestyle choices – alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, gambling, debt, usury, education, faith schools
· Social responsibility – prejudice and discrimination; racism, sexism, homophobia, people with disabilities
· The environment – causes and effects of environmental problems, individual community and international responses to environmental problems, principles of stewardship, conservation, animal rights
· Crime and punishment – causes of crime, the aims of punishment (retribution, reformation, deterrence and protection) corporal and capital punishment, justice, forgiveness
· Wealth and Poverty – characteristics of MEDCs and LEDCs, emergency and long-term aid, the work of charitable organisations e.g. Muslim Aid, Tearfund, Fair Trade
· Conflict – causes of war, the Just War Theory, pacifism, terrorism, nuclear warfare and proliferation, disarmament, reconciliation, jihad, protest.
For full details of the GCSE course, please go to: