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Key Stage 3 Religious Studies

Year 7

Year 7 students begin the year by exploring ‘What is RS?’, an introduction to the six major world faiths and the key concepts covered in Religious Studies.  Further units throughout the year explore aspects of Judaism and Christianity in more detail.  Students will study the Judeo-Christian stories of Abraham and Moses, leading into an overview of Jesus’ life from birth to crucifixion and resurrection.  Learning about these key events will tie in with the Christian calendar.  Students will then examine how the early Christian Church developed to become the largest faith in the world, before finishing the year with a study of the stories and teachings within Buddhism. Throughout these different topics students are developing the skills for describing actions and events, explaining the reasons and beliefs behind what they describe, responding critically but respectfully to different points of view, and explaining their own beliefs and opinions with reasons and examples.

Year 8

In Year 8, students will explore key aspects of the major world faiths: Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism.  Throughout, they will continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of the beliefs of people of faith and how these beliefs impact upon their actions.  They will trace the stories of influential people within these religious traditions, such as Gandhi and Guru Nanak, to see how belief impacts upon practice.  In the summer term, students will look critically and reflectively at the issue of prejudice and discrimination, examining the consequences of stereotyping through the examples of the Apartheid and the Holocaust.  They will also begin to consider what is meant by ‘ethics’ in order to lay the foundations for the GCSE course. Throughout the year, students will also take part in the Youth Alpha course which takes place in six lessons of Religious Studies as part of a topic looking at how belief impacts upon our personal life and values.

Year 9

Year 9 students will begin by learning about two ethical issues and religious responses to these. Firstly, they will study ethical approaches to crime and punishment, considering the aims of punishing criminals and the debate around capital punishment. They will then move on to consider the power and influence of the media and how the media portrays religion. After Christmas, Year 9 will begin their GCSE course in AQA Religious Studies (A).  This is a two year course for which students will sit the GCSE papers in the summer of Year 11.  Students will study key beliefs, teachings and practices within two major world faiths: Christianity and Islam. This will form 50% of the GCSE. The remaining 50% will be studied through a range of philosophical and ethical themes. In this aspect of the course, students will consider questions such as whether there is enough evidence for belief in God, whether there is life after death and how the world came into existence. Students will also explore issues such as when human life begins, whether war can be justified and the role of the family.  All topics will be considered from a range of religious perspectives and students are actively encouraged to participate by debating their views respectfully with others.

Homework and Assessment

Homework is set regularly within the Religious Studies department.  This may be a creative piece of work such as writing a newspaper article about a story studied in lessons or it could be a practical task such as revising for a test.  Students are assessed once every half term. This could be in the form of a homework based project, a graded piece of class work or a formal assessment paper.

Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development

Religious Studies plays an important role in the Christian ethos of Christ’s College.  From Year 7 up to GCSE, students explore Christian beliefs, values and teachings and consider how these apply to their lives.  Students are encouraged to contrast Christian views with those of other religions and cultures, and to evaluate these in light of their own beliefs and values.  As students begin to undertake the GCSE they are encouraged to consider how ethical issues affect us as British citizens, for example with particular reference to issues of discrimination, conflict and medical ethics.

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