Religious Studies helps to increase the understanding and awareness of different faiths, as well as provide the opportunity for students to reflect upon the impact different beliefs have on people's lives. Through this, students also develop skills of evaluation and communication both written and verbal. All students study the subject at Key Stage 3. At Key stage 4 Religious Studies is an option but all Year 9 students study Core RS within their SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) lessons.
In year 7 they investigate the various aspects of different major world religions; Christianity and Islam. In the final term they study less well known religious and denominations and the growth of atheism.
In Year 8 they study ethics and relationships, global issues and questions of Philosophy.
In Year 9, Religious Studies is a GCSE option subject where students focus mainly on Christianity and Islam as the two main religions as well as wider themes such as War and Peace and Relationships.
All year 9 students study one period a week of SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) studies which incorporates core Religious Studies which include Philosophical questions and the study of ethical issues and applying philosophical theories to these ethical issues.
SMSC lessons will also deliver Citizenship which covers Politics, Human Rights and the role of the media. In addition there will be important elements of Independent Advice and Guidance (IAG) which helps students map out their future career pathways.
More information regarding SMSC and IAG is in the PSHE area.
Grouping & Setting
Religious Studies is taught in mixed ability classes at Key Stage 3. At Key stage 4 students will also be mixed ability. SMSC is taught in English sets.
Students complete an interim and landmark assessment every half term. Students are given feedback on their work based on both of these assessments and complete improvement prompts based on these, ensuring that they know how to improve their work.
For PSHE and SMSC there are assessments but less frequently as there are fewer lessons. Students will have termly landmarks to assess their knowledge and understanding of the key themes covered.
The department runs a Philosophy Club every week for Key Stage 5 pupils where philosophical questions are debated. The ‘Big Ideas’ Club also runs every week for Key Stage 3 pupils when they are invited to investigate, discuss and debate philosophical ideas.
In Years 7 and 8 there is the RS Big Challenge where students can work in small groups to answer creatively, in any way they like, a response to the questions: Does religion make your life better? Does God Exist?