Religious Education provides students with a broad experience of learning about the world’s great religions as well as exploring important cultural, moral and life issues. Through Religious Education at KCC all students are given the opportunity to learn about identity, community and belief both within and beyond Kingsbridge. The subject plays a central role in student’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Throughout Key Stage 3, students follow an enquiry based approach to exploring life’s ‘Big Questions’ in order to develop their skills of questioning and analysis as well as viewing each enquiry through the lens of a different world religion. Christianity remains a core perspective throughout Years 7 to 11 to reflect the character of our local as well as national community.
Each area of enquiry has a key question that underpins this area of study. We look at several different responses to the enquiry in question. The route related expectations are designed to allow students to develop the core skills alongside knowledge of content. The route related expectations provide us with a framework to establish progression in line with these core skills. There is a formative assessment at the end of each enquiry.
In Key Stage Four, our full-course GCSE programme, which is studied by all pupils, allows students to develop a full understanding of Christian and Buddhist beliefs and practices whilst also developing their ability to construct their own, well-reasoned and informed arguments in relation to moral dilemmas and ethical issues.
- Where does belief come from? Exploring the earliest evidence and influences on what we believe and where these beliefs stem from.
- What does it mean to belong? A look at the idea of community, culture and the fine line between belonging and conforming.
- What is love? A consideration of what it means to ‘love’. This question has dominated our culture and relationships throughout time. Countless books, plays, films and careers have sought to decipher it or at least represent it; can we pin down what it actually is? This enquiry explores culture, philosophy and religion.
- What happens when we die? A careful and considered look at what death is, beliefs around life after death and a study of secular/humanist ideas about death.
- Where did the universe come from? Students explore scientific as well as religious accounts of the creation of the universe.
- What is a person? A deep dive into what it is that makes a person a ‘person’ looking at identity, consciousness and materialism.
- How do we make decisions? Moral dilemmas and ethical debates are followed by a look into different approaches to decision making including religious teachings, reason and fatalism.
- Is peace possible? A critical enquiry into the underlying causes of war. Students are encouraged to consider why conflict occurs and consider whether it is possible for humanity to exist peacefully.
Key Stage Four Holocaust Studies + Start of GCSE (EDUQAS Spec A)
- Holocaust studies: During this module, which lasts one term, students have the opportunity to study the Holocaust in depth looking at the effects of propaganda, the rise the far right in Nazi Germany as well as life for persecuted minorities before, during and after the Holocaust. Following this, students look at examples of modern genocides asking the question, ‘What has the world learned from the Holocaust?’
- Buddhism: After Christmas, students begin their GCSE studies. This begins with an in-depth study of Buddhist beliefs, teachings and practices. Students will study Buddhist beliefs regarding the impact of suffering, greed and hatred as well as having the opportunity to explore the role and significance of meditation and mindfulness and the diverse beliefs and traditions surrounding death and the afterlife. Students will look at Buddhist worship within the UK in relation to places of worship and festivals.
- Christianity: At the beginning of Year 10, students complete an in-depth study of Christian beliefs, teachings and practices. Students will explore how Christian teachings are embedded in British culture and will have the opportunity to analyse the extent to which Christianity and the role of the Church is still relevant in Britain. They will explore religious festivals and analyse why and how Christmas and Easter are celebrated by members of all faiths across Britain including non-religious people. Students look at what the life of Jesus has taught Christians as well as beliefs about the afterlife and how the world was created and will then have the opportunity to apply this knowledge to their philosophical and ethical studies that make up the rest of their GCSE course.
- Issues of Relationships: During the ‘issues’ modules, students have the opportunity to apply their in depth knowledge from Year 9 and 10 to discuss philosophical and ethical questions. During this module, they are able to explore religious and personal responses to ethical issues such as homosexual marriage, divorce, adultery, pre-marital sex and gender roles.
- Issues of Life and Death: Using knowledge of Buddhism, Humanism and Christianity, students are given the opportunity to analyse and evaluate issues relating to the value of human life such as euthanasia and abortion as well as beliefs about the afterlife and the creation of the world.
- Issues of Good and Evil: Students evaluate religious and ethical responses to ethical dilemmas questioning what makes actions right and wrong. They are encouraged to discuss how, why and in which ways we punish people, the treatment of criminals and responses to the death penalty. They will also discuss the importance and role of forgiveness as well as looking at the origin of evil and the challenges evil poses to the existence of God.
- Issues of Human Rights: In this module students are encouraged to critically evaluate the personal beliefs and values of themselves and others looking at issues such as equality, censorship, religious expression, extremism, prejudice and discrimination and poverty.
We plan to finish course content in the first half of the Spring Term in Year 11. This is so we can teach high quality specific revision lessons that will cover the entirety of the course in preparation for the examinations at the end of Year 11.
The RE GCSE is assessed with examinations that take place at the end of Year 11. The examinations are: Unit 1 – Philosophical and Ethical Studies of the Modern World; Unit 2 – Christianity; Unit 3 – Buddhism.