Religious Education (RE)

Curriculum overview – Year 7

Religious Education in Year 7 allows our students to explore the bigger questions surrounding God’s existence, whilst laying the foundations for higher level thinking skills of analysis, evaluation and formulating judgements. Students begin by considering their own place in the community, society and globally and examine what their core values are, and where they come from. Students will then consider the value that is placed on religion and God by investigating the six major world religions, their history and the practices they share in common.

In the spring term, students delve deeper into the possibility of the existence of God through the analysis of scientific evidence by investigating the Big Bang theory, Design argument and Cosmological argument. Students then go on to consider historical evidence, by scrutinizing the possibility of a man named Jesus being in existence, and the roles he played as a ‘good man’ or the ‘Son of God’.

Summer term invites students to deal with the complex understanding of God’s role in the world today, considering questions such as ‘If God is supposed to be omnibenevolent then why is there so much suffering in the world?’ ‘Does God answer our prayers?’ and ‘If God is omnipotent, then why doesn’t he use his powers to stop disease and famine?’

Curriculum overview – Year 8

The key focus for RE in Year 8 is developing knowledge and understanding of the cultures, religions and belief systems that make up our diverse society. Students will evaluate the importance of different viewpoints and gain insight into what benefits and potential barriers arise when individuals, communities and society disagree.

The autumn term begins with the study of the Islamic faith and what it means to be a Muslim living in Britain today. Students then go on to consider the key teaching which unites all religions and those of non: agape. Students contextualise this type of love in the modern era and investigate examples of where agape can be found. Students deeply analyse if agape is truly possible, and evaluate the examples they have discovered.

In the spring term students explore religious rites of passage and compare the sacraments within Catholicism with the rites of passage in the Jewish faith. Students will consider the impact that having a belief has on an individual and go on to use this knowledge and understanding to investigate the different beliefs on what happens when a person dies.

Curriculum overview – Year 9

Students begin their studies by looking at Jewish beliefs – considering the origins of the Jewish faith and similarities between the Abrahamic religions. Students go on to investigate where Jewish sources of authority come from, and look at links between faith and secular rules/laws and their relevance in society today. Students will then investigate Jewish festivals, including why and how they are practiced by Orthodox/Reform/Secular Jews.

The spring term invites students to explore daily Jewish practices such as Kosher, worship and Shabbat and analyse how these practices vary between different denominations of Jews.

In the second half of the spring term, students begin studying Foundational Catholic theology. Students begin by looking at Catholic sources of authority and teaching, before going on to investigate the validity and accuracy of differing Catholic teachings on creation of the universe. Students investigate St. Augustine, Pope John Paul II, Richard Dawkins, Peter Singer and Charles Darwin. They begin to analyse their teachings on the Creation accounts, the Big Bang theory, Evolution and Speciesism.
In the summer term students develop their knowledge and understanding of key Catholic, Christian and Humanist teachings on the importance of human life. Students explore how this influences these groups by looking at the actions they carry out due to their beliefs before deeply analysing and evaluating the different responses to abortion.

In Year 9, students begin the in depth study of Judaism and Foundational Catholic theology. The curriculum is designed to ensure students become confident in their knowledge and understanding of the foundations of Jewish, Catholic, Christian, Humanist and Atheist beliefs in order for them to then consider how these beliefs influence an individual, a community and society as a whole. These skills are then built upon, by developing analysis and evaluation and then applied to the different beliefs in order to formulate judgements.

Curriculum overview – Year 10

In Year 10, students investigate the role of God for Catholics/Jews/Humanists and Atheists. They examine his role through the study of how evil and suffering can be present in the world when many religions teach that God is omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient. Students look at Catholic sources of authority and teaching allowing them to investigate the validity and accuracy of differing Catholic teachings on God’s goodness.

Students go onto analyse how evil can bring about human suffering. They will consider how the teachings of the Catholic church and J L Mackie may influence an individual or community and how an individual or community may respond to suffering.

Spring term two develops students’ study of suffering, by applying it to their own mortality. Students will consider what happens after death, from their own perspective as well as Catholic/Jewish and Humanist viewpoints. They will consider how a belief/lack of belief may influence a person’s decision on the way they die. Students will analyse and evaluate the ethical issues surrounding ‘dying well’ considering euthanasia vs palliative care.

Curriculum overview – Year 11

In Year 11, students examine issues around the topic of sin and forgiveness, starting with the context of ‘crime vs sin’. Students consider the events that cause people to commit crimes/sin against God and discuss the relevant punishment for specific actions. Case studies are considered, culminating in study of the death penalty, considering Catholic/Jewish/Humanist/Atheist views on the sanctity of life and the validity of the death penalty as a form of punishment. Students go onto explore Catholic teaching on punishment vs forgiveness, looking at key teachings of Jesus through Matthew’s Gospel as a source of authority.

The curriculum then draws together all content studied for GCSE by looking at the concepts of salvation and redemption. Students draw on prior learning to consider the concepts of salvation and redemption, atoning for one’s sins, accepting suffering, abiding by God’s laws as well as the laws of the country and understanding the Catholic churches teaching on the creation and sanctity of life. Students will use this to consider how this belief will influence a person’s actions and daily practices such as evangelisation, receiving the sacraments, weekly worship and being part of the body of Christ. Students with then use their finely tuned skills in evaluation and analysis to consider if salvation and redemption can only be offered to the religious.

In the spring term time is spent focussing on metacognition to ensure student confidence in tackling exam questions. Students undertake a walking talking mock in order to boost their understanding of command words and give clarity of what the question is asking.Students will sit three exams in the summer term.
1. Foundational Catholic Theology
2. Applied Catholic Theology
3. Judaism

Curriculum Leader of Religious Education

Mrs M Wilkinson –

Teachers of Religious Education

Ms L Lee –

Ms A Senior –

Mrs E Harrop –

Mrs K Graham –

Mr F Altariva –

Mr I Shah –