Religious Studies

 

Religious Studies (RS) or Religious Education (RE) makes a distinctive contribution to the school curriculum here at WHGS, particularly in:

  • promoting the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and of society; and in

  • preparing pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

Religion and beliefs inform our values and are reflected in what we say and how we behave. Religious Education provokes challenging questions 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. It develops pupils' knowledge and understanding of the nature of religion and belief including Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions, and world views that offer answers to these challenging questions. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, and of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.

RE contributes to pupils' personal development and well-being and to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society. It encourages them to develop their sense of identity and belonging. It enables them to flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society and global community. RE has an important role in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables pupils to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. It promotes discernment and enables pupils to combat prejudice.

How Does RE Contribute to Wider Curriculum Aims?

Religious education contributes to the three statutory aims of the National Curriculum. It enables all children and young people to become:

  • successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve

  • confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives

  • responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.

Staff

  • Mr B Swales – Subject Leader of Religious Studies

  • Mr N Choudhury – Teacher of Religious Education 

  • Miss E Kaufman – Teacher of Religious Education 

  • Mr K Khalique – Vice Principal / Teacher of Religious Studies

  • Mrs D J Richardson - Secondary SENCO / Teacher of Religious Studies

As with other humanities subjects, RE is taught in 2 specialist classrooms. Students have 3 lessons and one extended homework per fortnight (3 hours) and are assessed on their progress every six weeks.

RE encourages pupils to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions, while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning. Students of any religious persuasion, or none are able to access and thrive in this academic subject. It challenges pupils to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses.

At key stage three pupils are taught using a variety of different teaching styles such as theatre of learning, Kagan strategies, video assessments and resilience training through Building Learning Power. These stimulate and enhance and the pupils learning experience and bring the subject to life to such that the vast majority opt to continue their studies in RE to GCSE level. 

Summary of the content of KS3 Schemes of Work

The Key Stage 3 curriculum provides pupils with a rich array of study opportunities, covering a variety of world beliefs and cultures. Topics studied throughout the course include:

  • What is Religion? 
  • Faith Study: Buddhism 
  • The Judeo/Christian Heritage 
  • Rites of Passage and the Influence of Faith
  • Inspirational Figures within a Variety of Faith Communities 
  • Faith Study: Sikhism 
  • Prejudice and Persecution 
  • An Introduction to Ethics and Morality 
  • Extended Project: Crime and Punishment 
  • Studies in War and Peace

Religious Studies is the most popular humanities option for GCSE at WHGS and the results are regularly among the best in the School. Students receive 5 hours of lessons per fortnight, all from specialist RS Staff. We currently do not offer Religious Education to KS4 students who have not opted for the GCSE course.

The department currently follows the AQA board Religious Studies (Syllabus B). This is a FULL GCSE course comprising of two separate units, each assessed with an examination at the end of Year 11. There is no coursework or controlled assessment in RS.
The course offers students the opportunity for the thematic study of Religion and religious responses to fundamental questions of life and is accessible, and enjoyed, by students of any religious persuasion, or none.

Both units contain a range of relevant and contemporary themes to study and promote awareness of modern-world issues and engagement within the classroom. Students of all abilities are challenged and inspired, whilst developing valuable skills sought after by higher education and employers. These themes include: Religious attitudes to crime and punishment; drug abuse; medical ethics; the elderly and death; poverty; animal rights; poverty; and war and peace, among others.

Further details of this course can be found on the AQA website or by following this link:

www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/gcse

The course does not assume or require any previous study of Religious Studies. The course is open to candidates from any religious background and success in this subject will in no way depend upon a candidate’s religious beliefs or lack of them. In fact, of almost two hundred and fifty pupils who have gained A-Level RS at WHGS, only about half would claim to hold religious beliefs themselves.

 

View more information on A-Level Religious Studies

The department will provide students with text books and a range of additional resources to encourage students to read widely around each topic. There are a range of ‘revision’ style books commercially available for both at GCSE and A Level, however not all are relevant to the topics covered by our students. The department recommends the following additional guides should you wish to buy your own copy:

GCSE: 

My Revision Notes:
AQA GCSE Religious Studies: Religion and Life Issues and Religion and Morality by Lesley Parry (Author), Jan Hayes (Author), Kim Hands (Author)
ISBN-13: 978-1471801303

 

 

AS Level: 

My Revision Notes:
OCR AS Religious Studies: Philosophy of Religion by Jill Oliphant (Author)
ISBN-13: 978-1444182552

 

 

My Revision Notes: 
OCR AS Religious Studies: Religious Ethics by Jill Oliphant (Author)
ISBN-13: 978-1444182491

 

 

 

A2 Level: 

My Revision Notes:
OCR A2 Religious Studies: Philosophy of Religion by Jill Oliphant (Author)
ISBN-13: 978-1444182583

 

 

 

My Revision Notes: 
OCR A2 Religious Studies: Religious  Ethics by Jill Oliphant (Author)
ISBN-13: 978-1444182521

 

 

 

 

 

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