Religious Studies 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 students’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions, and other world views that offer answers to these challenging questions. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances students’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.
RS encourages students to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions, while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning. RS encourages students 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. RS has an important role in preparing students for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables students 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 students to combat prejudice.
During Key Stage 3 students are able to consider the importance of understanding a range of religious beliefs:
- Students will reflect on their own personal beliefs and family life and compare and contrast these with others’ beliefs.
- Students will understand how religion is represented in their local community and the importance of inter-faith dialogue within a multi faith community.
- Students also prepare and present work on religious festivals from the Six Major religions.
Students will participate in personal reflection, group work and whole class discussion to exchange ideas. They will have the opportunity to share their own experiences with others and will critically examine other beliefs and traditions. Students are encouraged to empathise with others from a range of different faiths and will begin to work independently to research and present their work to the class.
Programme of study/content
In the Autumn term students are introduced to the six major religions studied in RS at KS3, they will have the opportunity to put forward unanswered questions about God and reflect on their own beliefs. They will also explore religious views on the environment.
In the Spring term students reflect on and analyse the various components that are part of a religion, they will consider questions such as ‘What is RS?’ and ‘What is community and culture?’ Students discover how religions are represented in the New Malden area and then compare their research with cultural aspects of Paris.
In the Summer term students look at various aspects of Judaism, looking at Worship, practice and customs. In the final part of this term there is an end of Year exam and students complete a presentation on Religious Festivals.
Setting arrangements and amount of curriculum time
Students are taught in ability groups in RS. Students have one 60 minute lesson per week.
- Students starting at Coombe will take a baseline assessment test early in the Autumn term, this will inform us of individual levels of ability in RS. Progress can then be monitored throughout the year.
- The Religious Studies department sets one assessment per half term which is based on National Curriculum levels; these will be explained in detail when they are set. A copy of the assessment tasks can also be found on the Coombe website.
- Written work completed in class, homework and the end of year exam will provide additional evidence of progress throughout the year.
- The various sets of information we collect throughout the year and the end of year exam result will be reflected in the levels and grades given for Academic Mentoring and the end of year report.
- The project, completed during the second part of the Summer term, will be peer assessed, that is, students within the class will grade and comment positively on each others’ work.
National Curriculum Assessment: Level 3c, 3b, 3a, 4c, 4b, 4a, 5c, 5b, 5a, 6c.
Effort is marked A – E.
Homework is set once a week and collected in during the following lesson. Students are expected to work independently, researching where necessary, using the school library or, where appropriate, the Internet.
Homework must always be completed to a high standard with care taken over spelling, punctuation, grammar and presentation of work.
Throughout the year students will have the opportunity to develop personal skills of reflection, creative thinking and speaking and listening. They will begin to confidently self manage their work, becoming effective participators and good team workers.
In the Spring term students produce work on a cross curricular basis which includes Drama and Citizenship. Students work in groups to make their own Community/Faith group, they will use art and drama to formulate their Island community and then consider how they can work together when disaster strikes and one of their islands are destroyed. This work also has cross curricular links with Citizenship and asks students to reflect on the importance of community and culture as well as reflecting on what it may be like to be a refugee.
Main texts/useful websites
Textbooks: The Jewish Experience: Liz Aylett and Kevin O’Donnell – published by Hodder & Stoughton
Internet: All RE: www.allre.org.uk