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Religious Education

Why we teach Religious Education

Britain in the 21st Century is part of a vibrate and diverse worldwide society. Religious Education here at Melbourn Village College is designed to provide a tailored curriculum that helps prepare pupils for adult life so they can respond to the national and global landscape of religion and diversity, especially in an area that has currently has little ethnic and religious diverseness. This curriculum looks to aid the personal development of the pupil and includes the promotion of values such as mutual respect, tolerance and understanding across different cultures and communities, as well as enhancing their spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development. Hence the subject retains the title Religious Education as we learn from, as well as about, different religious traditions.

Pupils access a broad and balanced curriculum following advice provided by the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Studies 2018-2023 to build a broad framework of skills that can be applied to the GCSE syllabus.  The curriculum is based around the principles of developing religious literacy, enhancing knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religions and worldviews that are represented in the UK, promoting understanding of how religious beliefs and attitudes influence society, and developing the respect and the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements. This subject also presents opportunities and enables pupils to explore some of the most profound and difficult questions that are raised in life. Completing varied work programs based on these principles empowers pupils to explore religions, engage with their knowledge and reflect on their learning and their lives.

Contrary to popular perception, Religious Education remains a rigorous, academic subject focusing on skills such as (but not limited to);  debate, critical thinking,  research, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, application, and communication throughout both key stages. These skills are integral  and transferrable to all academic subjects, as well as beneficial in later life.

KS3 Religious Education

Overview of content

In year 7 we will be completing a topic-based programme, looking at a variety of religions in the world and how they have impacted society. This will range from the premise of being trapped on an Island and how we use ideas and concepts from religion to form society to exploring and analysing how people are influenced by teachings, places, actions and leaders. There are opportunities given for independent and group-based learning, as well as developing debating skills.

In year 8 we will be building on and revising the subject knowledge and skills developed throughout Year 7 and continue to explore the ‘Big Questions’ that have puzzled people for generations. This will be approached through thematic and religion specific approaches. As part of this we will be honing the skills of explanation and analysis that provide academic rigour, as well as developing a greater understanding of two world religions, Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) and Islam. 

In the final year of the Key Stage 3 programme, we are looking to cement and enhance the skills and knowledge pupils have developed over the past two years and apply this to the development and application of philosophy. We will continue applying a thematic approach as well with a focused study of the Sikh (Sikhi) religion.

Yr 7 Programme of Study

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

Autumn - 1

The Island: This course to designed to provide a detailed introduction to a range of the basic concepts that underpin religious traditions. This includes: Rights and Responsibilities, Commitments, Symbols of Faith, Birth, Prayer, Pilgrimage, Festivals in relation to the 6 main world religions/atheism.

Ongoing focused questions to revisit previous learning with application of concepts taught to the Island scenario

Quizizz online assessments used to check and embed recall of key information and concepts in the form of a mid-scheme assessment and/or homework as appropriate

At the end of the unit there is an extended writing task, which applies knowledge, understanding and concepts explored throughout the course.

Autumn - 2

Spring - 1

Expressions of Faith: This course builds upon the previous unit and explores further the following concepts: use of Symbols, Foundation of Religions, A Good Teacher, Views on Jesus from a range of religious traditions, Religious Buildings, Religious Artefacts from a range of traditions, Development of Religion and Denominations – focus on Christian Church. 

Ongoing focused questions to revisit previous learning and embed/expand on current learning

Quizizz online assessments used to check and embed recall of key information and concepts in the form of a mid-scheme assessment and/or homework as appropriate

At the end of the unit there are a series of writing tasks, which allows students to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of the concepts explored throughout the course.

Spring - 2

Summer - 1

Human Nature – What Makes Us Human?: inc – different forms of worth, how are humans special, the purpose(s) of life, free will and the (possible) future of humanity.

Life as a Buddhist: inc – the life and teachings of Siddhartha Gotama, the four noble truths and eight-fold path, different Buddhist traditions, Buddhist lifestyles and global Buddhism.

Ongoing focused questions to revisit previous learning and embed/expand on current information

Quizizz online assessments used to check and embed recall of key information and concepts in the form of a mid-scheme assessment and homework as appropriate

At the end of the unit there is an art based response connecting with the concept of symbols and expressions of belief.

Summer - 2

Yr 8 Programme of Study

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

Autumn - 1

Places and People: inc – places of religious significance and the role of pilgrimage, importance of the Holy Land and India, different types of religious leader and example of how these people have influenced society and an examination of religious communities. This connects to Y7 work on Expressions of Faith

Growing up in Sanatana Dharma: inc – beginnings, the concept of God and karma and reincarnation

There is an 10-mark interim test at the end of the Autumn half term.

At the end of the unit there is a 40-minute 8 question paper, applying knowledge and ideas, including questions to allow personal responses to concepts.  

Autumn - 2

Spring - 1

Growing up in Sanatana Dharma cont: inc – Sacred texts and traditions, worship, pilgrimage and celebrations.

What is it like to be a British Muslim?: inc – beginnings, beliefs about Allah, Muhammad, interpretations of the Qur’an and denominations. Both of the above units link to  Y7 The Island and allow exploration of the concepts covered to a specific religion.

There is an 10-mark interim test at the end of the Spring half term.

At the end of each unit there is a written response to a debate question. This allows students to demonstrate knowledge, application and personal opinion.

Spring - 2

Summer - 1

What is it like to be a British Muslim?: inc –sharia law, beliefs and choices, religious teachings and global Islam.

Creation: inc - How was the world created, different theological approaches, what questions are raised from the perceived design of the world. Links to the Human Nature unit in Y7 and allows students to make connections between the complexity of different viewpoints.

There is an 10-mark test interim test at the end of the Summer half term.

At the end of the unit Students will design and explain a creation story, combining ideas from Science and Religion to demonstrate and apply understanding of theological approaches.

Summer - 2

Yr 9 Programme of Study

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

Autumn - 1

Meaning and Purpose: inc – exploration of the concepts of faith, religion, God, beginnings and endings. This builds upon the initial units in Y7 and 8 as well as connecting to the different world views explored in each year.

Who are the Sikhi?: inc – history, gurus, the gurdwara and equality.

There is a 10 mark interim test at the end of the Autumn half term.

At the end of the unit there is a 40-minute 8 question paper, applying knowledge and ideas

Autumn - 2

Spring - 1

Who are the Sikhi?: inc – service, traditions and sacred places. This connects to the teaching of different religious groups that are covered in both of the previous years, encouraging analysis and comparison between them.

Introduction to Philosophy and Greek Philosophers: An examination of the beliefs, teachings and ideas of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Do they have anything to help us in today’s world?

There is a 10 mark interim test at the end of the Spring half term.

At the end of each unit there is a written response to a series of debate questions on the application of religion in the 21st century

Spring - 2

Summer - 1

The Big Questions: Exploring the major questions raised in the search for meaning inc suffering, good and evil, free will and predestination. Both of the above units contain elements of theological discussions that have been covered through the units completed in the previous years.

Human relationships / Good and Evil: Based on the GCSE Eduqas course pupils will examine ideas within these units from different theological backgrounds.

There is an 10 mark test interim test at the end of the Summer half term.

At the end of each unit there is opportunity to create an interview scenario that explores questions, attitudes and answers to key questions explored through the lessons.  

Summer - 2

Homework

Homework is set approximately every 2 weeks unless pupils are required to revise for an upcoming assessment. The aim behind the homework is to provide opportunities to develop a pupil’s skills as well as knowledge. The tasks set are standalone pieces to facilitate this. 

Parental support and extension

One of the main ways that a parent or guardian can support their child’s learning is through discussion of ethical or religious issues where appropriate. There are often exhibitions at the Fitzwilliam Museum that maybe of interest and even visiting a local place of worship or photos of ones that may have been taken on holiday can be of interest! BBC Bitesize and Oak Academy remain invaluable as a source of information.

More information

Pupils would benefit from having their own colouring pencils and highlighters for use in class.

KS4 Religious Education

Overview of content:

Throughout Key Stage 4, we maintain the approach of  topic-based programme, following the guidance provided in the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus and the scheme as set by the Eduqas Religious Studies Short Course. This is approached using a series of bespoke lessons held once a half term, covering major concepts from the syllabus. The topic areas covered focus on the ethical issues of Relationships and Life and Death, as well as knowledge, understanding and evaluation of Christianity and Buddhism. There are opportunities given for independent and group-based learning, as well as developing debating skills.

Core RE

To fulfil the statutory requirements for KS4 RE, Yr 10 follows and completes the WJEC/Eduqas short course through a series of weekly lessons. The topic areas covered are detailed below through the module breakdown and these build upon the curriculum undertaken throughout KS3. Skills such as debate, research and evaluation are exercised and built upon, whilst knowledge and understanding of common issues and religious traditions within Christianity and Buddhism are explored as well in other secular and non-secular traditions.

Students are given the option of taking the exam at the end of the course, but this is not compulsory. For students who have opted to take RE as a discrete option, Core RE is an opportunity throughout Y10 to cover the general information and use the further dedicated lessons to enhance their understanding and abilities whilst undertaking a range of dedicated research.

Course Followed: WJEC Eduqas GCSE Religious Studies (Short Course): Route 1 – including Component 3 Option 1  C125P1

Year 10

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

Autumn – 1

Component 1

Theme 1 – Issues of Relationships

inc. Family and the roles within the relationship, divorce, sexual relationships, natural law and the 5 Primary Precents.

Theme 1 – Issues of Relationships cont.

Inc. equality, same sex relationships and the interpretation of the roles of men and women.

Theme 2 – Issues of Life and Death

Inc. the creation of the universe, the Big Bang, dominion and stewardship.

Formal mid-scheme assessment supplemented using Quizizz assessments for AO1 and 12 mark Knowledge Checks

Formal End of Unit Assessment inc

8 mark extended writing practise

Quizizz online assessments based on AO1 application

Formal mid-scheme assessment supplemented using Quizizz assessments for AO1 and 12 mark Knowledge Checks

 

Autumn – 2

Spring – 1

Theme 2 – Issues of Life and Death cont.

Inc. The origin and sanctity of life, evolution, abortion and euthanasia and speciesism, life after death, judgement/heaven and hell, Christian and Humanist funerals.

Component 3 – Study of Buddhism

Inc. the study of the person of the Buddha, dhamma and the 3 marks of existence, the 4 noble truths, aspects of the human personality, human destiny/ethical teachings.

Formal End of Unit Assessment inc

8 mark extended writing practise

Quizizz online assessments based on AO1 application

Formal End of Unit Assessment inc

8 mark extended writing practise and 12 mark Knowledge Checks

Quizizz online assessments based on AO1 application

Spring – 2

Summer – 1

Component 2 – Christianity

Inc. Christian belief in GB (law, festivals and traditions), the nature of God with focus on the Trinity, creation, beliefs about Jesus and his life, salvation and the afterlife.

Period of formal exams

Unit from Future Learn:

Introducing Humanism: Non-religious approaches to life with Sandi Toksvig.

Formal End of Unit Assessment inc

8 mark extended writing practise and 12 mark Knowledge Checks

Quizizz online assessments based on AO1 application

Series of modular tasks completed that receive accreditation.

Summer – 2

RE as an Option at KS4

Course Followed: GCSE (9-1) in Religious Studies Route A C120P1: WJEC Eduqas Route A C120P1

Overview of Content

In Religious Education as a GCSE, we look to examine the world from the standpoint of a religious tradition and by exploring ethical issues and ‘big questions’ that arise in life. The course challenges pupils to reflect on their own views as well as those of others, to demonstrate understanding and the ability to interrogate key sources of wisdom and teaching for religious groups, as well as investigating common and divergent views within beliefs or a belief system. This in turn leads to the ability to apply knowledge and construct well-informed and balanced arguments on the matters covered, as well as on supporting evidence.

Course Overview

This course consists of three modules.

  • Component 1 is based on Ethical Studies which covers 4 themes: Relationships, Life and Death, Good and Evil and Human Rights.
  • Components 2 and 3 are studies of Christianity and other religion. This will focus on the beliefs, teachings and practices of these religions. There are also opportunities to investigate these different concepts from a Humanist point of view.

Year 10

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

Autumn – 1

 

Theme 1

Issues of Relationships inc. Relationships, Sexual Relationships and Issues of Equality from a range of religious and non-religious traditions

Theme 2

Issues of Life and Death inc. The World, The Origin and Value of Human Life, Beliefs about Death and the Afterlife from a range of religious and non-religious traditions

Mid Unit Assessment

8 and 15 mark extended writing practise

Formal End of Unit Assessment

Autumn - 2

Spring – 1

Theme 3

Issues of Good and Evil inc. Crime and Punishment, Forgiveness, Good, Evil and Suffering from a range of religious and non-religious traditions

Theme 4

Issues of Human Rights inc. Human Rights and Social Justice, Prejudice and Discrimination and Issues of Wealth and Poverty from a range of religious and non-religious traditions

Mid Unit Assessment

8 and 15 mark extended writing practise

Formal End of Unit Assessment

Spring - 2

Summer – 1

Beliefs, teachings, and practices of Christianity inc. the Nature of God and Creation, Salvation and the Afterlife

Mid Unit Assessment

8 and 15 mark extended writing practise

Formal End of Unit Assessment

Summer - 2

Year 11

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

Autumn – 1

Revision and completion of beliefs, teachings, and practices of Christianity inc. Worship, Christianity in Britain and the Worldwide Church

 

Beliefs, teachings, and practices of Buddhism inc. the Buddha, Dhamma, the Noble Truths and Human Personality

Mid Unit Assessment

 

8 and 15 mark extended writing practise

 

Formal End of Unit Assessment

Autumn - 2

Spring – 1

Beliefs, teachings, and practices of Buddhism inc. Destiny and Ethical Teaching, Buddhist places of worship in Britain and elsewhere, Devotional Practices, Death and Mourning, and Festivals and Retreats

Mid Unit Assessment

 

8 and 15 mark extended writing practise

 

Formal End of Unit Assessment

Spring - 2

Summer - 1

Revision

Period of Formal Exams

 

Summer - 2

How it is assessed

The examination consists of 3 papers sat at the end of the 2-year course.

The first paper is a 2 hour written examination focusing on the Ethical issues studied (50% of the total mark), the last 2 are for 1 hour each and encompass the studies of Christianity (25% of the total mark) and of Buddhism (25% of the total mark) respectively.

Learning outside the classroom

Pupils are encouraged to read and debate the issues that we are covering in class. It is through discussion and debate that pupils will hone their skills.

Parental support and extension

Please encourage your child to complete their homework and discuss topics with them where possible as this is an integral part of the learning.

Everybody is somebody