Religious Studies gives students the opportunity to understand the beliefs and practices of the people in the world around them, in preparation for life.
- Paul Nemeth
The Place And Importance Of Religious Studies In The Curriculum
Religious Studies at Kendrick is an academic subject, and part of the Humanities faculty, and is chosen by a number of students to study at GCSE, A-level and at university.
In Religious Studies, the curriculum for non-faith schools is taught in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus recommended by the Agreed Syllabus Conference to the Local Authority, as determined by the SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for RE), although the content and approach to the teaching is reviewed regularly.
Religious Studies provokes challenging questions about issues of right and wrong, beliefs about God, the ultimate meaning and purpose of life and what it means to be human. This is especially important today in Britain, which is multi-cultural in nature, and the wider world, where many events in the news involve religious ideas, beliefs and practices. Religious Studies offers students the opportunity for personal reflection and spiritual development, as well as increasing their knowledge of Christianity and other principal religions over the key stages throughout their school career. Students can flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a pluralistic society and global community, helping them to prepare for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. Most importantly, it helps students develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular, those whose beliefs are different from their own.
Our department aims to:
- Guide students in learning facts about Christianity and other principle faiths, as directed by the Agreed Syllabus
- Develop the skills of enquiry, knowledge, understanding, evaluation, empathy and respect, to enrich students’ educational experience
- Expand students’ knowledge of local, national and international communities
- Provide an understanding of past events connected with the faiths studied and how these are practiced in the modern world
Religious Studies up to Year 9
Religious Studies is taught as a separate subject throughout the school within the faculty of Humanities. At this level students are taught in form groups. Students will cover a number of topics whilst developing the above skills.
Throughout the Key Stage 3 course students will consider Ultimate Questions such as the existence of God and how different faiths may relate to God through prayer, artefacts, holy buildings, scripture and ceremonies.
Because Britain is officially a Christian country, in Year 7 students will study aspects of that faith in their four hours of lessons over the two week period, throughout the year.
In Years 8 and 9, students will receive two hours of Religious Studies over the two week period throughout the year and will cover aspects of Islam and Buddhism, as directed by the Agreed Syllabus, though where appropriate, other faiths will be discussed at that time.
Some examples of topics taught in Year 7 are: The nature of religion in Britain, the Christian Church and its denominations, the Bible and the Ten Commandments as sources of authority and how they are a guide for life, the teaching of Jesus concerning respect and caring for others, regardless of faith, in the community, the nature of God and Trinity, morality, and environmental awareness as stewards of the world.
Some examples of topics taught in Year 8 are: The origins of Islam and the life of Muhammad and the giving of the Qu’ran, the Qu’ran as a guide to life and morality, the Five Pillars of Faith and the Mosque as a community centre and place of worship. Throughout the year other faiths will be discussed and researched where appropriate, for example, their places of worship and the importance of Holy Books.
Some examples of topics taught in Year 9: The life of the Buddha and his search for Enlightenment, including the stories of his miraculous birth with a comparison to the miraculous birth of Jesus, the Four Nobel Truths, morality and the eight steps to Nirvana. Students will complete a project on marriage in Christianity or one of the other principle faiths, as part of their examination result.
At GCSE the OCR (World Religions A) syllabus is followed. At this level, this subject is an option although a Humanities subject must make up a part of any student’s GCSE selection. The course objectives of GCSE Religious Studies include an understanding of the nature of religious belief and how it is practiced today and influences the lives of believers, and the development of essential skills such the ability to analyse and construct a logical argument. Topics covered include the beliefs and practices in Judaism and Hinduism.
Core Religious Studies
In addition to GCSE Religious Studies all students in Years 10 and 11 will spend half the year discussing Human Rights, Medical Ethics, and the Existence of God in the light of suffering in the world. They will discuss the Christian viewpoint and those of religious and non-religious people on these topics of morality, philosophy and ethics. This does not lead to an examination but is a way to help students consider broader issues and learn to listen to others with respect and formulate their own points of view.
AS AND ‘A’LEVEL
The Edexcel syllabus is followed.
AS Unit 1: The development of Hinduism and the study of the Fourth Gospel. (25% of A-level and 50% of AS).
Hinduism: The background and origins of Hinduism from the Indus Valley Civilisation, the Aryans and Vedic beliefs and practices, the nature and practice of Yoga and Key beliefs and the importance of the worship of individual gods and goddesses.
The Fourth Gospel: The background to the writing of the Gospel in the Jewish and Roman world, the themes in the Gospel, miracles and the nature of discipleship and Jesus’ attitude to women.
Assessment: Written exam. 1 hour 30mins. Three essay questions.
Unit 2: An extended essay on an aspect of Christian belief and practice, examined externally. (worth 25% of A-level and 50% of AS level)
A2 Unit 3: The development of Hinduism and the study of the Fourth Gospel. (25% of A-level).
Hinduism: Further development of Hinduism to the modern era, including texts, concepts, philosophers and reformers and the changing face of Hinduism
The Fourth Gospel: The purpose of the Fourth Gospel and its author, the conflict with the religious and political authorities and the crucifixion and resurrection.
Assessment: Written exam. 1 hour 30mins. Three essay questions.
A2 Unit 4 : An essay on a topic taken from an Anthology of New Testament issues, externally examined. (worth 25% of full A-level)