Religious Education Department
The Oaks Academy Religious Studies intent
Religious Studies is a stimulating, vibrant subject. Pupils will adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion by exploring and developing an understanding of the beliefs, values and traditions of different cultures locally, nationally and in the wider world. pupils will also have the opportunity to express, reflect on and develop your own values, opinions and attitudes to moral and religious questions.
The core religions we study are Christianity and Buddhism. pupils will consider the responses of these religions, and a range of other responses, to key moral issues and fundamental questions within each of the units studied below. The main advantage of GCSE Religious Studies is that it equips students with excellent reasoning, explaining and evaluating skills, vital for higher education, as well as enhancing both written and oral communication so pupils can articulate their thoughts. Religious Studies gives students an excellent understanding of multi-ethnic society and the skills needed to make the decisions every adult faces. It tackles the big questions of today from the origin of the universe and a greater being to ethical issues such as relationships, capital punishment and climate change.
The key concepts that we focus on:
- Beliefs and attitudes
The basis of a writing structure: Point, Quote, Explain. Building then towards Evaluate and Conclude.
In year 7 we study a breadth of religious beliefs. Starting with exploring religious beliefs from a citizenship point of view trying to create engagement and an appetite for the subject. We look at key beliefs from the major six faiths, splitting them into the Semitic and Indian religions. We also look at Greek Mythology which is engaging and helps to support literacy and creative writing.
In Year 8 we study in depth by focusing on Christianity and Buddhism. We study key beliefs such as the life of the Buddha and the life of Jesus. We develop extended writing using exam questions building skills of explaining and evaluation. This helps to equip pupils with a deeper understanding of religion and prepares pupils for GCSE style study.
In year 9 we study the GCSE ethical issues units: The Existence of God, Life issues, Peace and Conflict and Crime and Punishment. These are very engaging topics that allow pupils to tackle the issues that affect everyone at some point. This topic is extremely good for developing the skill of evaluation as pupils get engrossed in debate and discover their ability to argue and justify their conclusions.
Pupils are assessed three times a year with a summative assessment to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or success criteria. However, pupils also have formative assessment throughout the year through knowledge tests, short exam questions and self and peer assessment. Peer assessment is encouraged as it helps pupils to take ownership of their feedback and progress.
Religious Studies is assessed through two exams, both one hour and 45 minutes long. Pupils are expected to be diligent with classwork, homework and revision. Not everyone will be entered for the full AQA GCSE, only pupils who are able to access the subject with confidence and have developed the required skills and knowledge. Other pupils will be expected to sit the short course qualification.
Paper 1: Religious Beliefs and Teachings (50%)
Paper 2: Thematic studies (50%)
- The Existence of God
- Life Issues
- Peace and Conflict
- Crime and Punishment
Enrichment opportunities/ cultural capital and memorable experiences:
Visiting places of worship during a Sacred Buildings trip. Visiting Liverpool comparing Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals then experiencing Christmas Market and the festival of Christmas. Visiting a Buddhist Temple and practise meditation. Visitors to the school, e.g. Local Priest, the Gideons and The Muffin Club. I have chosen to include very topical issues to help engage pupil in developing evaluation skills. Furthermore, I have allowed pupils to rewrite work but on tea-stained paper or in a work-book or even in a front-page newspaper as an article. This helps to create engagement and a memorable experience. This then encourages pupils to take pride in their work, set higher standards for themselves and remember the skills to get to that point.
All students will take the GCSE in Religious Education. The course will be challenging with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious and ethical issues.
At Key Stage 3 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 existence. It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of mainly Christianity and Buddhism, other principal religions, other religious traditions, and other world views that offer answers to challenging questions. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and empathy. It enhances pupils’ 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. RE encourages pupils to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions, while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning. It challenges pupils to reflect on, display knowledge, explain and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses. RE encourages pupils 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. 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.
Topics Include: Year 7- Introduction to religious belief, The Semitic Religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam; The Indian Religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism; Greek Mythology. Year 8- Buddhism, Christianity, Martin Luther King. Year 9- The existence of God and revelation, Religion and Life, Religion Crime and Punishment, Religion Peace and Conflict.
Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices. Buddhism: Students should be aware that Buddhism is one of the diverse religious traditions and beliefs in Great Britain today and that the main religious tradition in Great Britain is Christianity. This knowledge may be applied throughout the assessment of the specified content. Students should study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Buddhism and their basis in Buddhist sources of wisdom and authority. They should be able to refer to scripture and/or sacred texts where appropriate. Christianity is the main religious tradition in Great Britain is Christianity. This knowledge may be applied throughout the assessment of the specified content. Students should study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity specified below and their basis in Christian sources of wisdom and authority. They should be able to refer to scripture and/or sacred texts where appropriate. Component 2: Thematic studies. Students should study religious teachings, and religious, philosophical and ethical arguments, relating to the issues, and their impact and influence in the modern world. They should be aware of contrasting perspectives in contemporary British society on all of these issues. Theme B: Religion and life; Theme C: The existence of God and revelation; Theme D: Religion, peace and Conflict; Theme E: Religion, crime and punishment.
Pupils will develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and non-religious beliefs. They will develop their ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject. They will reflect on and develop their own values, belief, meaning, purpose, truth and their influence on human life. Thy will reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they have learnt and contribute to their preparation for adult life in a pluralistic society and global community. The skills are divided in to two assessment objectives: AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding and explaining. AO2: Analyse and evaluate aspects of religion and belief, including their significance and influence.
What is a Knowledge Organiser?
It is a document prepared by your teachers that summarises and condenses all the most vital, useful and powerful knowledge on a single page, that you need to remember to be successful.
If you use this document to help you when you study or revise it will help you to remember the key information and learn important subject specific words which will help you in your exams and assessments.
By using the Knowledge Organisers at home to support you with study it will help you when back in the classroom. Below is a list of potential ideas and tasks that you could follow to help with any subject. You will then need to find the knowledge organisers for the subjects you wish to study, and the topics that you are studying in class to complete the tasks below or those set by your teachers.