Exploring the beliefs of others, to better understand our own
Religious Education looks at developing the subject aims through three main elements; knowing and understanding religions and worldviews, expressing and communicating ideas related to religions and worldviews, and gaining and deploying the skills needed for studying religions and worldviews.
Religious Education is at the heart of the school curriculum and contributes dynamically to pupils’ education by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate realty, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. In RE pupils learn about and from religions and worldviews in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions. They learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response, and to agree or disagree respectfully. We look for pupils to develop their religious and theological literacy.
All pupils follow a Religious Education programme of study accepted by the Directors, with links to the West Sussex Agreed Syllabus, national guidance and in accordance with the Church of England Statement of Entitlement.
The programme gives prominence to the beliefs, values and practices of the Christian faith but also explores a number of aspects of other religions and worldviews. All pupils have three periods of Religious Education each fortnight during Key Stage 3.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 has a focus on exploring why it is important to study RE. We take time to study aspects of Christianity today and the teachings of Jesus from the national Understanding Christianity project (which we develop through each year of the key stage), as well as an introduction to Sikhism.
In Year 8 the emphasis is on both depth and breadth, as we look to understand more of the roots of the Abrahamic faiths and explore an introduction to Buddhism. Study of Christianity in Year 8 investigates both religious texts and practices, giving pupils opportunities to explore Christianity in the action. The breadth of RE is evident in our unit where pupils reflect on spirituality through the creative arts.
In Year 9 pupils investigate prejudice and appreciate difference with a particular focus on the Holocaust. The anniversary of the Reformation prompts our participation in national pilot unit to consider religion and change. An in depth study into the significance of Christian teaching about trinity builds pupils theological literacy, whilst they look towards GCSE study by asking if ‘Religion is a cause of conflict or power for peace?’
Assessment is via regular checking of students’ books, as well as a number of more formally set tasks through the year. These develop a variety of skills, and investigate the unit currently being studied. In regular book checking, and in assessments, reference will be made to the School’s KS3 methods of assessment with pupils being directed towards the best ways to make progress within the ‘Step’ they are working at.
Visits throughout KS3 include a pilgrimage visit to Chichester Cathedral with Year 7, participation in the RE West Sussex Youth Voice conference in Year 8 and the opportunity to visit places of worship from different world faiths. In Year 9 pupils also have the privilege of hearing a visiting Holocaust survivor’s Testimony Talk.
Key Stage 4
As our GCSE course specification states “Religious Studies provides opportunities for learners to understand more about the world, the religious challenges it faces and their place within it. Following this GCSE course will deepen understanding of religions and their effect on society. It will develop learners’ competence in a wide range of skills and approaches and enable young people to become religiously informed and thoughtful, engaged citizens. “
All pupils have four periods of Religious Education each fortnight during Stage 4. All pupils follow a full course GCSE curriculum in Religious Studies in Year 10 and 11. We study the EDUQAS Specification A for GCSE. This has three components:
- A study of four themes in religion and life
- A study of Christianity
- A study of a contrasting world faith (Islam)
We study the AQA Specification A for GCSE in Year 10.
- Issues of love, marriage and divorce,
- Issues of justice and equality
- Issues about God, life and death
For further details follow this link - GCSE Religious Studies exam specification
The RE Department co-ordinate trips to conferences looking at ethical and philosophical issues. Guest speakers often enhance the RE curriculum.
Bishop Luffa School has been awarded the RE Quality Mark Gold Award.