All R.E. lessons take place within the Social Sciences Faculty and are taught by subject specialists. The classrooms provide an inspiring environment where students work is colourfully displayed and achievement is celebrated. The department is equipped with a range of religious artefacts and visual materials that enhance students learning experience.
We believe through our teaching and our own example we can build an atmosphere of mutual respect for the beliefs of all students. The Religious Education Department plays an integral part in the educational, spiritual and moral development of the students. It offers an opportunity for pupils to explore and celebrate their own beliefs, cultural background and moral viewpoint and those of other people within the school and local community.
The Religious Education Department also makes a positive contribution to the ethos of the Academy by supporting tolerance of religious, moral, cultural and social differences by developing the students understanding of others and encouraging open debate and dialogue.
Key Stage 3
All students follow our own scheme of work, written in response to the Stoke-on-Trent Agreed Syllabus. The majority of curriculum time is devoted to the study of Christianity and Islam. We also study Judaism and Hinduism.
Year 7 students study:
- What do I believe about God? – An exploration of the central beliefs of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism, as well as atheism and humanism.
- What happens when I die? – An investigation into the beliefs of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism, in terms of the afterlife.
- How should I live my life? – A study of practices which shape the lives of believers in Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism.
Year 8 students study:
- Why are some books thought to be holy? – A study of the origins and significance of holy books of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism.
- What do festivals mean for religious believers? – An exploration of the stories, practices and meaning behind celebrations such as Christmas, Easter, Eid-ul Adha, Passover and Diwali.
- What does pilgrimage teach religious people about themselves and their religion? – An independent investigation into pilgrimage destinations including Lourdes, Mecca, Jerusalem and Varanasi.
Year 9 students study:
- What has happened in history which has caused religions to divide? A study of the historical schisms in religions and the differences between denominations such as Sunni and Shia Muslims and Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians
- Who inspires us? – A focus on inspirational figures such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
- In what ways can religious teachings affect young people’s lives?- An exploration of rites of passage for young people and religious responses to issues such as drugs, alcohol and sex outside marriage.
- How does religion affect life and death decisions? – An investigation into medical ethics and religious attitudes to euthanasia and organ donation.
Throughout Key Stage Three, students will be required to complete a homework booklet for each element of the course. The homework booklet focuses solely on learning the meaning and spelling of key vocabulary. It would be helpful if parents tested their children on the key words in preparation for in-class tests.
Key Stage 4
Students gain a GCSE in Religious Studies (AQA Specification B for 2017 exams, AQA Specification A for 2018 exams). The course content ensures that students have a good understanding of the influence of religion on the values, beliefs and moral choices of people today. It also helps students understand the influence of religion on society and major current world affairs.
Current Year 11:
The course is comprised of two units of study:
- Religion and Ultimate Questions (arguments for God’s existence, the problem of evil and suffering, immortality, religion and science, miracles).
- Religion and Life Issues (religion and early life, religion, war and conflict, religion and animal rights, religion and prejudice and religion and planet earth).
Current Year 10
The course is comprised of two units of study:
- Study of Christianity and Islam (belief, practice and authority)
- Religion and Life Issues (religion and life, peace and conflict, crime and punishment and human rights and social justice).
High grades in this subject will provide excellent preparation for those wishing to study Religious Studies, Sociology, Philosophy or Psychology at A-Level. Those students interested in careers that involve working with or caring for people, such as teaching, nursing, social work, and the police, will benefit from following this course. Students who are interested in pursuing careers such as law or medicine will also benefit from RE’s focus on skills such as source analysis and moral decision making.
Assessment is via an examination in May and June of Year 11. Students will sit two examinations for each unit, each paper lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Examinations are externally set and marked.
To further students’ success in this course it would be helpful if parents encouraged their children to watch the news on a regular basis and discussed current and relevant items of news with them.