Key Stage 3
Philosophy, Theology and Ethics (PTE) is a core subject for all students in Years 7 & 8. The course covers the following topics over the two years taking students through the metanarrative of the Bible and developing a firm foundation for success at GCSE in Year 11.
The aims of the key stage 3 Religious Education course are threefold:
- For students to develop an informed understanding of biblical Christianity (the religion which has shaped our nation, and arguably the entire Western world). We encourage students to engage in biblical theology and be able to grasp the storyline of the Bible (creation – fall – redemption – new creation), as well as systematic theology, as their appreciation of the key biblical doctrines develops.
- For students to develop an understanding of other worldviews. As Christianity is compared with other religions attention is given to those faiths’ truth claims & teachings as opposed to simply their traditions and rites of passage. We encourage students to critically evaluate faith positions & to identify similarities and differences between alternative religious views.
- For students to reflect upon what they themselves believe. The individual’s right to come to their own personal, educated view is respected and students are stimulated to consider why they believe what they believe and not to receive or reject any faith position simply because they are told to. Proper debate is an expectation as students are encouraged to articulate their own emerging worldview coherently.
Unit 1 – WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE? This unit offers an introduction to basic Christian doctrines of the Trinity, Creation, Fall, God’s Love and Salvation.
Unit 2 – IDENTITY AND THE IMAGE OF GOD: Introducing the concept of imago dei and how this fundamental Christian belief can be applied in every day 21st Century life.
Unit 3 – RESPECT, AUTHORITY, LAW AND DEMOCRACY: A fundamental look at British Values and how Christian values previously learned in unit 1 and 2 should make FBV the norm in today’s society. In fact, Christian values go above and beyond the requirements of FBV.
Unit 4: RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES AND GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP. What does it mean to be British? UK as a multi-faith society. What are human rights? How do my human rights impact me? How do human rights impact others? Amnesty International. What happens when it all goes wrong? Hope for Justice and human trafficking.
Unit 5 – WORLD RELIGIONS: This is the first half of a two-part scheme of work, focused on the beliefs of others. In year 7 they will study Eastern Religions in this unit: Buddhism, Hinduism and its modern day counterparts.
Unit 1 – CHRISTIANITY: An in depth look at the life and ministry of the historical Jesus and how Christians apply this to their faith today.
Unit 2 – THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS: An in depth look at Jesus’ teachings in the Bible, underlining knowledge that will transfer to GCSE teaching in Year 9
Unit 3 – CHRISTIAN ETHICS: Application of Imago dei and sanctity of life teaching to modern day relationships and families. Examining family life, is there an ideal? How do we strive for it? What happens when things go wrong?
Unit 4 – WORLD RELIGIONS: This is the second half of the World Religions course where students will study the Abrahamic Religions of Islam and Judaism.
Key Stage 4
Beyond Key Stage 3 we offer an Edexcel Religious Studies GCSE to Years 9, 10 and 11. The GCSE in Religious Studies offers four units of study. All students will complete Paper 1 and 2, and then either Paper 3 or Paper 4:
Paper 1 Christianity
Students consider Christian beliefs and how it affects the way people behave and live.
- Christian Beliefs
- Christian Practices
- Wisdom and Authority
- Forms of Expression and Ways of Life
Paper 2 Judaism.
Students consider Jewish beliefs and how it affects the way people behave and live.
- Jewish Beliefs
- Jewish Practices
Paper 3 Philosophy and Ethics.
Students study arguments for the existence of God and various attitudes towards marriage and relationships.
- Arguments for the Existence of God
- Family and Relationships.
Paper 4 Mark’s Gospel
Students look at Mark’s Gospel and what it says about who Jesus was, what he taught and what relevance this has for today.
- Who is Jesus?
Key Stage 5
In the Sixth Form, the Religious Studies A-Level is a course that is prized by universities not just because of the knowledge gained, but because of the skills that are learned in presenting arguments and evaluation of opinion. The students will study three areas and sit a paper for each unit at the end of Year 13. Depending on demand, there is room for examinations to be taken at the end of Year 12 for an AS qualification. Students will study the following combination of topics:
Paper 1 Philosophy of Religion
The content of this paper helps students to explore the main contemporary philosophical issues and questions about religion, such as belief in God or the conviction that life has both meaning and purpose. Students will engage with arguments and debates on religious and non-religious views of life and consider how religious ideas are expressed and communicated. They will engage in debates and discussion around controversial issues like evil and suffering and the validity of religious experience
Paper 3 New Testament
This paper will give students the critical and scholarly tools they need to study the Gospels and other historical texts. The study will also give them an understanding of how the Early Church saw Jesus and the historical context will mean that students can become familiar with some of the more technical language and terminology used in the texts. They will also be required to study the contributions of key theological scholars in order to support and underpin their understanding.
Paper 4b Christianity
This paper comprises a focused and in-depth study of Christianity and provides a foundation for understanding the key beliefs and values of Christianity at the same time as creating an awareness of the diversity of traditions and practice within the religion. This study will give students the understanding and skills needed to be able to explore what it means today to be a religious believer in an increasingly diverse and secular society.