Religious Studies (RS)

Religious Studies

Students learn and understand the full range of the six main world religions: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.

Subject Area Curriculum Intent

 

Principles at Key Stage 3

In year 7 and8 students learn and understand the full range of the six main world religions (Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism). Pupils learn about religions and beliefs in local, national and global context. They learn the importance and relevance of religious sources i.e. Holy books and how these apply to their lives.

The principal aim of RS at KS3 is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living. Which often highlights the commonality (shared experiences) between religions. As a result of all the above, by the end of year 7 students will have acquired detailed knowledge and understanding of 3 religions (Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism).

By the end of year 8 they will have acquired sound knowledge and understanding of Sikhism, Buddhism and Islam. The impact of the teaching will be assessed by use of both formative and summative assessments that will be accompanied by a structured approach to modelling of good responses. Along with the consistent scaffolding of material that will allow the students to gain the confidence to attempt new and complex skills that will evidently lead to success in the acquisition of knowledge.

Routine quality checks on teacher feedback, homework set and presentation of students’ folders will be held to ensure that students are provided with the full informed opportunity to achieve the best they can in RS

The sequencing of the medium term planning highlights a focus on the knowledge of the key factors relating to both learning about and from the six main world religions. Therefore pinning down an initial understanding of British values, such as religious and cultural, tolerance, mutual respect and democracy

 

Principles at Key Stage 4

Students will be learning the traditional faith of the country (Christianity) which is compulsory. Students’ will also focus on an additional faith (Sikhism). This makes up the content for the eventual GCSE that the student will achieve by the end of their KS4 studies. Students will remain learning the beliefs, teachings and practices of the two faiths, but will also focus on the thematic approach linked to RSThe thematic study allows pupils to draw together their learning each year, connecting their studies of different religions. This then feeds into the long term plan, encouraging students to be deeper thinkers and appreciating the vast diverseness in the range of sacred text, beliefs and practices that will follow through to KS4. Themes covered at KS4 according to the AQA specification A syllabus are:

    • Religion peace and conflict
    • Religion crime and punishment
    • Religion and life
    • Religion Human rights and social justice

 

RS four year impact

RS provides each and every student with the unique opportunity to explore and experience life from the perspective of individuals both similar and very different. This encourages them to demonstrate an open-minded approach as well as a sense of tolerance and understanding. Such a mind-set helps with the preparation of the student for life outside that of school and ready for the experience of adult life and social interactions within and beyond local communities. As a result the student is better equipped to cope with the complexities of human behaviour and beliefs that help to shape the culture and moral fibre of the individual and the wider community.

Our RS curriculum makes every attempt to ensure the success of the above happening by introducing the variety of world religions. The structuring an approach to learning that will challenge the able, encourage the less able and foster a culture of respect, knowledge and tolerance. The use of key questions linked to the units helps to focus the approach of both the teacher and the learner. Questions such as, ‘Why do some people choose to go to a place of worship?’ And ‘What is worship and what do people feel as they worship?’ Statements for evaluation such as, ‘War can never be justified’, or ‘The death penalty is best way of keeping people from committing serious crime’. Through the structure of our RS curriculum, each student is equipped with the tools of cognition to confidently, effectively and successfully answer such questions as those above. The student develops this ability as they evolve through the key stages processing and retaining information that then becomes the knowledge that will form part of their long term memory.

 

Teaching and learning

RS has a knowledge rich curriculum where students will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues and concepts. Students will also gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture. They will develop analytical and critical thinking skills, the ability to work with abstract ideas.

Teaching focuses on the development of subject specific vocabulary supported by religious and non-religious evidence, elaborated ideas and evaluative writing. This is monitored through structured challenging lessons, scaffolded learning, end of topic assessments and questioning. The use of regular retrieval practice and homework help to strengthen the stickability of information by linking prior learnig to current learning. Knowledge organisers are utilised as a live teaching and learning resource. As it allows the student to consolidate their understanding as well as strengthen their knowledge through regular engagement and updated tasks.

We support all behaviour for learning practices that are school wide in our lessons and in our dialogue with students, using positive rewards to motivate and encourage good participation and learning in the classroom an at home.

In RS we share the JMCC T&L common principals based on Interleaving, Elaboration, Retrieval Practice, Dual Coding, Spaced Practice and Concrete Examples. Many worksheets and power point resources, as well as classroom and homework activity is based on these principals.

Interleaving is often explored through highlighting the cross religious and culture commonalities that underpin the core principles of RS. Whilst regularly making references to prior learning.

Dual coding to be worked on by means of linking visual and written information to help demystify misconceptions.

Concrete examples are routinely used throughout lessons by media clips of religious practices. Modelling of good practice and expected standards of achievement. This is demonstrated with formative assessments and scaffolded learning in order to build confidence and competence in RS.