Religious Education

In Year 7 students study the following topics:

Expressions of faith

To explore a range of answers to the question: Who am I? Where do I belong? What is faith? What is religion? What is life? Did the universe have a beginning? Will it have an end?

Asking some big questions

Who am I? Where do I belong? What is faith? What is religion? Who or what is God? What is life? Did the universe have a beginning? Will the universe have an end?

Exploring symbols in religion

How are symbols used in religion? How did the religions start? What makes a good teacher? How do the religions use symbols in art? What will you find in a place of worship? What will you find in the homes of some religious people? How did the religions develop?

Looking for God

Fantasy Journey Exploring God via symbols The Trinity, The Shahadah, The Mool Mantra

Religious rebels

Exploring worship and rituals

Why do religions have special books? What is worship? How do people celebrate? Why do people fast? How is life like a journey? How do people celebrate the birth of a baby? Is marriage important? How do people respond to death?

In year 8, students study the following topics

Bloody RE - Reflecting upon how difficult or easy is it to make God the most important part of your life through the following stories.

Volunteers please…death is waiting! The formation of the Khalsa.

The importance of celebrating events within the history of a religion through the story of Moses and Passover. To sacrifice or not to sacrifice? (The story behind Eid-ul-Adha)

Religious rebels – Exploring individuals who have stood up for what they believed in, often at a great personal cost and to consider their relevance for society today.

Students will study the life and work of at least two of the following:

· Martin Luther King

· Malcolm X

· Mahatma Gandhi

· Maria Gomez

· Mother Teresa

Journey of a lifetime

Exploring pilgrimage through a range of religions. Students should understand the difference between a tourist and pilgrim and explain the importance of pilgrimage for believers by describing what pilgrims do and how pilgrimage can affect the life of a believer. They should also understand the meaning or symbolism of various rituals and evaluate the importance of these actions for the individual and the wider religious community.

Is This It? The Events of Holy Week

The case of the missing body, - investigating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. To understand Christian belief about what happened at the first Easter through exploring the biblical accounts of Jesus’ resurrection and appearances to his followers. To know and investigate the betrayal and trial of Jesus, the crucifixion and resurrection

Who wants to be a millionaire?

To explore the following questions, Is money good or bad? Should wealth be shared? What is a religious person’s duty? Why is it important to earn money honestly? Students will explore the concept of sharing wealth through Islam, Sikhism and Christianity.

Rights and Responsibilities

To know what human rights are and the responsibilities that come with them. To understand why and how rights and responsibilities are linked and to explore how some religious people have defended their rights.

To consider the theories of punishment and apply them to the reasons why people are punished whilst also considering the arguments for and against capital punishment.

To know what the major religions teach about the relationship between humans and animals and to link the environmental work of a number of religious organisations with different religions core teachings.

KS4 GCSE Edexcel

Title of the course

GCSE Religious Studies Specification B

What is the qualification?

One full GCSE awarded at grades 9 - 1.

At the end of Year 11 students will sit two examination papers. Both papers are out of 102 marks and are for 1 hour and 45 minutes each.

Delivery/structure of the course:

Students commence the study of this course in year 9. Both examination papers will be taken at the end of Year 11.

Students are encouraged to participate actively in class discussion and class debate, to formulate reasoned opinions and develop articulate arguments on a range of religious and moral issues.


Students complete a formal written assessment every half term in order to help determine their working at grade.

Useful skills:

You need to:

• adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion.

• explore religions and beliefs, reflect on fundamental questions, and engage with them intellectually and respond personally.

• reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in light of their learning.

• describe, explain and analyse, using knowledge and understanding.

• use evidence and reasoned argument to express and evaluate personal responses, informed insights and differing viewpoints.

What could this qualification be used for?

The main advantage of GCSE Religious Studies is that it prepares students for life and gives them the skills they will need to make the decisions every adult faces. It is also an excellent preparation for A levels in social sciences, religious studies, philosophy, history and English. Jobs that appreciate the skills offered by GCSE Religious Studies can be found within medicine, the police, the armed forces and the caring professions (social work, nursing and probation service).

Transferable skills developed as a result of studying religious studies include clear and logical thinking, literacy and expression, negotiation, organisation, planning, problem solving and working to deadlines. In addition, a qualification in Religious Studies enhances students’ spiritual and moral development, and contributes to their health and wellbeing. It also enhances students’ personal, social and cultural development, their understanding of different cultures locally, nationally and in the wider world, and contributes to social and community cohesion.

Area of Study 1 – Christianity

Section 1 Christian Beliefs

God as the Trinity; the creation of the universe and humanity; Jesus as the son of God; the last days of Jesus’ life; Christians and salvation; life after death, the problem of evil and suffering.

Section 2 Marriage and the Family

Christian attitudes to marriage and cohabitation; sexual relationships and homosexuality; Christian attitudes to the family including different types of family; church support for the family; different attitudes to contraception; different attitudes to divorce and re-marriage; equality of men and women; different attitudes to gender prejudice and discrimination.

Section 3 Living the Christian life

Christian worship; attitudes to sacraments like baptism and the eucharist; Christians and prayer; different attitudes to pilgrimage; celebrations like Advent, Christmas and Easter; attitudes to missionary work; the importance of the local church in the local community; the Church and the worldwide community.

Section 4 Matters of Life and Death

Christian and scientific attitudes to the origins of the universe; Christians and the sanctity of life; Christians and evolution; attitudes to abortion; Christians and life after death; arguments against life after death; attitudes to abortion; Christians and the environment; Christians and animal rights

Area of Study 2 – Islam

Section 1 Muslim Beliefs

Six Beliefs of Islam; Five Roots of Shi’ism; the nature of God; the nature of prophets; Muslim holy books; angels; predestination; life after death.

Section 2 Crime and Punishment

The nature of justice; causes and problems of crime; the nature of punishment; the aims of punishment; forgiveness and restorative justice; the treatment of criminals including torture; the death penalty.

Section 3 Living the Muslim life

The Ten Acts of Shi’a Islam; the pillar of Shahadah; the pillar of Salah; the pillar of Sawm; the pillar of Zakah (plus Shi’a Khums); the pillar of Hajj; jihad; the celebration/commemoration of Id-ul-Adha, Id-ul-Fit’r, Id-ul-Ghadeer; al’Ashura.

Section 4 Peace and conflict

Religious attitudes to peace; the role of Muslims in peace-making; Muslim attitudes to conflict; pacifism; the just war theory; holy war; weapons of mass destruction; issues surrounding conflict such as terrorism.

Within each of these topics students should understand a range of religious teachings concerning beliefs and that there may be more than one perspective of a particular belief, practice or issue. Common and divergent views in the way beliefs and teachings are understood and expressed should be included throughout alongside their significance and importance for religious believers in the UK today.

Lordswood Boys' School Hagley Road Harborne Birmingham B17 8BJ

Tel:0121 464 2837


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