Religious Studies Curriculum Intent: To make students tolerant and understanding of all religions and worldviews. We make RS relevant to all students and ensure they can make links with religion and society. Through our curriculum we address common errors and misconceptions that students may have due to the media and society. RS is centred on learning from and about religion. In lessons we create a sense of awe and wonder, where students challenge and question a variety of viewpoints. We equip students with the skills to debate, explain, empathise, evaluate and make moral decisions. We engage and enthuse students so they have a positive experience of RS. Crucially, our students deserve to know the very best of what has been thought, said and wrote.

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. Teaching therefore equips students with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.

The RS department aims to develop in students an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society with its diverse religions and worldviews.

Students gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence. They learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.

The curriculum for RS aims to ensure that all students:

  1. A) Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
  • describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals;
  • identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews;
  • appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
  1. B) Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
  • explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities;
  • express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues;
  • appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion or a worldview.

 

Key Stage 3

Year 7

What will my child learn about in RS this year?

What faiths are in my community?
This is an introduction unit to RS. Students will learn key facts and key terminology about the six major world religions e.g. founder, holy book place of worship. They will begin to identify the similarities and differences between them.

Students will identify the religious and non-religious symbols/events that they may see in their community. They will address misconceptions about the ratios of different religions and explore the benefits of living in a multi-faith society.

Can you follow your religious duties at Cockburn?
In this unit students explore a variety of questions linked to Cockburn and religion. E.g. Which pillar of Islam is hardest for a Muslim to follow at Cockburn? Why does Cockburn serve fish on a Friday? Why can’t my Jewish friend eat school dinners at Cockburn? Through the investigation of the questions each lesson, students begin to understand how religion can affect people’s lives.

What does religion have to do with me?
Students study two parables and decide how these teachings could relate to their lives today. They will explore how the SVP and CAFOD help others based on the two parables.

Jesus –Magician/ Criminal/ Messiah?
Students will examine who Jesus was/is. They will learn about key events in his life including miracles, teachings and his arrest before they will decide in a courtroom if the resurrection ever happened.

Who are the powerful people in religion?
Students compare key religious leaders and what we can learn from them. They will study a modern example of an influential religious figure.

What religious festivals are celebrated in Leeds?
Students will explore a variety of different religious festivals that are celebrated in Leeds from Christmas to Diwali. They will investigate the true meaning of the festival and the story behind it.

What type of homework will be set?
Students will be given a variety of different homework tasks from researching the answer to a question, to finding the solution to a problem. They may be given a bigger homework project over several weeks or asked to watch something in preparation for the next lesson. Sometimes students will be given consolidation of learning tasks at home e.g. spellings or learning the meaning of key vocabulary that will be needed in lessons.

How will my child be assessed in RS?
Students will complete a formal assessment at the end of each unit.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?
Check your child’s planner for homework that has been set. Ask them what they have been studying in RS and how it links to their life. Encourage your child to read and research further the topics that they have been studying in class. Practise spellings and definition of religious terminology at home. You could look for examples of RS in the media or watch the news together. Also you could visit places of worship in your community.

 

Key Stage 3

Year 8

What will my child learn about in RS this year?

What is a rite of passage?
Students will explore different rites of passage from different religions e.g. Baptism, Brit Milah, Aqiqah. They will decide if it is right to perform these when the children are too young to understand.

Students will learn about the importance and significance of the different rites of passages for believers and religious communities.

Is marriage still important?
Students will explore why some people chose to cohabitate over marry. They will learn about the Christian and Muslim marriage ceremony and the why they are important. They will also look at the difference between an arranged and forced marriage.

How do I make moral decisions?
Students will look at the Christian story of creation and the fall of man. From this they will look different types of sin. They will explore the life of a modern day gangster and how he changed the way he made moral decisions, before they finally investigate questions such as is eating meat wrong? Does everyone deserve to be forgiven?

How do people inspire me?
In this unit students will explore the life and work of inspirational figures past and present from Malala to Mother Teresa. Students will finish the unit by exploring who actually inspires them and why.

Is there life after death?
Students will explore religious stories as evidence of life after death as well as investigating if the paranormal is real.

What type of homework will be set?
Students will be given a variety of different homework tasks from researching the answer to a question, to finding the solution to a problem. They may be given a bigger homework project over several weeks or asked to watch something in preparation for the next lesson. Sometimes students will be given consolidation of learning tasks at home e.g. spellings or learning the meaning of key vocabulary that will be needed in lessons.

How will my child be assessed in RS?
Students will complete a formal assessment at the end of each unit and sometimes a mid-unit assessment.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?
Check your child’s planner for homework that has been set. Ask them what they have been studying in RS and how it links to their life. Encourage your child to read and research further the topics that they have been studying in class. Practise spellings and definition of religious terminology at home. You could look for examples of RS in the media or watch the news together. Also you could visit places of worship in your community.

 

Key Stage 4

What will my child learn in RS?
Students will have a core RS lesson in Year 9 and 10, which includes elements of PSHE and Citizenship. In Year 11 elements of RS will be covered in assemblies, form time and Citizenship.

Year 9

What will my child learn about in RS this year?

Where could I encounter prejudice and discrimination in my life?

Students will explore how men and women may still be discriminated in society. They will do this through investigating issues such as racism, sexism and homophobia. They will also challenge prejudices that exist in society.

How can we prevent extremist behaviour?
Students will look at what Britishness is and how this has changed and is still changing. They will explore how the media stereotypes different groups in society. They will examine what an extremist looks like and modern examples of extremism before they watch a DVD produced by the police- the aim of this unit is to prevent all forms of extremism.

How do I stay safe from STI’s?
Students will learn about different forms of contraceptives- the advantages and disadvantages. They will look at the short and long term effects of different sexually transmitted diseases including HIV.

What is a moral decision?
In this unit students will explore how different people make moral decisions and evaluate the usefulness of each. For example, they will evaluate the strengths and limitations of using Situation Ethics to make every decision. This unit will build upon the work they stated on moral decisions in Year 8.

How does religion link to medical ethics?
Students will study different sociological and religious arguments for and against different ethical decisions linked to medicine. They will explore and evaluate issues such as genetic engineering, infertility treatments and organ donation.

Year 10

What will my child learn about in RS this year?

How valuable is life?
This unit focuses on students examining whether all life should be valued in the same way and who has the right to take away this life. The students will examine two controversial modern day issues – abortion and euthanasia. They will be encouraged to look at how these key words can be defined, arguments for and against each situation and what the law states. Students will then be encouraged to decide for themselves what their opinion is and justify it with evidence. Students will also be asked to give religious attitudes towards the matter and discuss if their opinion supports or opposes this view.

What human rights are we entitled to?
Within this topic students will be learning what human rights we are entitled to in the UK and how they compare with the conditions of others across the world. They will look at the group Amnesty International and use case studies to explore how others live. Students will also discuss what happens when people do not have human rights both here in the UK and further afield. They will look carefully at exploitation, abuse and grooming identifying potential signs that someone’s human rights have been removed and who to turn to if they are concerned about someone’s welfare.

What are the dangers of drug misuse?
This scheme of learning will allow students to ask questions they may have around drugs, both legal and illegal. They will explore how the negatives of legal and illegal drugs far outweigh the positives. They will be able to classify drugs whilst identifying their dangers. Students should also be able explain where people addicted to drugs can receive help here in Leeds and how religions have different opinions on drugs.

How will work experience help me?
This essential unit allows students at Cockburn to prepare for their two week work experience at the end of Year 10. Throughout the year students have been arranging work placements in a variety of environments. Following an assembly based around what the key messages, risks and opportunities that work experience can provide this unit encourages students to be ‘work ready’ so they can get the most out of their time in the workplace. Students will be clear on the expectations of their placement and how they can make a good first impression. They will also become skilled around answering the phone and making contact with their chosen workplace. Students will also have to self-assess their personal qualities and areas for improvement.

What type of homework will be set?
Students will be set various research homework tasks throughout the year to inform their understanding in the next lesson. For example they may be asked to find out facts about a particular group, event or issue. They will also be asked to express their own opinion often in written speeches or ask others for their opinion in order to stimulate a debate within the classroom.

How will my child be assessed in RS?
Each student will be judged as making more than, expected or below the levels of progress required during their RE lesson. In each year this is based on their ability to explain various knowledge based information and justify their own point of view. If a student can recall key words, explain them, give their own opinion and support it with evidence they will be judged as making expected progress. If students cannot justify opinions and listen to the views of others they will be judged at below expected progress. Students making more than expected progress are those who displayed an ability to look at an issue from more than one point of view and confidently use examples in their answers. Students will have many opportunities during the academic year to peer/self-assess their knowledge.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?
Parents and carers can support their child’s progress in RS by checking their planner for homework tasks and ensuring they are completed. At home encourage your child to watch the news and read newspapers so they can keep up to date with developments in today’s society, this will also help students use examples in their answers. Students could also be encouraged to debate current media topics using evidence to support their views whilst listening to the opposing opinion to their own.

 

GCSE RS
Students who have chosen to study RS at GCSE will follow the AQA Religious Studies specification A- 8062.

Students will study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity and Islam.  Their basis in Christian and Muslim sources of wisdom and authority. Students will explore the influence of the beliefs, teachings and practices studied on individuals, communities and societies. Common and divergent views within Christianity and Islam in the way beliefs and teachings are understood and expressed.

Students will then apply their knowledge and understanding of different religious and contemporary views to four of the following themes.

  • Theme A: Relationships and families.
  • Theme B: Religion and life.
  • Theme C: The existence of God and revelation.
  • Theme D: Religion, peace and conflict.
  • Theme E: Religion, crime and punishment.
  • Theme F: Religion, human rights and social justice

What type of homework will be set?
Students will be set past exam questions and past papers as homework. To support this students will be given a comprehensive revision list and asked to produce revision notes/ cards/ diagrams to consolidate their learning. Some week’s students may be asked to research new facts or watch a documentary that links to class learning.

How will my child be assessed in RS?
Students will be assessed most weeks with exam questions in class. After each topic they will sit an assessment. When students complete past exam questions for homework they will be assessed on this.

Students will sit mock examinations during key points of the year.

GCSE RS students will take their formal assessment in Year 11. They will sit two exams. Each exam is one hour and 45 minutes and worth 50% of their overall grade.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?
By ensuring your child completes the homework set. Discussing the topics that they are currently studying and what they have learnt. Testing your child using the revision guide they have been given, or encouraging them to use the workbook provided.

If they have finished all homework encourage them to create a revision resource.

What can my child move onto with RS?
Studying RS opens up a lots of career prospects. Potential careers include, Law, police, armed forces, journalism, teaching, social work etc. Due to the nature of the subject RS is useful in most careers, the skills that students develop through studying GCSE RS will help them in a variety of professions from becoming a Barrister to an MP.

Even if your child doesn’t want to pursue RS at A level or to degree level the skills and knowledge they develop will help them in other subjects such as History, Geography, Sociology, Psychology and English etc.

 

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