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Religious Education

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RE staff

Ms C Webb
Ms S Richards

Religious Education

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

– Dalai Lama

Curriculum intent

Our RE curriculum is designed to enable students to embrace diversity and to learn about, and from, other people’s perspectives. We aim to provide students with knowledge that will help them navigate an increasingly multicultural and diverse world, and allow them to develop their critical thinking skills. We teach them how they can disagree with others whilst being respectful of the views that people hold.

What does progress through Key Stage 3 look like for a student in RE?

Throughout KS3 RE we focus on three strands, as laid out in the locally agreed syllabus. These are: 

  1. Know about and understand a range of religions and non-religious worldviews. 
  2. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religious and non-religious worldviews. 
  3. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religious and non-religious worldview. 

Through our well-planned lessons and high quality teaching we look to develop skills in our students that will be useful to them across the board. To begin with we ensure that students can describe, explain and offer their opinions on different topics before pushing them on to provide evidence and examples to back up their work. We teach them how to navigate and use sacred writings as sources of information, and start to push them to include elements of critical analysis in their work. Our units help us move the students on from ‘making connections’ to application of knowledge. 

What do students learn in Year 7?

In Year 7 we start with one of life’s big questions: Does God exist? This unit – entitled Believe it or not – helps us gauge the different levels of knowledge that our students have as this can vary from primary school to primary school as there is no national curriculum, just a locally agreed syllabus. We then move on to What is so radical about Jesus? This unit allows students to enhance their knowledge by specifically looking at the radical things Jesus did and whether it would still be considered radical today in modern life. Teenage believer is a unit that allows us to start introducing students to different world religions through the lens of other young people like themselves. We focus on young Muslims and Sikhs, and this provides students with some prior knowledge before we look at these religions in greater depth in Year 8.  

What do students learn in Year 8?

Year 8 begins with our unit on Islam. It starts by addressing common misconceptions around the religion and its adherants, and then takes students through the Life of Muhammad, before having a detailed look at each of the Five Pillars. The next unit is entitled Is death the end? It is embedded here as a PSHE/RE hybrid unit as it teaches them what Christians, Buddhists and Humanists believe about life after death. At the same time it also gives students the skills and space to talk about the sensitive issue that is death. Many students then have these skills before a significant bereavement happens in their lives. The year ends with the Sikhism unit. Despite being quite a visible community, there is often a lack of knowledge about Sikhism and many Sikhs have often been mistaken for Muslims. This unit gives students a good overview of what it means to be a Sikh and explains the importance of key parts of the faith, for example the Guru Granth Sahib, the 5ks and important acts of service like sewa.

What do students learn in Year 9?

Our Year 9 students start off with the Buddhism and suffering unit. This takes them through key Buddhists beliefs (the three signs of being, the four noble truths, annica, antta and the eightfold path) and allows students to get a glimpse of what they might learn if they take the GCSE Ethics course as Buddhism and Christianity are the chosen religions. After Christmas they move onto The Holocaust – where was God? This is timed so it fits in with the annual Holocaust Memorial Day in January, and allows students to think carefully about identity, prejudice and stereotyping. The unit also introduces the concept of ethical decision making which is a key consideration in GCSE Ethics. Should religious buildings be sold to feed the poor? brings the KS3 RE scheme of work nicely to a close by making links to previously studied units. It is also focused around a slightly off-beat question that lends itself well to the Y9 summer term when option choices have been made. In terms of skills, this unit feeds into systematic enquiry into human questions.


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