The Religious Studies department is part of the Humanities faculty and delivers learning in Religious Education to all students in Years 7, 8 and 9. All students can choose to follow the full course GCSE qualification in Religious Studies in Years 10 and 11. The department is headed by a specialist teacher in Religious Education and supported by non-specialist teaching staff delivering the curriculum at Key Stage 3.
Religious Studies lessons make a major contribution to the whole school promotion of British Values and the Spiritual, Moral, Cultural, and Social development of students across both Key Stages.
In Years 7 and 8, pupils are challenged to consider the possible answers to ultimate questions and are encouraged to develop the skill of empathy; seeing things from more than one point of view. Students learn about the major world religions and also from the various faith traditions, making sense and relevance to their own lives, regardless of whatever background they may come from.
In Year 9, students build on this learning and follow a curriculum that asks them to respond to moral issues in the world. These include racism, the climate emergency, medical issues, crime, and war and peace. These issues are examined from religious and non-religious perspectives.
The Religious Studies department continues to develop links with the various faith communities, offering all students the chance to visit places and meet people from a variety of traditions.
Topics Covered this Academic Year
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World Religion Foundation Unit
Themes in RE: Relationships/Power
Believing in God — does God exist? Religious upbringing and experience, the problem of evil
Judaism — from the covenant to the state of Israel
Hinduism — beliefs and practices, including a study of the life of Mohandas Gandhi
Buddhism — the life of the Buddha, Buddhist beliefs, the Sangha
Islam — Islamic beliefs and living the Muslim Life
Introduction to Sikhism
Key Stage 4
In Years 10 and 11, the Religious Studies department offers all students the option of following the full course GCSE in Religious Studies. This is a very engaging course that has been extremely successful in recent years, topping the league tables for Somerset schools.
Course title: Edexcel Specification B “Beliefs in Action”
Area of Study 1 — Religion and Ethics through Christianity
Area of Study 2 — Religion, Peace and Conflict through Islam
Last Updated: July 2021