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Religious Studies

Philosophy, Religion and Ethics

 “Philosophy, Religion and Ethics is vital in providing young people today with an insight into other people’s way of life.  It broadens our understanding of the many cultures that we are surrounded by and helps us to build great relationships between them.  We are much more tolerant, open-minded and considerate individuals through the study of different religions.”

We believe in the school’s mission statement, ‘everybody can be somebody’ and know that the PRE Faculty has a vital role in helping students to achieve success. We believe that we should help all students, regardless of background or ability, to achieve their maximum possible success.

The PRE Department is the study of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics, and aims to educate students in religious and theological disciplines, including the study of religious texts, histories, beliefs, practices, and ethics. The department aims to educate students in the knowledge and skills they need to think in an open minded way about religion and matters of faith, to reason critically and ethically about personal beliefs and institutional religious practices, to explore how religions are lived and practiced in local communities and global contexts, and to cultivate a sense of responsibility for communities informed by the study of theology and religion.

PRE promotes the development of various characteristics and developing key skills that help prepare all students for dealing with life: raising awareness of other faiths, establishing a sense of identity, developing open and enquiring minds and encouraging empathy with others. Many of these skills are applicable across the humanities. Through the humanities pupils can establish themselves as a person, knowing what they think, why they think and being aware of what others think. These subjects are so important for providing the learning opportunities which allow pupils to become well rounded people.

The PRE department is sensitive to the needs of all pupils and know the importance of differentiation, stretching the brightest and challenging the high starters. As a department we have high expectations and teach to the individuals’ strengths which is reflected in their progress

The department use a range of learning techniques that encourage pupils to engage in purposeful, worthwhile and enjoyable learning activities. We are encouraging students as independent learners through the use of their own devices as well as using thinking and critical skills to help my pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics.

Assessment is an extremely important part of pupil development and a natural part of a successful lesson, pupils’ progress is always improved through peer marking, formative feedback and reflection. Pupils are constantly under pressure to do ‘the best’ and the PRE department believes that with positive encouragement and assessment pupils can achieve their potential. As a result of this we have many students choosing to take Philosophy and Ethics at Alevel and University.

KS3: Philosophy, Religion and Ethics

Year 7 World Religions: An introduction to the 6 main world religions Christianity days with STEP in E week
Autumn 1

What is PRE?

  • To talk about why we study PRE.
  • To recognise the key terms Atheist, Theist, Agnostic.
  • To observe religion in society.
Assessment 1: Baseline Formative – In class (Facts)
Autumn 2

Buddhism

  • Show understanding of the beliefs, values and practices of Buddhism.
  • Show consideration of all questions and ideas of happiness and suffering.
  • Explain a deeper meaning and symbolism within their shrine.
Assessment 2: Buddhism Creative – Shoe Box – HBL (Application)
Spring 1

Judaism

  • To explore the origins of Judaism and recognise why Abraham was chosen by God.
  • To retell the laws given to Moses and suggest the meaning of these rules today.
  • To describe how Jews worship God and understand why beliefs, spaces and rituals important.
Assessment 3: Judaism Diary Entry – In class (Empathy)
Spring 2

Islam

  • To clearly and accurately explained Muslim worship.
  • To explain clearly and accurately the importance of the Qur’an and how it is used.
  • You have evaluated the Five Pillars and considered how they influence and affect Muslim life and why they are important.
Assessment 4: Islam Written Assessment – In class (Facts)
Summer 1

Hinduism

  • To explore the origins of Hinduism.
  • To understand the Hindu concepts of God.
  • To explore Hinduisms special occasions and give thoughtful responses to why religions mark these important moments.
  • To understand the Hindu ideas of Karma, Samsara and Moksha and explore how to live a good life.
Assessment 5:Hinduism Quick fire quiz – HBL (Facts)
Summer 2

Sikhism

  • To know the symbolic meaning of each of the 5 K’s.
  • To learn the life and events of Guru Nanak and describe the lives of the 10 Gurus.
  • To consider the importance of the Sikh holy book.
  • To understand the role of the Gurdwara to Sikh beliefs and practices.
Independent project (Critical Evaluation)

 

 

 

Year 8 Philosophy and Ethics: Religious ethics, Philosophy of religion and the Nature of God
Autumn 1
Religious Ethics
  • To demonstrate my knowledge and understanding using explanations.
  • To give my own opinion and thoughtful responses. I can use some key words.
  • To demonstrate knowledge and understanding using explanations and to consider the different ideas and theories.
  • To give my own opinion and others point of view and use key terms fluently.
Assessment 1: Ethics

Essay – in class

(Facts/Critical Analysis)

Autumn 2
Philosophy of Religion
  • To demonstrate my knowledge and understanding using explanations.
  • To give my own opinion and thoughtful responses. I can use some key words.
  • To demonstrate knowledge and understanding using explanations and to consider the different ideas and theories.
  • To give my own opinion and others point of view and use key terms fluently.
Assessment 2: Philosophy

Essay – in class

(Facts/Critical Analysis)

Spring 1
Evil and Suffering
  • To describe types of evil in the world
  • To show  understanding of the different religious responses to evil and suffering
  • To explain your opinion on issues of evil and suffering
  • To analyse information to explain evil and suffering and the religious responses
Assessment 3: Evil and Suffering

Range of different style questions – in class

(Application)

Spring 2
Nature of God
  • To show understanding of beliefs, values and practices, connect ideas, and explain deeper meaning.
  • To explain impact of beliefs, values and practices.
  • To analyse different beliefs, perspective and practices.
  • To evaluate different beliefs, perspective and practices
Assessment 4:

Nature of God Range of questions – in class

(Application)

Summer 1
Believing in God
  • To show understanding of beliefs, values and practices, connect ideas, and explain deeper meaning.
  • To explain impact of beliefs, values and practices.
  • To analyse different beliefs, perspective and practices.
  • To evaluate different beliefs, perspective and practices.
Assessment 5: Why believe in God

Range of questions – in class

(Critical Analysis)

Summer 2
Inspirational People
  • To identify features of inspirational people have in common.
  • To describe the importance of the work inspirational people have done.
  • To explain why inspirational people are considered important and how they may be guided by their faith.
  • To interpret sources to develop understanding of challenges faced by some inspirational people in their lives.
Independent project

(Empathy)

 

 

Year 9 Philosophy, Religion and Ethics: War and Justice (The Holocaust)
Peace and Justice
  • To show understanding of beliefs, values and practices, connect ideas, and explain deeper meaning.
  • To explain impact of beliefs, values and practices.
  • To analyse different beliefs, perspective and practices.
  • To evaluate different beliefs, perspective and practices.
Assessment 1: Peace and Justice Range of questions – in class

(Application)

Holocaust

 

  • To explain reasons people lost and kept their faith in God.
  • To develop a structured debate and analyse whether or not God was to blame for the Holocaust.
  • To evaluate and summarise the arguments on whether or not God was to blame for the holocaust and how the holocaust might affect faith.
Assessment 2: God on Trial

In class debate

(Critical Analysis)

GCSE Content

 

Students will begin the new Religious Studies GCSE Edexcel Spec B – Beliefs in Action: Full Course

Assessment criteria:

AO1 (50%)

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of religion and belief, including:

  • Beliefs, practices and sources of authority
  • Influence on individuals, communities and societies
  • Similarities and differences within and/or between religions and beliefs.

AO2 (50%)

Analyse and evaluate aspects of religion and belief, including their significance and influence.

 Assessments: trial exam papers

Philosophy, Religion and Ethics Short Course

What is GCSE Religious Studies all about?

If you are following the Combined Science pathway, you will be studying Philosophy, Religion and Ethics Short Course.  You will be examining these topics from two different religious perspectives.  As you are aware from your experience of PRE so far, you do not need a religious faith to study the course.

The GCSE is designed to move with the times.  Therefore, it is important that you have an interest in what’s going on in the world.  We frequently look at current issues that affect both religious and non-religious people in our society along with expressing your own personal view on these issues.

The skills you can develop in PRE are extremely helpful once you leave school.  Being able to express your opinion clearly, being able to discuss and debate in a reasoned way, and improved writing skills, will all be important whether you decide to stay on in the Sixth Form, go to college, or start employment.

The new GCSE Religious Studies qualifications for 2016 reflect the demands of a truly modern and evolving religious studies environment.  These new qualifications will allow students to apply a wide range of concepts allowing them to confidently interpret, contextualise and analyse the expressions of religions and world views they encounter.

What topics will I cover?

Area of Study 1: Christianity ONLY.  

Christian Beliefs Marriage and the family.
The nature and significance of the Trinity

The creation of the universe and of humanity

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ as the incarnate Son of God

The last days of Jesus’ life

The nature and significance of salvation and the role of Christ within salvation

Christian teachings about life after death

The problem of evil and suffering

Divergent solutions offered to the problem of evil and suffering

The importance and purpose of marriage

Christian teachings about sexual relationships

Christian teachings about family

Christian teaching about family planning

Christian teachings and attitudes towards divorce and remarriage

Christian teaching about the equality of men and women in the family

Christian teachings about gender prejudice and discrimination

 

 

Area of Study 2: Islam ONLY

Muslim Beliefs Crime and Punishment
The six beliefs of Islam

The five roots of ‘Usul ad-Din in Shi’a Islam

The nature of Allah

RiSalah (the nature and importance of prophethood for Muslims)

Muslim holy books (kutub)

Malaikah (the nature and importance of angels for Muslims)

al-Qadr (the nature and importance of Predestination for Muslims)

Akhirah (Muslim teachings about life after death)

Muslim attitudes towards justice

Muslim attitudes towards crime

Muslim teachings about good, evil and suffering

Muslim attitudes towards punishment

Muslim attitudes towards the aims of punishment

Muslim teachings about forgiveness

Muslim teachings about the treatment of criminals

Muslim attitudes towards the death penalty

 

How am I assessed?

2 x 50-minute exams at the end of Year 11.
Which examination board will I follow?

You will be following the Edexcel GCSE Short Course in Religious Studies B, Beliefs in Action.

 

Philosophy, Religion and Ethics Full Course – What topics will I cover?

 Area of Study 1: Christianity ONLY

Christian Beliefs Living the Christian life
The nature and significance of the Trinity

The creation of the universe and of humanity

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ as the incarnate Son of God

The last days of Jesus’ life

The nature and significance of salvation and the role of Christ within salvation

Christian teachings about life after death

The problem of evil and suffering

Divergent solutions offered to the problem of evil and suffering

 

Christian worship

The role of the sacraments in Christian life

The nature and purpose of prayer

Pilgrimage

Christian religious celebrations

The future of the Christian Church

The role and importance of the local church in the local community

The role and importance of the Church in the worldwide community

Marriage and the family Matters of life and death
The importance and purpose of marriage for Christians

Christian teachings about sexual relationships

Christian teachings about family including

Support for the family in the local parish

Christian teaching about family planning

Christian teachings and attitudes towards divorce and remarriage

Christian teaching about the equality of men and women in the family

Christian teachings about gender prejudice and discrimination

Christian teachings about the origins and value of the universe

Christian teachings about the sanctity of life

Christian responses to scientific and non-religious explanations about the origins of human life

Christian teachings for the issue of abortion

Christian teachings about life after death

Christian responses to non-religious arguments against life after death

Christian teachings for the issue of euthanasia

Christian responses to issues in the natural world

 

Area of Study 2: Islam ONLY.

Muslim Beliefs Living the Muslim life
The six beliefs of Islam

The five roots of ‘Usul ad-Din in Shi’a Islam

The nature of Allah

RiSalah (the nature and importance of prophethood for Muslims)

Muslim holy books (kutub)

Malaikah (the nature and importance of angels for Muslims)

al-Qadr (the nature and importance of Predestination for Muslims)

Akhirah (Muslim teachings about life after death)

Ten Obligatory Acts of Shi’a Islam

Shahadah as one of the Five Pillars

Salah as one of the Five Pillars

Sawm as one of the Five Pillars

Zakah as one of the Five Pillars and Khums

Hajj as one of the Five Pillars

Jihad

Id-ul-Adha

 

Crime and Punishment Peace and Conflict
Muslim attitudes towards justice

Muslim attitudes towards crime

Muslim teachings about good, evil and suffering

Muslim attitudes towards punishment

Muslim attitudes towards the aims of punishment

Muslim teachings about forgiveness

Muslim teachings about the treatment of criminals

Muslim attitudes towards the death penalty

Muslim attitudes towards peace

The role of Muslims in peacemaking

Muslim attitudes to conflict

Pacifism

Just War theory

Holy War

Weapons of mass destruction (WMD)

Issues surrounding conflict

 

How am I assessed?

The Full Course culminates in two 1 hour 45 minute examinations at the end of Year 11.

Which examination board will I follow?

You will be following the Edexcel GCSE Full Course in Religious Studies B, Beliefs in Action.

 Is there any additional information about this course?

Universities highly value the study of PRE because the skills and knowledge you acquire can help you in a variety of subjects.  There are also many occupations that require an understanding of other people and their lifestyles:  from doctors and nurses to shop assistants and air stewards; from police officers to lawyers.

Useful Links:

Bible Gateway – Good News Translation: https://www.biblegateway.com/

BBC Bitesize – Religious Studies: Christianity and Islam: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zb48q6f

RS Revision: http://www.rsrevision.com/contents/index.htm

The exam board: http://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/GCSE/Religious% 20Studies/2016/Specification%20and%20sample%20assessments /Specification-GCSE-L1-L2-Religious-Studies-B-June-2016-Draft-4.pdf

 

Philosophy, Religion and Ethics

 Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the only one who asked why?

Are evil people just the result of a bad upbringing? Can a war ever be justified?
Should Euthanasia be legalised?  Is it best to go with the majority vote??
Are the body and soul separate? Is it reasonable to believe in God?

 

Find these questions interesting? Find current affairs and issues interesting?

Then A Level Religious Studies is the course for you!

Course Structure

This will be a two year course, there is no coursework. The exam consists of three papers (each 2 hours). A Level Religious Studies is an academic subject that is suitable for students of any or no faith background

Some of the topics studied include:

Philosophy of religion:

  • Ancient philosophical influences
  • Arguments about the existence or non-existence of God
  • The nature and impact of religious experience
  • The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • The nature of the soul, mind and body
  • The possibility of life after death
  • Ideas about the nature of God
  • Issues in religious language.

Religion and ethics:

  • Normative ethical theories
  • The application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance
  • Ethical language and thought:
  • Debates surrounding the significant ideas of conscience and free will
  • The influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs and the philosophy of religion.

Developments in religious thought:

  • Religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world
  • Sources of religious wisdom and authority
  • Practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition
  • Significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought
  • Key themes related to the relationship between religion and society.

Complementary subjects: Just about every other subject.

Future Pathways

Many employers and Universities value the skills that are fostered through a course such as this. There are a variety of career opportunities that students could follow including: Law, Accountancy, Medicine, Commerce and Industry, Politics and Research, Business Management, Journalism, Civil Service and Teaching.

Useful Links:

Philosophical Investigations: http://peped.org/philosophicalinvestigations/

OCR A level Religious Studies – Philosophy and Ethics: http://www.rsrevision.com/Alevel/

The Exam Board: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-religious-studies-h173-h573-from-2016/