The RS department consists of three specialist rooms which are well resourced. Curriculum planning is in accordance with the Sandwell Agreed Syllabus and we consider ourselves to be a very successful department both in terms of the quality of the work we do and the examination results achieved.
Staffing and Responsibilities
- Mrs F.Foster – Head of Department/Lead Practitioner
- Mrs S.Aslam – RS Teacher
- Mrs V.Oldacre – RS Teacher
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We are pleased to have two ex-students currently reading Theology. B. Maskell is currently in his second year at Birmingham University and C. Quinn has just started her first year at Newman University.
Our Philosophy: Religious Studies gives student the chance to ask puzzling about God, religion and world beliefs. Our subject helps pupils to understand what makes other people tick and enables them to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own and so Religious Studies can help remove the ignorance that causes prejudice, hatred & violence.
Summary of RS Key Stage 3 Curriculum
Pupils begin with a basic introduction to key religious beliefs and practices before completing a baseline assessment.
What Difference Does Religion Make? (Autumn Term)
Pupils focus on how religious belief may affect a person’s attitude and lifestyle. They will look at the Five Pillars of Islam, the parable of the Good Samaritan, the parable of the Lost Son and Sikh beliefs about Sewa.
This unit of work is concluded with a consideration of the Christian teaching of agapé, making links to the charitable work of local churches and culminating in the pupils supporting a reverse advent calendar hamper appeal.
What does it mean to take responsibility for belonging to a religion? (Spring Term)
Pupils will learn about a range of initiation ceremonies, including Believers Baptism, Confirmation, Amrit Sanskar and Bar Mitzvah.
Spirited Arts Competition (Summer Term)
This ‘Art in Heaven’ scheme of work means a creative end to the academic year: Pupils are given a theme set by the organisers of this national competition. They study key beliefs, teachings or practices before producing a creative arts piece based on a religious theme.
What Makes A Person Inspiring To Others? (Autumn Term)
Pupils will be given the chance to find out about the life of the Buddha and how his life has affected many. Students will reflect on events in his life, personal qualities and his teachings.
What Impact Does Faith Have On Your Life? (Spring Term)
Pupils will begin by studying the life of Martin Luther King, looking at his achievements and how he was influenced by religion. They will then move on to a personal research project on a range of people who have also been influenced by their faith e.g. Mother Theresa and Bono.
What Do Religious Beliefs Mean? (Summer Term)
An opportunity for pupils to explore religious beliefs and teachings about God: considering the similarities and differences between Hindu, Christian and Muslim ideas; whilst also considering the impact these may have on the lives of believers.
How Do We Decide What Is Right And Wrong? (Autumn Term)
This unit focuses on issues of morality and a range of ethical theories. Pupils will be expected to learn about the codes of living from at least two religions as well as some secular ethical theories. It is intended to provide opportunities for pupils to evaluate their own ethical ideas and values too (both religious and non-religious).
Why do we suffer? (Spring Term)
This unit provides an opportunity for pupils to examine and reflect on the causes of evil and suffering in the world today and consider a range of responses to suffering (e.g. Christianity, Humanism and Hinduism)
Wealth and Poverty (Spring/Summer Term)
Pupils will consider some religious teachings about how people should spend their wealth and what responsibility they might have for those less fortunate than themselves. This unit includes a consideration of the work of Christian Aid, the role of the national lottery in overcoming poverty and also occupations that may be considered moral or immoral.
All pupils have the opportunity to consider some philosophical and ethical issues during Year 10.
These sessions are designed to engage the pupils in discussion and debate and encourage them to reflect on a range of viewpoints, both religious and secular. An over-riding aim is to provide opportunities for personal reflection about a range of contemporary moral issues.
The topics are selected from those taught as part of the GCSE syllabus and include;
- Capital Punishment
- What happens when we die?
- Do miracles really happen?
- Is it ever right to kill?
Exam Board: AQA
Assessment: 100% Examination
In studying this course pupils will have the opportunity to study religion, philosophy and ethics in depth; learning about the diversity of religion and the ways in which believers apply religious teachings in the 21st century.
The course starts with a consideration of both Christian and Sikh beliefs and practices before moving on to thematic studies. As well as developing theological knowledge, studying GCSE RS promotes the development of skills such as analysis, empathy and evaluation.
Pupils will study a range of topics and will consider questions such as:
- Does God exist?
- Should euthanasia be legalised in the UK?
- How was the world created?
- When does life begin?
- What happens to us when we die?
- Should everyone be treated equally or do some people forfeit that right?
Religious Studies is a useful qualification for such careers as Social Work, Youth and Community Work, Teaching, Nursing, Journalism, Medical and Health Care-Workers etc.
Religious Studies A-Level
“The unexamined life is not worth living” (Socrates)
Religious Studies can be studied by anyone with an open mind; religious belief is not necessary. The course offers you an interesting and intellectually challenging A Level which helps develop understanding of spiritual, moral, ethical and social issues. Studying this subject will help enhance skills of critical evaluation, self-expression, discussion and debate; all of which can be transferred to other areas of study.
Component 01: Philosophy of Religion
Students study philosophical language and thought, and issues and questions raised by belief:
- ancient philosophical influences
- the nature of the soul, mind and body
- 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
- ideas about the nature of God
- issues in religious language.
Component 02: Religion and ethics
Students explore key concepts and the works of influential thinkers, ethical theories and their application:
- normative ethical theories
- the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance
- ethical language and thought
- debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
- sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.
Component 03: Developments in religious thought
A systematic study of Christianity which explores:
- 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.
Entry Requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 5 or C or above including RS grade 6 or B (alternatively English grade 6 if RS not studied at GCSE)
What can I do next?
RS is highly regarded by universities and employers as it proves you are able to think critically and evaluate effectively. It is excellent preparation for Theology or Philosophy, but also any Humanities degree. It is a useful stepping stone to many careers where it helps to understand what people believe and how it affects their lives; including medicine, social work, law, youth and community work, the armed services, police force, journalism, teaching and many more.