Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 students have 2 hours of taught content per fortnight in Years 7 & 8 and 3 hours taught content in Year 9. In Year 7 students are taught in form groups, moving to mixed ability classes in Years 8 & 9.
RPE at KS3 strives to provide students with a critical understanding of a range of contemporary issues. The subject involves engaging with current debate and focuses on the role that religion plays in the world and the effect it has on believers’ actions. It aims to develop students’ thinking skills, allowing them to consider their own opinion and the views of others in relation to challenging and thought-provoking topics. Teaching approaches include a variety of active learning methods: group work, presentations, research tasks, role play and drama, artwork and fieldwork. Over the three years students will have opportunities to develop their extended writing and hone the skills necessary for GCSE.
Each programme of study pursues a line of enquiry that is addressed through a variety of approaches. These explore and encompass the major religions and include Citizenship themes.
- What is religion?
- How do Sikhs put their beliefs into practice?
- What are the arguments that God exists and how convincing are they?
- What does it mean to be good?
- Faith in the community.
- Democracy in action.
- Buddhism in the modern world.
- Sources of authority and practices in Islam and Christianity.
- Term 1: Christian beliefs
Students will examine beliefs about the nature of God and explore the problem of evil. They will look at different Christian beliefs about creation and the afterlife and consider how these impact a person’s life. They will study beliefs and teachings about Jesus, his life and the concepts of salvation and atonement.
- Term 2: Religion, human rights and social justice
Students will consider prejudice and discrimination in religion and belief, including the status and treatment within religion of women and homosexuals. They will examine issues of equality, freedom of religion and belief including freedom of religious expression and also human rights and the responsibilities that come with them, including respect for others. Racial prejudice and discrimination are examined in terms of ethics, positive discrimination and the law.
Students will study attitudes to wealth and its uses and responsibilities. This will include an examination of poverty: exploitation of the poor, fair pay, excessive interest on loans and people-trafficking. Students will consider responses to these issues including the ethics of charity.
- Term 3: Christian Practices
Students will examine different forms of worship and their significance. They will consider prayer and its significance, the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, Christian pilgrimage (Lourdes and Iona) and the celebrations of Christmas and Easter, including their importance for Christians in Great Britain today.
Students will also study the role of the church in the local and worldwide community including the work of food banks and street pastors, evangelism, initiatives for reconciliation and responses to persecution.
In all 3 terms, students will study religious teachings and religious, philosophical and ethical arguments relating to these issues, and their impact and influence in the modern world. They will be made aware of contrasting perspectives in contemporary British society on all of these issues including non-religious views and where appropriate, legal implications. This content and approach prepares students for the AQA GCSE papers that all students will take at the end of Year 11. Owing to the time allocation for this option, it is important for us to start looking at examined topics in Year 9 as the full GCSE course is taught to all students. the discussions and lessons go beyond the exam board specification.