Key Stage 4
All students follow AQA Religious Studies Spec A. The course is examined in two papers:
The study of beliefs, teachings and practices in Christianity and Islam.
Thematic studies: Relationships and families; Religion and life; Religion crime and punishment; Religion human rights and social justice.
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.
- Term 1: Islamic beliefs
Students will examine the six articles of faith in Sunni Islam and five roots of Usul ad-Din in Shi’a Islam, including key similarities and differences. This will include the concept of Tawhid, the nature of God, angels, predestination and life after death.
They will study the role and significance of sources of authority for Islam including risalah, the holy books and the Imamate in Shia Islam.
- Term 2: Islamic Practices
Students will study the Five Pillars of Sunni Islam and the Ten Obligatory Acts of Shi’a Islam. These incorporate Shahadah, Salah, Sawm, Zakah and Hajj and they will also examine the concept of Jihad.
Students will examine festivals and commemorations and their importance for Muslims in Great Britain today.
- Term 3: Religion, crime and punishment
Students will examine reasons for crime and religious and societal attitudes and responses. They will consider the treatment of criminals and aims and forms of punishment as well as the concepts of evil intentions and forgiveness. Students will reflect on ethical arguments related to the death penalty, including those based on the principle of utility and sanctity of life.
- Term 1: Relationships and families
Students will examine issues around sex, marriage and divorce. These will include heterosexual and homosexual relationships, sexual relationships before and outside of marriage, contraception and family planning. They will also consider the nature and purpose of marriage, same-sex marriage and cohabitation and issues around divorce.
Students will study the nature and purpose of families, the roles of men and women, gender equality and discrimination.
- Term 2: Religion and life
In this final topic students will explore religious and non-religious views on the origins of the universe, the value of the world and the duty of human beings to protect it. They will explore the use and abuse of the environment and animals including animal experimentation. They will consider ideas around the origins of human life and the concepts of sanctity of life and the quality of life. These will lead into consideration of legal and ethical attitudes to abortion and euthanasia. Finally, students will reflect on beliefs about death and an afterlife, and their impact on beliefs about the value of human life.