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Queen Elizabeth School

Religious Studies

Religious Studies

The Religious Studies department believe that a wide and varied curriculum is the basis of all progress both personal and academic. We know that a good RS curriculum can be the key to assisting students' development of many of the skills they will need in their life both inside and outside of school, especially if they continue to live in the multicultural society of Luton.

 

Key stage 3:

At Key Stage 3 we follow the Luton Agreed Syllabus and focus our learning around enquiry. Each scheme of learning is based around an overarching question that reflects an element of Religious practice. 

In year 7 we consider the following questions;

  • What do different people believe about God?
  • What is a prophet and why are they important to religious believers
  • What are religious festivals and how are they celebrated?
  • What are morals and how do we know how to behave?

In year 8 we consider the following questions;

  • What is worship and how does it differ between religions?
  • What are sacred texts and why are they important to religious believers?
  • What is a sacred space?
  • What is philosophy and how do people answer the “Big Questions”
  • Who am I? What influences my identity?

In year 9 we begin to cover the content needed for the GCSE that is completed in year 11. We look at 3 topics from both sections of the exam specification and begin to develop the exam technique skills required for the GCSE. We build on this in year 10 and 11. 

In year 9 we study;

  • What do we mean by peace and conflict? 
  • How do Christians behave? How do they show their faith?
  • What is social justice and human rights? How should we treat each other? 

Assessment

In year 7 and 8 we assess students in a variety of ways including writing newspaper articles, creating information booklets, designing sacred spaces, writing reports and even asking them to create something to express their identity. 

In year 9 we begin to introduce GCSE exam questions but students are given a choice in which question they answer. They are also given sentence starters and guidance on how to approach the questions.

Key Stage 4:

 

At Key Stage 4 we follow the AQA Religious Studies A exam specification. We study the religions of Christianity and Islam and 4 of the themes modules 

In year 10 we cover 4 of the modules;

  • Islam Practices - How do Muslims behave and express their faith?
  • Crime and Punishment - How do we as a society deal with those who break the law? 
  • Christianity Beliefs - What do Christians believe?
  • Religion and Life A - What do religious believers believe about the natural world?

In year 11 we cover the following topics;

  • Islam Belief - What do Muslims believe?
  • Religion and Life B - What do religious believers believe about the importance of human life?
  • Revision and Exam preparation - How can I achieve the best grade possible in my exam?

All of these modules are assessed using past GCSE papers and markschemes to ensure accurate GCSE grade predictions.

Enrichment:

 There are a number of enrichment activities in RS including;

  • The Feast. This is a club that runs both in school and after school helping students to engage in interfaith and inter belief dialogue. We work with a charity to provide this club and it encourages students to develop their own opinions and skills of communication. 
  • Religion, Ethics and Philosophy in the media club. We also run a club where we investigate how issues of Religion, Ethics and Philosophy are portrayed in the media. We look at film, television and literature to explore how theses issues are shown. Students have the opportunity to suggest or present media that they want to investigate.  

Key Skills You will Learn:

1 Make sense of a range of religious and non-religious beliefs, so that they can: 

  • identify, describe, explain and analyse beliefs and concepts in the context of living religions, using appropriate vocabulary 
  • explain how and why these beliefs are understood in different ways, by individuals and within communities  
  • recognise how and why sources of authority (e.g. texts, teachings, traditions, leaders) are used, expressed and interpreted in different ways, developing skills of interpretation

2 Understand the impact and significance of religious and non-religious beliefs, so that they can: 

  • examine and explain how and why people express their beliefs in diverse ways 
  • recognise and account for ways in which people put their beliefs into action in diverse ways, in their everyday lives, within their communities and in the wider world 
  • appreciate and appraise the significance of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning

3 Make connections between religious and non-religious beliefs, concepts, practices and ideas studied, so that they can:

  • evaluate, reflect on and enquire into key concepts and questions studied, responding thoughtfully and creatively, giving good reasons for their responses
  • challenge the ideas they study, and consider how these ideas might challenge their own thinking, articulating beliefs, values and commitments clearly in response 
  • discern possible connections between the ideas studied and their own ways of understanding the world, expressing their critical responses and personal reflections with increasing clarity and understanding

The RS GCSE will help students to develop skills including;

  • Evaluation - Students will expected to evaluate arguments and justify which arguments are stronger or more convincing. 
  • Justification - The students will be asked to justify their opinions and points with well written explanations. 
  • Tolerance and understanding - The course will encourage students to understand other viewpoints and beliefs. 
  • Literacy - RS requires students to be able to express their opinions in writing in their exam papers. This increases their literacy skills. 

 

Next Steps:

 RS is valuable for any person who wishes to deal with people in their career as it explores people’s faiths and beliefs which will be helpful when dealing with people in their professional roles. 

careers:

  • Medicine
  • Education
  • Law

Courses:

  • A Levels (Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics)
  • Degrees in the following subjects are natural routes into higher education if you have a passion for RS; Theology, Philosophy and Law.

Contact:

Head of Department: Mrs V Cooke vcooke@qesluton.co.uk