Religious Studies is a compulsory subject in school – but not a compulsory examination! Therefore, the subject is taught across all key stages, but is an optional examination subject in KS4 and KS5.
The department is based in the Religious Studies Hub, situated next to the school garden, where we have two classrooms (G9, G10), a study room for A level students (G11) and the Wellbeing Room. There is also space set aside for students to pray or meditate.
The department seeks to help students consider the beliefs and lifestyles of those of either a religious or a humanist persuasion. Whilst it is certainly not our mandate to convert or persuade, we do seek to nurture and support those pupils who feel strongly committed to a faith.
The department offers an opted Full Course GCSE following AQA Religious Studies, studying Christianity and Islam. We also offer A Level Religious Studies: we follow the Eduqas course studying Ethics, Philosophy of Religion and Islam.
In KS3 (years 7 – 9) the pupils are split into 2 ‘sides’: the S half and the B half. The students are taught in mixed ability groups in a cluster comprising Religious Studies, History, Geography and English. Students are taught 2 x 1 hour lessons each fortnight in RS.
The department broadly follows the Cheshire LEA Agreed Syllabus, which takes into consideration the recommendations of the Non-Statutory Framework. All Schemes of Work are reviewed on an annual basis, to ensure that units of work reflect current interests and concerns in different religious communities. In line with national agreements, the department also considers humanist and scientific viewpoints when discussing philosophical issues. Students study aspects of the six world religions spread over three years: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism. There is a strong focus on creative thinking, and pupils are encouraged to consider a variety of media when giving their responses.
Students achieve well in Religious Studies, with the majority making at least 2 levels of progress over KS3.
All students in years 10 and 11 have Religious and Social Education lessons (RSE); these are on a carousel with Careers and occur once a fortnight. Students consider a range of different topics, each tailored to develop skills in discussion and debate.
Students who opt to study the Full GCSE study three modules: Christianity: Beliefs, Teachings and Practices; Islam: Beliefs, Teachings and Practices; Thematic Studies (four units on religious, philosophical and ethical issues). The course is delivered in five lessons a fortnight, split between Mrs Milnes (who teaches Christianity in Year 10), Miss Jenkins (who teaches Islam in Years 10 and half of the Thematic Studies in Year 11) and Miss Maile (who teaches half of the Thematic Studies in Year 11)). The course is examined in Year 11, with two examination papers: one paper on Christian and Islamic Beliefs and Practices, one paper on the four Thematic Studies we cover.
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