Introduction to the Team:

Team Humanities teachers teach RE as part of their timetable.

Subject Aims/Intent:

We aim to reflect the values promoted by the school (Opportunity, Scholarship, Compassion, Aspiration) through a broad and balanced curriculum.

The curriculum is designed to adhere to the Locally Agreed Syllabus for Sandwell, which states the core content for KS3 should be “Learning in depth about Christianity + Sikhi + Islam, learning more about Hinduism + Judaism. Beginning to learn about Buddhism.” (Sandwell Locally Agreed Syllabus 2018) Alongside this we seek to celebrate the richness, history and diversity of our school community. OSCA students come from a variety of Christian, Islamic and Sikhi backgrounds with a few from the Sanatan Dharma religious community.

We will engage students by using relevant examples of controversial and significant issues and encouraging them to explore their own beliefs and opinions, what makes them who they are and the sort of person they want to be. Religious Education is not designed to promote or discourage belief in our students, but to give them the knowledge and skills to have informed opinions of their own. Students will look at diversity within religion and explore non-religious worldviews such as Humanism and atheism.

OSCA students should be able to understand how beliefs influence the values and lives of individuals and groups and how religion and belief have an impact on wider current affairs. The content will be derived from the disciplines of religion, philosophy and ethics and in doing so students will also learn how to analyse, interpret and evaluate sources. They should be able to appraise the practices and beliefs they study with increasing discernments based on analysis, interpretations and evaluation developing their capacity to articulate well-reasoned positions.

At KS4 we will equip students to perform well at GCSE level, using the discipline of theology to explore religious texts and viewpoints, critically analysing them and giving a justified conclusion on the significance of the issue discussed. For example, students will learn the UK law around marriage and divorce, religious teachings on the importance of marriage and the family, and then be able to explore how relevant marriage is in 21st Century Britain.

At KS3, we teach across the six major world religions to Year 7, allowing them to see the evolution of religious practice across faiths, to identify key figures of note and their contribution to multiple faiths and to begin to consider what believers mean by ‘truth’ and how this is interpreted by those within a religion and those of no faith.

Our curriculum is changing, and students will be supported during this period of transition to ensure that all of them finish KS3 with the intent, as stated above, fully secure. This will enable them to continue the subject to KS4 and to engage with national and international news as well as issues important to our local community with maturity, resect and reasoned consideration.

At KS4 we teach the AQA specification. This is because it follows an accessible, formulaic nature in its question types, but also challenges students to learn deeply about religion and about thematic issues which are relevant to us all.

This course consists of Paper 1: Study of religions (Christianity and Islam) and Paper 2: Thematic study (Relationships and family, religion and life, crime and punishment, peace and conflict, human rights and social justice, existence of God and revelation)

For Paper 2, four themes are chosen and will be addressed with reference to religions studied, Humanism and atheism as well as students’ own faith. We strongly encourage students who are part of a religious community outside Christianity and Islam to use this opportunity to study their own religion further as an academic discipline and will provide resources to support this.

Please see our 23-24 curriculum map which shows the current topics taught in KS3. Some of the key topics students are taught include the Abrahamic faiths, as well as an emphasis on Dharmic faiths . Topics such as Equality, Sanctity of life and Is death the end? all contain Humanist and non-religious viewpoints and make interesting discussion points.

Useful Websites:

AQA | Religious Studies | GCSE | Religious Studies A
KS3 Religious Studies – BBC Bitesize

Other useful resources:

AQA Christianity GCSE Book
AQA Islam GCSE Book


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