KS3 Religious Studies

Pupils study elements of the different World Religions at KS3. In particular, they have opportunity to study:

· Christianity

· Judaism

· Hinduism

· Islam

Studies begin with a look at Christian history and practices, for example the growth and spread of the early church, northern saints such as Aidan and Cuthbert prayer and family commitment to social and charity involvement. In the process of looking at Judaism in the home pupils investigate Jewish food laws, learning about the laws and the way they are followed and also thinking about the value of community activity as a source of strength and unity. In this way topics are opened out for thought and discussion that is often much broader than the religious context with which the study began.

In Year 8, students focus on Islam, which provides a good grounding for GCSE studies, and Hinduism. Students discover the core beliefs and practices of these religions and are provided with opportunities to understand and appreciate other cultures. Students also begin to develop their critical thinking skills through a Christian ethics course that focuses on how Christians make moral decisions about issues such as war or the environment.

In Year 9 of KS3, a more detailed study of scripture is undertaken with the main focus on the Bible. This begins with an exploration of the different types of knowledge available to people and also of the different ways of gaining knowledge. This philosophical approach is stimulating for pupils and enables them to make a more reasoned response to questions about the truth of the Bible and the value of the Bible for today. Pupils look at the structure and writing of the Bible and then at the Gospels, considering some key elements of the message of the Gospels, in particular the idea that Jesus is Good News. As part of this the whole idea of forgiveness is explored and its implications thought through. In addition, pupils are asked to think about how the idea of Jesus as Good News might be applied to people who are poor or dispossessed. In a module on ‘Choices’ students can apply their learning to current issues of personal and social well-being such as social media, drugs and alcohol.