Curriculum – Religious Studies

Curriculum – Religious Studies

Religious Studies

The Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

Religious Studies at Southend High School for Girls is an academically challenging subject that sets out to be a coherent curriculum that is engaging and stimulating for every single one of our students.  They will, through scholarly endeavour, experience and develop the breadth and depth of religious knowledge and religious literacy, and the skills of philosophical and ethical debate.  Throughout these experiences our students will explore their moral purpose, build their character and choose tolerance and kindness as their guide for behaviour based on experiential activities and the investigation of religious teachings and behaviours.  Through the lessons they are encouraged to challenge blind faith and blind atheism and so become independent thinkers, who are curious, confident and self-motivated.

What does it feel like to be a student in the Religious Studies Department?

Studying Religious Studies at Southend High School for Girls is about coming to understand the nature of religious belief and exploring the reasons people have for following these beliefs. Each lesson develops evaluative and critical skills, asking fundamental questions that move your thinking away from the obvious simple response into developing more complex and challenging responses based on evidence. You will develop the philosophical skills to be able to formulate questions accurately and be able to challenge any view in an appropriate manner.

Each year builds on the previous one all the way to A level and key themes and skills are revisited so that you have a chance to develop mastery. GCSE and A level are optional, but should you take them you can expect the same intellectual challenge and rigour as Key Stage 3. By the end of the course, you will understand what it means to a person and a community to have faith and be able to recognise and critically examine the foundation of that faith, the nature of scripture, historical foundations, religious experience, and responses to ultimate questions.

By the end of the course, you will be able to examine and explain why people hold to a belief in God, as well as be able to critically evaluate their responses to faith and apply this to responses to moral dilemmas. You will be able to explore the way in which faith shapes the life of the person and the community.

Journey

Religious Studies Curriculum

At SHSG the Religious Studies curriculum is tailored to the needs of the pupils and aims to encourage them to explore religious belief and recognise the contribution that it makes to the individual, the community, and to the wider world of thought. It is built around the skills of explanation and evaluation and draws on these skills at the GCSE and A level standard.  So preparing the pupils for future study of the subject.  They are encouraged to develop the skills of critical evaluation.  We do not follow the local agreed specification as laid down by the SACRE as the needs of the pupils are not met by this.  We have designed a course that develops scriptural literacy, encourages tolerance and understanding.

The Religious Studies curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate
  • Rhetoric (Communication) essays, speeches, performances, presentations

Year 7 – 9

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from Year 6 Religious Studies ready to study in Year 7 if applicable

  • Due to the nature of the large catchment area the quality and coverage at KS2 is very varied and so little prior learning can be considered.

Adjustments from the Pandemic for years 7 – 9 if applicable?

  • Not applicable

The topics below have been chosen as they reflect the interests of the pupils, and the ambitions of a Grammar school, also challenging students to develop their own understanding. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our intent. Along the way students are assessed and skills will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 7

Term 1

  • Intro to RS
  • Existence of God
  • Christmas/Incarnation

Assessment

  • Evidence of religion
  • Design Argument
  • Cosmological Argument
  • Religious experience
  • End Unit assessment on God
  • Christmas essay

Term 2

  • Islam

Assessment

  • Muhammed
  • Allah evaluation
  • Zakat evaluation
  • Values – Ahmed
  • PUP exam

Term 3

  • Easter
  • Life and Work of Jesus

Assessment

  • Easter
  • Jesus the ordinary man
  • Impact of Jesus

Year 8

Term 1

  • Sikhism
  • Prejudice

Assessment

  • Nanak
  • Gobind Singh
  • Sewa
  • Prejudice
  • PUP exam

Term 2

  • Rites of Passage
  • Christian Faith and Practice

Assessment

  • Why celebrate
  • Similarities and differences
  • Pentecost

Term 3

  • Christian Faith and Practice
  • Intro to Judaism

Assessment

  • Prayer
  • Baptism
  • Shabbat

Year 9

Term 1

  • Buddhism

Assessment

  • Jataka
  • Enlightenment
  • Wheel of life
  • PUP exam

Term 2

  • Religion and Science
  • Problem of Evil

Assessment

  • Science and religion
  • On matters
  • End unit
  • Devil

Term 3

  • Problem of Evil
  • Death and the Afterlife

Assessment

  • Augustine
  • The problem
  • Life after death

Achieving mastery in English – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school Year 7 curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics. They are either emerging, developing or proficient in this journey throughout Year 7.

To go beyond being proficient in what is expected of a Religious Studies student in Year 7 and achieve mastery in Religious Studies, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology.

Recommended reading in Religious Studies for Lower School (Years 7 – 9)

  • Displayed in  school on board

Useful websites, TED Talks and research for Lower School (Years 7 – 9)

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from Year 9 Religious Studies ready to study in Year 10 if applicable

  • Not applicable

Adjustments from the Pandemic for years 10-11 if applicable?

  • Not applicable

The topics below have been chosen as they are in the specification.  The topics chosen reflect ambitions of a Grammar school, also challenging students to develop their own understanding. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our intent. Along the way students are assessed and skills will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 10

Term 1

  • Introduction to Judaism
  • Shabbat
  • Covenant
  • Moses and the New Covenant
  • Mitzvot
  • Religion, crime and punishment

Assessment

  • A variety of examination questions
  • End of unit assessments

Term 2

  • High Holy Days
  • Tikkun Olam, Tzedakah and Justice
  • Worship
  • Religion, human rights and social justice

Assessment

  • A variety of examination questions
  • End of unit assessments

Term 3

  • Rites of Passage
  • Messiah
  • Nature of God
  • Different Christian beliefs about the after life
  • The person of Jesus
  • Religion, human rights and social justice

Assessment

  • A variety of examination questions
  • End of unit assessments

Year 11

Term 1

  • Worship
  • Baptism
  • Eucharist
  • Pilgrimage
  • Families and gender equality

Assessment

  • A variety of examination questions
  • End of unit assessments

Term 2

  • Festivals
  • The role of the Church
  • Religion and Life

Assessment

  • A variety of examination questions
  • End of unit assessments

Term 3

  • Revision

Assessment

  • Past papers

Achieving outstanding outcomes in Religious Studies – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school KS4 curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics.  It follows the grading system of the exam board.

To go beyond what is expected of a Religious Studies student in Years 10 and 11 and achieve outstanding outcomes in Religious Studies, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology.

Recommended reading in Religious Studies for Middle School (Years 10 – 11)

  • Living Judaism
  • General books on Christianity or Judaism
  • Books on relevant ethical issues

Useful websites, TED Talks and research for Lower School (Years 10 – 11)

  • BBC bitesize
  • BBC religions

At SHSG the Religious Studies curriculum is tailored to the needs of the pupils and aims to encourage them to explore religious belief and recognise the contribution that it makes to the individual, the community, and to the wider world of thought. It is built around the skills of explanation and evaluation and draws on these at A level standard.  So, preparing the pupils for further study of the subject, they are encouraged to develop the skills of critical evaluation.  We follow the Edexcel specification as this is the only specification offering New Testament Studies.

The Religious Studies curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate
  • Rhetoric (Communication) essays, speeches, performances, presentations

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from Year 11 Religious Studies ready to study in Year 12 if applicable

  • Not applicable

Adjustments from the Pandemic for years 12-13 if applicable?

  • Not applicable

The topics below have been chosen as they are in the specification.  The topics chosen reflect ambitions of a Grammar school, also challenging students to develop their own understanding. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our intent. Along the way students are assessed and skills will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 12

Term 1

Design Argument

Cosmological Argument

Ontological Argument

The nature of religious experience

 

Environmental issues

Equality

Utilitarianism

 

The world of the first century and the significance of this context for the life and work of Jesus

Prophecy regarding the Messiah

The Prologue in John

Assessment

  • A variety of examination questions
  • End of unit assessments

Term 2

Influence of religious experience as an argument for the existence of God

Problem of evil and suffering

 

Situation Ethics

Natural Moral Law

 

Titles of Jesus in the synoptic gospels and selected ‘I am’ sayings in John

Anthology 3

Miracles and signs

Anthology 4

Interpreting the text

Assessment

  • A variety of examination questions
  • End of unit assessments

Term 3

Theodicies and solutions to the problem of suffering

Analogy and Symbol

Verification and falsification debates

Anthology 2 and 3

Language games

 

War and peace

Sexual Ethics

 

The purpose and authorship of the Fourth Gospel

Ways of interpreting Scripture

Assessment

  • A variety of examination questions
  • End of unit assessments

Year 13

Term 1

Context to critiques of religious belief and points for discussion

A comparison between a critic of religion, Bertrand Russell, and a religious believer, Frederick Copleston

 

Meta-ethics

The relationship between religion and morality

A comparison of the work of Immanuel Kant and Aristotle with regard to Deontology and Virtue Ethics respectively.

Anthology 2 and 3

 

Texts and interpretations – The Kingdom of God in Luke: parables of the kingdom and eschatology

Anthology 5

Why did Jesus have to die?

Anthology 6

The crucifixion and resurrection narratives in Luke’s Gospel

Anthology 7

Assessment

  • A variety of examination questions
  • End of unit assessments

Term 2

Views about life after death across a range of religious traditions

Points for discussion about life after death

Religion and science debates and their significance for philosophy of religion

 

Issues in medical ethics with a focus on beginning and end of life debates

Anthology 4

 

Scientific and historical-critical challenges – faith and history: the death and resurrection of Jesus in modern scholarship

Anthology 8 and 9

How should we live?

Anthology 10

Assessment

  • A variety of examination questions
  • End of unit assessments

Term 3

Revision

Assessment

Past papers

Achieving outstanding outcomes in Religious Studies – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school KS4 curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics.  It follows the grading system of the exam board.

To go beyond what is expected of a Religious Studies student in Year 12 and 13 and achieve an outstanding outcome in Religious Studies, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology.

Recommended reading in Religious Studies for Sixth Form

  • See lists and articles in the shared one drive
  • Books on relevant ethical, philosophical, and New Testament issues

Useful websites, TED Talks and research for Upper School (Years 12 – 13)

  • See extension work in the one drive