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Religious Education

Key Stage 4

Year 9 – Autumn Term

Spiritual Quest

This introductory unit will prepare students for their GCSE.  Students will analyse, question and challenge the attributes and nature of God in this Philosophical unit of work.  They will learn different philosophical arguments for the existence of God and students will have the opportunity to debate the issue of the problem of evil.

Islam

Students will analyse Islamic beliefs about God, prayer and worship and the importance of the 5 Pillars of Islam. They will study Islamic practices and celebrations in Britain today. They will partake in a Q&A session with a practising Muslim. This unit will allow students to explore key beliefs and practices within Islam including the similarities and differences between the Shia and the Sunni communities.

Year 9 – Spring Term

In the Spring Term students begin the GCSE course. They follow AQA Specification B - Catholic Christianity, Judaism and Theme A Religion, Relationships and Families and Theme C Religion, human rights and social justice. 

Judaism beliefs and Practices

In Year 9 they learn about Judaism; students will examine Jewish beliefs about God, prayer and worship and the importance of the Covenant between God and the Jewish people and the Mitzvots. They will study Jewish practices, the importance of worship in the synagogue and in the home.  They will look at rituals, ceremonies and festivals in Britain today.  They will partake in a Shabbat meal, visit the Finchley Memorial Synagogue during Holocaust Memorial week and take part in a Q&A session.  Finally, they will visit the Jewish Museum in Camden Town to focus on particular parts of the GCSE specification.

Years 10 & 11

Creation

In this unit students explore the Catholic understanding of creation, they will examine the painting of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and the belief that humanity is made in the image of God.  They will peruse the implications of our responsibility as stewards. Students also explore the Church’s responsibility in tackling global concerns about the environment. Further to this, students also examine different Christian understandings of the account of creation in Genesis 1 and 2 and the Catholic understanding of the harmony between science and religion.

Incarnation

Students explore the Catholic understanding of incarnation as the revelation of God in the image of humanity. They also explore the significance of the example and teaching of Jesus as a source for moral teaching. They will study the teachings of the Beatitudes. Students will investigate statues and icons of Jesus and examine different Christian views about the importance and use of them.

The Triune God

Students will consider the Catholic understanding of the glory of God and the mystery of the Trinity. They will discuss expressions of this belief in music, scripture and tradition. Furthermore, students will explore the authority and influence of the magisterium, and the practice of prayer.

Redemption

Within this unit students will explore the Paschal mystery of salvation as it is understood in Catholic theology, the importance of the Eucharist, Catholic worship and the Church as the ‘Body of Christ’. They will explore Church buildings, contents and decoration.   They will consider the different metaphors used to express the mystery of salvation.  The wonder of redemption is a common theme within Catholic Christianity, but thinkers such as Irenaeus and Anselm emphasise different aspects of the tradition and students will study the views of both theologians.

The Church and the Kingdom of God

Students explore the nature of the Church and its mission to bring about the Kingdom of God as expressed in the Lord’s Prayer. Students will also learn about Catholic understanding of the Church as the pilgrim people of God this is explored through the study of dramatised prayer, ‘Les Miserables’, and through studying different places of Catholic pilgrimage and the impact of mission through vocation and service.

Eschatology: Christian life, death and eternity

In this unit students consider Catholic beliefs about life after death and the implications of these beliefs on how Catholics live their lives today.  This includes an exploration of the Paschal candle as an expression of the risen Christ and Michelangelo’s Last Judgement, as well as beliefs about life after death, the funeral rites and the implications of beliefs about life and death for Catholic views about euthanasia.

Theme A: Religion, Relationships and Families

Within this unit students will study the biblical understanding of human beings as sexual, male and female.  They will analyse the meaning and significance of Catholic teaching about the nature and purpose of sexual love as marital, unitive and procreative. They will look at St Thomas Aquinas’ teachings of Natural Law and study the Key features of John Paul II's Theology of the Body.  They will discuss different perspectives, Christian and non-religious (such as atheist or humanist) in contemporary British society on these issues including sex before marriage, adultery and homosexuality.

Theme CReligion, human rights and social justice

In this unit students study the Biblical understanding of ‘imago dei’ – the dignity of all people because they are created in the image of God and the concept of ‘loving your neighbour’.  They study the Catholic understanding of human rights, and the importance of human dignity, set out in Gaudium et Spes 26.  They analyse Catholic attitudes to freedom of religion or belief.  They will discuss different perspectives, Christian and non-religious (such as atheist or humanist) in contemporary British society on these issues including how the pursuit of human rights may be expressed in action by the individuals and the Church and belief about how rights are linked to responsibilities, including the duty to protect the rights of others.

 

What opportunities a GCSE in Religious Studies will lead to:

GCSE Religious Studies can help you to pursue a career in: Journalism, Teaching, Medicine, Law, Social Work, Human Resources. Any career where you need to demonstrate an ability to empathise with others, consider issues critically and express your ideas coherently.

What skills profile a GCSE Religious Studies student should have:

Be able to evaluate moral and ethical issues.

Be able to express your own opinion clearly in writing and in discussion.

Be able to read and interpret scripture.

Understand key Christian and Jewish beliefs and work out how they affect the way that people live and behave.

Be able to listen to others and evaluate their views

Famous students of this subject include: Charles Darwin, William Paley, C.S. Lewis

What opportunities a GCSE in Religious Studies will lead to:

GCSE Religious Studies can help you to pursue a career in: Journalism, Teaching, Medicine, Law, Social Work, Human Resources. Any career where you need to demonstrate an ability to empathise with others, consider issues critically and express your ideas coherently.

For more information, contact Ms Whelan or any member of the RE Department