We base our curriculum on the 6 conceptual areas identified by the Essex Agreed Syllabus. Year 7 begins with Hinduism (BELIEFS, TEACHINGS AND SOURCES) we look at the stories about several gods and goddesses. We explore what these stories tell us about Hindu views of the divine. Students retell an allocated story in their own words and via different mediums. In the Spring Term we look at Judaism covering 2 concept areas of the Essex Agreed Syllabus (PRACTICES AND WAYS OF LIFE and EXPRESSING MEANING), we focus primarily on the story of Moses and the impact then and now of the 10 Commandments. Exploring their practical implications. We then look at how Jewish people remember the Passover through the Seder plate and the ritualised meal. This leads us onto taking responsibility and the Jewish recognition of adulthood in the Bar and Bat Mitzvah. In the final term we look at Buddhism, with particular focus on the life of the Buddha; exploring beliefs about existence and suffering. Giving students the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of truth. (QUESTIONS OF MEANING, PURPOSE AND TRUTH). Throughout the year we compare aspects of these religions with Christianity, the main religion of the United Kingdom.
We continue to focus on the 6 conceptual areas identified in the Essex Agreed Syllabus and work our way through the remaining 3 great world religions. This ensures students have some knowledge on each of the 6 great world religions. We commence with Christianity and looking at how belief in Jesus’s divinity can shape a Christians life (PRACTICES AND WAYS OF LIFE). Students are given an ICT task to design a church that would allow different denominations to worship together and must contain the key items required by each of the 5 main groups. It is a whole year competition. Year 8 then look at Islam (IDENTITY, DIVERSITY AND BELONGING), we look at core beliefs in God, the relevance to Muslims of the Qur’an and who was Prophet Mohammad. We then explore Islam in the media and have a class debate on roles of men and women in the 21st Century. The final term Year 8 look at Sikhism which continues with a focus on identity and growing up as a Sikh in the U.K. Students have a discussion on the wearing of religious symbols, as Sikhs under British law are allowed to carry a knife. (VALUES AND COMMITMENTS)
KS4 commences with students having a secure base in their knowledge of Christian and Muslim Beliefs, Teachings and Practices. We also have trips arranged to local places of worship, including several different denominations. This provides students with a deeper understanding that there are a plethora of beliefs within both religions. Students will explore different beliefs about God, human existence, rights and responsibilities and the value of human life. There will be several opportunities for debate and discussion on a bi/tri-weekly basis. Students will be able to critically analyse a variety of religious authorities.
In Year 10, students will begin to explore more of the themes. These include looking at the meaning of marriage, the role of parents in raising a child, the issues of sexuality/gender that can arise in different religions. Students will reflect on religious and non-religious views on each of the themes covered. Students will then go onto look at crime and punishment, where beliefs around theories of punishment, types of punishment i.e. corporal and capital punishment, will be evaluated and discussed in debate format. Students will be given assessments at the end of each unit. There will also be key term and quote tests to secure student knowledge each term.
For the final theme of the GCSE course students carry out an in-depth, critical study of the importance of Tawhid in Islam. It’s impact on all the beliefs and practices within Islam. Students will also explore the importance of the Jesus and his life in relation the practices of Christians in the 21st Century. Students will have access to an external speaker and gain further insight via Q and A session. Students will also focus on the themes through the lense of the sanctity of life: this will be useful for understanding attitudes around abortion, euthanasia and global issues, such as pollution.