Religious Studies

Welcome

At DCHS we pride ourselves on motivating students to engage with religious education, regardless of secular or religious backgrounds. We explore a varied set of beliefs about religion, from major world faiths such as Christianity and Islam, to indigenous religions, atheism and humanism. We aim to give pupils an awareness of beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, and of the influence of religion on individuals, families and communities. We encourage pupils to learn from religions, worldviews, values and traditions while examining their own beliefs and questions of meaning. Our goal is to enable pupils to flourish within their communities and wider society, and to challenge intolerance and prejudice. We do not seek to urge religious beliefs on pupils by promoting one religion or belief over another. We teach pupils that everyone’s belief is equally valid. We aim to develop a sense of self, a sense of community and a sense of the world beyond. We give pupils a thirst for knowledge and understanding that will stay with them beyond their time spent at DCHS.

Key Stage 3

In year 7 and year 8, we explore religions and beliefs including Christianity, Humanism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and indigenous religions. We also look at how religion fits into British society and the relationship between British Values and religion. Pupils benefit from visits to the school from representatives from various religions. In year 9, pupils build on their prior learning and look in more detail at Islam and Buddhism. They apply this knowledge to a range of ethical issues such as racism in society, medical ethics and animal rights.

Key Stage 4

At GCSE pupils follow Edexcel Religious Studies B – Beliefs in Action, comprising of two areas of study over two years. Area of Study 1 is Religion and Ethics, a study of Christianity as a lived religion within the UK and throughout the world, and its beliefs and teachings on life, specifically within families, and with regard to matters of life and death. There are four sections: Christian Beliefs, Marriage and the Family, Living the Christian Life and Matters of Life and Death. Pupils learn how the Bible informs a Christian’s understanding of the four topics. Area of Study 2 is Religion, Peace and Conflict, a study a study of Islam as a lived religion within the UK and throughout the world, and its beliefs and teachings on life, specifically about the issues of peace and conflict, and crime and punishment. There are four sections: Islamic Beliefs, Crime and Punishment, Living the Muslim Life and Peace and Conflict. Pupils learn how the Qur’an informs a Muslim’s understanding of the four topics.

Key Stage 5

At A-Level, pupils follow the AQA A-level religious studies course, comprising of two areas of study over two years. Area of study 1 is Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. In Philosophy of Religion, pupils look at arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering, religious experience and language, miracles, the self and life after death. In Ethics, pupils look at a range of secular and religious ethical and meta-ethical theories, and apply these to issues such as theft and lying, embryo research and voluntary euthanasia. Pupils will also look at free will, conscience and the ethical theories of Jeremy Bentham and Immanuel Kant. Area of study 2 looks at Christianity and Dialogues. In Christianity, pupils look at sources wisdom and authority, God, self, death and afterlife, good conduct and religious identity. Pupils also look at Christian responses to gender and sexuality, science, secularism and religious pluralism. The dialogues section requires pupils to apply what they have learnt throughout the course and describe the dialogue between Christianity and philosophy and between Christianity and ethics in relation to a range of issues.

Assessment

In Key Stage 3, the course is assessed by the teacher by means of multiple choice questions and essay style questions in year 7 and 8. In year 9, more detailed essay questions are used. Towards the end of year 9, pupils can choose how to set out their assessed project work, producing posters, leaflets, essays or booklets that fulfil the given success criteria. The GCSE course is externally accredited by means of two exams at the end of the course, each lasting for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The A-Level course is externally accredited by means of two 3 hour exams at the end of the course.

Examination Boards

The GCSE is accredited by Edexcel and the A-Level is accredited by AQA.

Resources to Support Learning

In Key Stage 3, pupils use a variety of resources including Chromebooks, PowerPoint and Prezi presentations, video clips, group discussions, newspaper articles, games and quizzes. Revision sessions use flash cards, mind maps, and online platforms such as Kahoot! and Quizlet. At GCSE and A-Level the same type of resources are used, but pupils also use set textbooks for the course in question.

Careers Links

All year groups receive an RE Careers lesson, where pupils look at careers that RE can lead to. For example, police, NHS, law, armed forces and social work. Pupils investigate the need for knowledge of different religious within these vocations, and look at moral and ethical dilemmas associated with these vocations.

Subject Staff

Mr R. Best

Mr J. Thompson