Religion, Philosophy and Ethics
The Religious Studies department at Blenheim High School prides itself on being an open, innovative and inspiring area in which all student’s opinions and beliefs are appreciated, respected and shared. The aim for the department is simple – to encourage students to develop opinions, to be able to work with and appreciate others whose opinions may differ and to respect the variety of faith and belief that our community offers.
All Religious Studies staff are passionate and well educated about their subject to encourage the best possible levels of success. A variety of different learning styles are encouraged to ensure that at the forefront of each lesson, all students have the opportunity to succeed. Students are given opportunities to visit places of worship, to speak with those of belief and to investigate relevant and timely issues within our own society.
A number of school visits are arranged throughout the course of the year. Details of trips which have taken place this year or are planned in the future can be viewed in the School Visits, Enrichment area of the website.
- Specialist teaching classrooms
- A wide range of specialist religoius artifacts
- DVDs and interactive materials to exemplify the topics being studied.
- Computer Pod
- http://www.theredirectory.org.uk/ Very useful website regarding all Religious Studies information in education
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/rs/Useful for GCSE students and general awareness
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/0/ BBC website on all relevant issues affecting religion today
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/religionMore useful, relevant information
KS3 Religious Studies
Years 7, 8, 9
In KS3, all students will study about the six main world religions in agreement with the Surrey SACRE as well as being prepared to potential study the subject at GCSE and beyond. Students will have the opportunity to consolidate and develop knowledge already gained in KS2 on the following – Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. Furthermore, students will also be introduced to key concepts in philosophy and ethics, the debate between religion and science and question whether or not religion is a positive thing for society.
As students start their learning journey at Blenheim they will be introduced to their Religious Studies lessons via questioning whether or not religion is a good thing and have the opportunity to start to formulate their own opinions. Students will then explore the life, death & resurrection of Jesus as well as the significance of Christianity within Britain today. Students will also explore the religions of Hinduism & Judaism with particular interest in topics such as food laws, the afterlife & places of worship. Students will conclude the year by completing a project on the role of the church in the community – students will be encouraged to use their iPads and take chances by thinking ‘outside the box’.
Students will investigate the religion of Islam and explore in great depth what it means to be a Muslim in today’s society. Students will also explore the concept of pilgrimage and the journey to Mecca for Hajj. Following on from this, students will learn about Buddhism. In this module, students are given the opportunity to reflect on suffering in life and ways in which Buddhists lead their life based on the teaching of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. There will also be an opportunity to practise meditation. The religion of Sikhism is explored next with a distinctive focus on being part of a community & how that community can help and support each other as well as people of different faiths, backgrounds & cultures. Finally, students will explore the role of Humanism and question whether you need god to have faith.
As students prepare to study their Religious Studies GCSE, a module on one of the most important questions in life is focused on as they decide whether or not religion and science are actually in conflict or indeed, compatible? During this module, students will evaluate both secular and religious views on the creation of the world. Students will also get a taster of the role of Philosophy and Ethics within religion and investigate ancient theories as well as apply ethical debate to modern moral dilemmas. Students will then investigate a module related to Community Cohesion with an emphasis on promoting British values in our multi-faith, multi-ethnic modern society. Students will have the opportunity to look at key figures throughout history & to debate the importance of values & customs in an ever changing society.
What skills students develop
Students will develop a host of key skills including knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation
How students are assessed
Students are assessed in a number of ways such as via formative assessment (Key Assessment) during a module – this is based on GCSE style questioning. Students will also complete Tri-Weekly Assessments which will revolve around being creative and imaginative. Through homework tasks (see Homework) or through peer assessment, students will have the opportunity to be reflective and to use DIRT to improve and develop their work.
Homework will be set in line with the school’s Homework policy for each year group – it may be a research task, improving or reflecting on work or indeed, a moment to encourage independence.
How parents can help
Parents can help by actively engaging with their son/daughter regarding the world around them, keeping abreast about current and recent news stories and most importantly, being open and honest with them. Please encourage them to question and discuss relevant topics and take an active interest in the people and the world around them. Also, ensuring they have access to facilities and resources when necessary are essential in helping with homework set.
The Religious Studies department offers a variety of trips – one of our most popular is the yearly trip to The Wintershall Estate to see the life of Christ acted out – a spectacle not to be missed. Also, various trips are arranged to suit the courses studied including trips to places of worship such as the Buddhapadipa temple in Wimbledon.
KS4 Religious Studies- Religion, Philosophy & Ethics (RPE) 9-1
Board and Exam Details
WJEC Eduqas GCSE (9-1) in Religious Studies (Route A)
- Component 1: Religious, Philosophical & Ethical studies in the Modern World
- Component 2: Study of Christianity
- Component 3: Study of Islam
Perhaps more important than ever in a turbulent society, this course seeks to look at both belief, interpretation and practice of Christianity & Islam.
The course focuses on the teaching of core Christian and Muslim values, how each faith’s beliefs affect day to day life and how these traditional ideas fit in with a modern interpretation of our society.
More emphasis will be placed on philosophical questions of God’s existence, role and indeed, place in our lives. The ethics of such controversial topics such as abortion, euthanasia, terrorism & sexual identity will be investigated fully with an opportunity for students to not only learn from specialist staff, but to experience perspectives from guest speakers, visitors and trips outside the classroom.
You will follow the WJEC Eduqas Route ‘A’ syllabus which corresponds with the Government’s desire to have more ‘rigour’ within traditional GCSEs.
- Theme 1 – Issues of Relationships (communities, sexual relationships, equality…)
- Theme 2 – Issues of Life & Death (the world, value of human life, abortion, euthanasia…)
- Theme 3 – Issues of Good & Evil (crime & punishment, forgiveness, evil & suffering…)
- Theme 4 – Issues of Human Rights (social justice, prejudice, discrimination, wealth & poverty…)
- Christianity (Beliefs and Teachings) - The nature of God, The Trinity, Jesus, the afterlife…
- Christianity (Practices) - Sacraments, the Eucharist, pilgrimage, the worldwide Church…
- Islam (Beliefs and Teachings) - The nature of Allah, angels, worship…
- Islam (Practices) - The Five Pillars, Jihad, Mecca…
What skills students develop
- Analytical skills
- Communication skills
- Technological skills
- Interpersonal skills through debate and discussion
- Literacy and numeracy
- Problem solving skills
- Independent learning
How students are assessed
Students are assessed through external linear assessment.
The examinations are in the summer term of Year 11.
- Religion, Philosophy & Ethics: 2 hours (50%)
- Christianity: 1 hour (25%)
- Islam: 1 hour (25%)
Students will receive homework at least once a week and are expected to spend around an hour completing it. This can take the form of further research, completing classwork notes, or GCSE exam practise questions which are marked according to exam board marking criteria. Students will also be introduced at the beginning of Year 10 to an ‘Independence Booklet’ where they can go above and beyond to ensure future success.
How parents can help
Ask questions about what your child has learnt in RPE; what topics they are studying; interesting facts they have learnt; and how the world is affected by people. Look out for religious and ethical documentaries on TV. Encourage your child to watch the news and to read a broadsheet newspaper; this will further develop their understanding of global issues relating to both religion and ethics.
RPE revision sessions & regular ‘drop-in’ sessions will be timetabled via the Extended Day; proposed guest speakers and visits to places of worship.