KS3 Religious Studies
We consider RS to be an important subject in a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the “spiritual, moral, cultural and mental development of all pupils”. All pupils have one lesson of RS per week at Key Stage 3, with the exception of Year 9, who have two hours a week in order to allow them to better adapt to the GCSE course.
Our primary aim is to enable pupils to understand the nature of religious beliefs and practices and the importance and influence of these in the lives of believers. To this end, a multi-faith syllabus is followed in the first two years and is designed to take into account the needs of the pupils form a variety of religious backgrounds or, no religious background at all. Conversion to any one faith is not the role of education; instead we seek to create an environment in which pupils learn to appreciate the faith and practices of others and are challenged to examine their own beliefs and values. We see this as a development of our pupils’ global perspectives: developing their own world view and their understanding of the world view of others. GCSE study begins in Year 9 and the course is grounded in moral and ethical questions as well as an intensive study of beliefs and practices of two world faiths.
In Year 7, pupils are provided with an introduction to the six major world faiths through a series of peer activities, with a later focus on Buddhism. We then move onto more secular content with Poverty and Injustice, examining the life experiences of people both similar and different to ourselves.
In Year 8, we focus on the key ideas of dominion and stewardship with a particular focus on animal rights in term one and then the environment term two. We finish the year with a study of Hinduism, which marries the 2 concepts of global perspectives and key belief systems.
Year 9 students begin to study the GCSE RS syllabus. They conduct an in depth study of Christian beliefs and practices (Paper 1) as well as examining the more global theme Peace and Conflict (Paper 2).
In Year 7, assessments will focus on Practices and ways of life, as well as sources of authority. Pupils will be assessed on these themes in relation to the topics they have studied.
Year 8, assessments will revolve around the themes of sources of authority and similarities within/between different religions.
Year 9, assessments are focussed on GCSE exam papers, developing the skills of analysis and evaluation.