Religious Education

KEY STAGE 3

All students follow schemes of work that are in line with the Bishop’s Directory.  This is based on the catechism of the Catholic Church.  It gives all students an excellent grounding in the sacraments and the teachings of the Catholic faith.  In Year 7 students are taught in form groups.  Then in Years 8 and 9 each half of the year is split into 4 classes, with and average class size of 23.  Additional help is available from the CAST department in the classroom if required.

Students use a variety of textbooks.  The most commonly used are The Way, The Truth and The Life series published by the Catholic Truth Society.

All students should have access to a Bible at home.  Access to quality newspapers will help students with their research and general knowledge of moral issues. Parents can help by taking an interest in the work covered and sharing their own faith experiences with their children.  They can also help by providing good conditions for the completion of homework and assistance with research tasks where appropriate.

KEY STAGE 4

At present our Year 11 students follow the AQA GCSE Syllabus A in Religious Studies.  Students study the Unit 5 course on Mark’s Gospel.  The other half of the course is Unit 2 Ethics.  This includes topics such as racism, abortion and wealth & poverty. The examining board is AQA.  Students sit two exams. Each exam lasts for one and a half hours.  The marks from both papers are added together and give the student their overall GCSE grade.

Our Year 10 students are following the new Edexcel GCSE Syllabus A in Religious Studies.  Students will study Catholic Christianity for 50% of the course.  25% is on a second religion and we are taking Judaism.  The final 25% is a course on St Mark’s Gospel.  Students will sit three exams. The Catholic paper lasts 1 hour 45 minutes and the other two papers are 50 minutes each.  The marks from all three papers are added together and give the student their overall GCSE grade.

Students will sit ‘mock’ exams.  These will be based on actual GCSE questions and are designed to give the students a realistic experience of the final exam.  The results of these mocks help to establish the predicted grade for the student and point out areas that they can work on.  Students are given copies of a number of past papers, to read and to practice on and all past papers are in the Shared Area and on Fronter for them to access.

In classes the teachers use a variety of resources, including textbooks designed for our specific course.  Students find it helpful to purchase a small copy of Mark’s Gospel.  These fit into their blazer pockets and can be annotated.  They also save wear and tear on the Mark’s Gospel section of their own Bibles.  Students are encouraged to keep up to date with the news on television and through quality newspapers.  Prior to the exams students are given revision booklets by their R.E. teachers.

Year 11 links:

GCSE Christianity: Ethics   http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/gcse/religious-studies-a-4050/subject-content/unit-2

GCSE  St Mark's Gospel http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/gcse/religious-studies-a-4050/subject-content/unit-5

Revision booklets, revision videos and MP3s of each chapter of St Mark's Gospel are also available on Fronter and in the Shared Area.

Revision booklets, revision videos and MP3s of each chapter of St Mark's Gospel are also available on Fronter and in the Shared Area.

KEY STAGE 5

Religious Studies is an academic discipline which encourages a rigorous study of religion and then applying it to the wider world.  Students will need to adopt an enquiring and critical approach to the study of religion.  They will also be encouraged to reflect on and develop their own values in the light of the study they have done.

The examining board for Year 12 students is Edexcel.  AS students will sit three papers on Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and John's Gospel. Each paper is one hour in duration.  The philosophy course includes the Problem of Evil and the Ontological, Design and Cosmological arguments for the existence of God.  Ethics involves the study of theories such as Utilitarianism and Situation Ethics and applying ethical theories to environmental issues and those concerning war and peace.  In the Gospel unit ,Year 12 students will study a selection of key texts as well as considering the religious background of the time.  

Year 13 students are taking the AQA Religious Studies legacy course.  The A2 course involves two courses and two exams.  Unit 3B is on Philosophy of Religion. The course involves studying the Ontological Argument for the existence of God; the challenges and responses to the issue of Religious Language and the philosophical debates associated with the Problem of Evil.  Unit 4A is on Religion and Human Experience. In this unit students carry out an in-depth study of religious experience. They will be required to study a variety of different definitions and approaches to the issue.  They will then use examples to explain and evaluate the influence that these experiences have had on the religions themselves.  Both of their exams are I hour 30 minutes long.  In addition, some students are sitting one of their AS papers again and those resit papers are 1 hour 15 minutes.