Rudolf Eliott Lockhart recently stated that without good quality Religious Studies / Education where the information taught is accurate and balanced alongside being from a range of different world views, young people are being placed at risk. He believes that they are not only at risk of ignorance which might lead to misunderstanding or even bigotry, but as they journey through life they risk basing their knowledge, understanding and opinions on sources that perpetuate inaccurate and misleading stereotypes.
Our aim at JSTC is to ensure that the subject makes a contribution to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils. We want to promote discernment and assist pupils to combat prejudice by allowing them to distinguish between opinion, belief and fact.
We all know that the world that our children live in is changing and is certainly challenging at times. So here at JSTC the Religious Studies lessons are a safe space for children to explore and develop their identity and belonging, which enables them to flourish individually. It aids pupils to consider and respond to a range of important questions about ultimate meaning and purpose of life, have the opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development, enhance students awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs and encourage students to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions.
We believe that it is also important that Religious Studies is taught in an inclusive way and takes into account the views of those who do not have any religious beliefs.
The right to withdraw…
Since 1944, all schools have been required to teach Religious Studies / Education to all pupils on roll. Therefore along with English, Maths and Science, Religious Studies is part of the Basic Curriculum.
However, as a parent of a pupil within our school, you have the right to request that your child be withdrawn from all or part of the Religious Studies programme provided. This must be done in a formal way, through written communication with the head teacher. Parents MUST provide work for their child to do while they are withdrawn from the lessons.
Head of Religious Studies: Mrs Garrard
"Religious Studies help students with their own personal development, and supports an understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural questions that surface again and again throughout their lives. In tackling difficult questions, Religious Studies provides pupils with insight that can work to challenge stereotypes, promote cohesion, and tackle extremism.
Students will study specified core beliefs and teaching of Christianity and Islam following the WJEC/EDUQAS Route A Religious Studies Specification. This specification is very coherent and enables them to develop a range of skills, which include: knowledge and understanding of religions and non-religious beliefs, such as atheism and humanism, knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, teachings, practices, and sources of wisdom and authority, including through their reading of key religious texts, develop students ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, provide opportunities for students to engage with questions of belief, value, meaning, purpose, truth, and their influence on human life and finally challenge students to reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes.
WJEC/EDUQAS GCSE Religious Studies takes a distinctive issues based approach to the study of religious, philosophical and ethical studies in the modern world. It provides opportunities for learners to understand more about the world, the religious challenges it faces and their place within it.
It will develop student’s competence in a wide range of skills and approaches and enable young people to become religiously informed and thoughtful, engaged citizens.
Year 9 Overview
Issues of Human Rights
This theme considers contemporary issues of human rights and social justice and their relationship with the beliefs and practices of religious believers. Students will be expected to consider specific issues of wealth and poverty, racial prejudice and discrimination.
Students will gain an understanding of the following Key Concepts:
Human Rights and Social Justice teaching’s and attitudes toward the dignity of human life, equality and agapé in action. Examples of conflict between personal religious conviction and the laws of a country, Censorship, freedom of religious expression and religious extremism, Prejudice and discrimination and finally issues of wealth and poverty.
Issues of Good and Evil
This theme requires students to consider philosophical questions concerning the origins and nature of good and evil. Through a study of teachings and beliefs, questions relating to the causes of crime and attitudes towards the aims of punishment and treatment of criminals will be considered.
Students will gain an understanding of the following Key Concepts:
Crime and Punishment, Religious and ethical responses: relative and absolute morality, conscience, virtues, sin, beliefs and attitudes about the causes of crime and the aims of punishment: justice, retribution, deterrence and reformation. The treatment of criminals and the work of prison reformers and prison chaplains, varied Christian responses to the Death Penalty, Forgiveness, Peace and conflict including the Just War Theory, Pacifism and Conscientious Objectors.
Year 10 Overview
Issues of Life and Death
This theme requires students to consider religious and non-religious beliefs about the nature of life and death and the origins and value of the universe and human life. Students are expected to make relevant references to scripture and other sources of authority as well as the beliefs of Humanists and Atheists.
Students will gain an understanding of the following Key concepts: Afterlife, environmental responsibility, euthanasia, evolution, abortion, quality of life, sanctity of life and soul.
Issues of Relationships
This theme requires students to consider characteristics of relationships, marriage and family life. Through a study of beliefs and teachings, questions relating to issues of relationships in the twenty-first century will be considered, including same sex relationships and gender roles.
Students will gain an understanding of the following Key Concepts from a Christian and Islamic view point:
Relationships, attitudes and teachings about the nature and purpose of relationships in the twenty first century: families, roles of women and men, marriage outside the religious tradition and cohabitation. The nature and purpose of marriage as expressed through Christian and Islamic marriage ceremonies and teachings, adultery, divorce, annulment and separation and re-marriage. Religious teachings about the nature and purpose of sex and the use of contraception. Diverse attitudes towards same sex relationships. Issues of equality: gender prejudice and discrimination toward the roles of women and men in worship and authority.
Year 11 Overview a study of 2 religions in detail
Students will study this compulsory unit based on Christian beliefs, practices and teachings.
The nature of this component ensures that students know and understand that the religious traditions of Great Britain are in the main, Christian.
Students will gain a knowledge and understanding regarding the beliefs and teachings of the nature of God, looking specifically at Omnipotent, Omni-benevolent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. The Trinity, beliefs and teachings about the oneness of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Creation including the nature and role of humans, literal and non-literal ways of interpretation. Beliefs and teachings about Jesus’ incarnation, Crucifixion, Salvation and Atonement, Resurrection and Ascension. The Law: Word of God; inspiration and revelation; differing ways of interpreting biblical writings; Bible in relation to other sources of authority. Evangelical worship and the afterlife.
Students will then move on to gain understanding of the Christian Practices regarding Forms of worship, The nature and importance of prayer, Sacraments, The role, meaning and celebration of Baptism and Eucharist, Pilgrimage and Celebrations, The importance of pilgrimage: Walsingham, Taizé, How Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter, Christianity in Britain and the Church in the local community, U.K. laws, festivals and traditions are rooted in the Christian tradition, The role of the Church in the local community; a place of worship, social and community functions and finally The worldwide Church.
Students will study this compulsory unit based on Islamic beliefs, practices and teachings.
Students should be aware that Islam is one of a diverse range of religious and non-religious traditions and beliefs that is represented in Great Britain today.
Students will gain a detailed insight into the belief and teachings of Muslim views that include: The Nature of Allah, Prophet hood (Risalah), Angels (Malaikah), Akhirah (Afterlife), The six articles of faith in Sunni Islam and The five roots in Usul ad-Din in Shi'a Islam.
Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of Islamic Practices include: The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam: The Shahadah: the Muslim statement of faith, Zakah: How Sunni Muslims make payment of charity tax, alms and how zakat money may be spent, Sawm: How Sunni Muslims fast during Ramadan and issues relating to Muslims fasting in Britain. The Hajj: How Sunni Muslims undertake pilgrimage to the Ka'ba in Makkah, and finally Salah: the practices of prayer in Islam in the Mosque and at home. Ten Obligatory Acts of Shi’a Islam, Jihad and finally Festivals and Commemorations:
KS3 - Year 7
This is a series of 26 short, animated, contemporary style clips from the BBC, that follow the letters of the alphabet from A to Z, that are to support learning of Religious Studies. The clips have a conceptual approach, giving examples, defining key terms, opening up big questions and provoking students to think for themselves about religion and belief.
The animations are a 'light touch' and stimulate interest and curiosity within the classroom.