Aims of the curriculum
- To promote knowledge and understanding of religious issues whilst instilling a sense of spirituality in each pupil
- To make the teachings of the Church accessible and meaningful to our pupils so they can fully appreciate, and participate in, the Catholic nature of the school
- To promote an understanding of the personal, social and moral issues that are relevant the pupils experiences
- To instil in each pupil a deeper understanding of faith and belief in God
All students at Key Stage 4 will follow the WJEC Eduqas GCSE in Religious Studies Specification B. The Roman Catholic content of the course, including a study of Judaism as a second religion, follows the recommendations laid down by the Bishops Conference of England and Wales. This is a linear course in which all exams will be taken at the end of Year 11. There are no Controlled Assessment requirements at GCSE level; students will be assessed by three external exams at the end of Year 11. GCSE qualifications are reported on a nine point scale from 1 to 9, where 9 is the highest grade.
The key elements of the course are divided into 3 components.
Component 1: Foundational Catholic Theology (Origins and Meaning; Good and Evil) This counts for 37.5% of the total qualification.
Component 2: Applied Catholic Theology (Life and Death; Sin and Forgiveness) This also counts for 37.5% of the total qualification.
Students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of the influence of religion on individuals, communities and societies. They will be expected to support their responses using appropriate knowledge and understanding of key sources of wisdom and sacred texts. These texts might include, for example: the Bible; extracts from the documents of Vatican II or other ecumenical councils, extracts from Papal encyclicals, extracts from the work of key theologians and thinkers such as St Augustine of Hippo as well as the views of past and current philosophers (including ethical philosophers).
Students must be aware of how varied interpretations of sources and/or teachings may give rise to diversity within traditions or textual studies on religious, philosophical and ethical studies in the modern world. They will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of different perspectives. These may derive from either different religions or different views/denominations within a particular religion.
Component 3: Study of a World Faith: Judaism This counts for 25% of the final qualification.
Students should be aware that Judaism is one of a diverse range of religious and nonreligious traditions and beliefs in Great Britain today that includes Christianity; Buddhism; Hinduism; Islam; Sikhism; Humanism and Atheism, but that the main religious tradition in Great Britain is Christian.. Students must know, understand and express common and divergent views and the basis for beliefs, teachings and practices within Judaism. References to relevant sources of wisdom and authority are expected, including scripture and/or sacred texts.
Each component will be assessed by compulsory questions focusing on knowledge, understanding and evaluation of the subject content.
Religious Studies Skills
In addition to the subject knowledge gained at GCSE, Religious Studies will also help students develop the following skills:
Research skills – reading and analysing religious and philosophical literature; considering different viewpoints on controversial issues; summarising information in writing or verbally.
Communication skills – presenting different arguments; putting across clear and relevant information when writing about a subject; discussing the perspectives of different religions in relation to social problems and issues.
Skills of critical analysis – developing an understanding of contemporary responses to religious beliefs in different times and places; evaluating the approaches of religions to debates on, for example, problems of evil and suffering; examining the background and emergence of different religious beliefs.
Progression after Key Stage 4
After completing the GCSE course students are able to progress to studying Religious Studies AS and A level in Philosophy and Ethics. Year 10 students have the opportunity to attend a four day residential retreat at the Diocesan Youth centre.
Additional classes and extra curricular activities
Students and parents will be advised when Revision classes are taking place.
How can you help your child?
- Homework is set once a week, ask your son/daughter what their homework is and ask them to show it to you once it is finished.
- At the end of each unit of work you will receive a text informing you when the end of unit test is. Each student will be given revision materials which you can use to test them.
- Looking in your son/daughters’ exercise books and reading the comments from the teacher and the response from your child will help you to see where they can make improvements and where they are doing well.
- Encourage your child to use the school VLE which contains all the revision materials, text books, videos and exam practice papers.