Religious Education – Subject content – KS4

All students at KS 4 study the short course Edexcel GCSE RE, Religion and Life. It tries to familiarise the students with some of the major issues they may have to consider in life.

Year 10
They begin this course by looking at a belief in God and examining religious experience.
They consider arguments for and against belief in God and are encouraged to discuss their own and the view of others in the class. They also consider how the media express the idea of God. In the Spring term, they look at contemporary ideas about the family and marriage and what religions think about the changes in structure of the family today.

Year 11
Students look at Social Issues for the first term in year 11, here the focus is mainly on sexism and racism in society. In the spring term issues of life and death are considered and religious views on such things as abortion and euthanasia. This is a very challenging area for young people and many heated discussions happen in the RE classrooms. In this course students are encouraged to express their own opinions and evaluate and analyse the opinions of others.

Full course RE: Religion and Society

This course is offered as an option in KS4 to students who want to cover a more indepth course in RE
Topics students cover on the course in year 10 are:
How we make moral decisions, human rights, medical issues such as genetic engineering, environmental issues, issues of war and peace, crime and capital punishment and attitudes to drugs and alcohol.

Attainment Target 1: Learning about religions

•knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs and teachings
•knowledge and understanding of religious practices and lifestyles
•knowledge and understanding of ways of expressing meaning

Attainment Target 2: Learning from religion
•skill of asking and responding to questions of identity and experience
•skill of asking and responding to questions of meaning and purpose
•skill of asking and responding to questions of values and commitments

National Curriculum Levels

Level 1

AT1 Recount outlines of religious stories. They recognise features of religious life and practice, and some religious symbols and words.

AT2 They identify aspects of their own experience and feelings, and what they find interesting or puzzling and of value and concern to themselves, in the religious material studied.

Level 2

AT1 Pupils retell religious stories, identify some religious beliefs, teachings and practices, and know that some are characteristic of more than one religion.

AT2 They respond sensitively to the experiences and feelings of others, including those with a faith, and to other people’s values and concerns in relation to matters of right and wrong.

Level 3

AT1 Pupils describe some religious beliefs and teachings and their importance, and how some features are used or exemplified in festivals and practices.

AT2 They compare aspects of their own experiences and ideas about questions that are difficult to answer with the experiences and ideas of others, and identify what influences their lives.

Level 4

AT1 Pupils describe the key beliefs and teachings of the religions studied, connecting them accurately with other features and making some comparisons between religions. They show understanding of what belonging to religions involves.

AT2 They ask questions about the significant experiences of key figures, puzzling aspects of life and moral and religious issues, and suggest answers from their own and others’ experiences, making reference to the teaching of religions and showing understanding of why certain things are held to be right and wrong.

Level 5

AT1 Pupils explain how some principal beliefs, teachings and selected features of religious life and practice are shared by different religions.

AT2 They make informed responses to questions of identity, experience, meaning and purpose, and to people’s values and commitments (including religious ones) in the light of their learning.

Level 6

AT1 Pupils use their knowledge and understanding of the religions studied to explain how the principal beliefs and teachings, belonging to a faith community and religious expression vary among different groupings, denominations and traditions, correctly using technical terminology.

AT2 They respond to the teachings and experience of inspirational people, and religious perspectives on questions of meaning and purpose and on a range of contemporary moral issues by relating these to their own and others’ lives.

Level 7

AT1 Pupils relate religious beliefs, teachings, practices, lifestyles and the forms of religious expression, including texts, figurative language and symbolism, to their historical and cultural contexts.

AT2 They evaluate religious and other views on human identity and experience, on questions of meaning and purpose and on values and commitments, using appropriate evidence and examples.

Level 8

AT1 Pupils analyse and account for the varying influence of religious beliefs and teachings on individuals, communities and society, different views of religious practices and lifestyles and different interpretations of religious expression in texts, figurative language and symbolism, using appropriate evidence and examples.

AT2 They give an informed and well-argued account of their own and others’ views, values and commitments regarding identity and experience, questions of meaning and purpose and contemporary moral issues in the light of different religious views and other views and feelings.

Exceptional Performance

AT1 Pupils distinguish and investigate different interpretations of: the nature of religious belief and teaching, giving a balanced analysis of their sources, validity and significance; the importance for believers of religious practices and lifestyles and of the issues raised by their diversity within a plural society; and the meaning of language in religion in the light of philosophical questions about its status and function.

AT2 Pupils place religious, non-religious and their own views of human identity and experience, the nature of reality, and religious and ethical theories concerning contemporary moral issues, within a comprehensive religious and philosophical context, and make independent, well-informed and reasoned judgements about their siginificance.