Religious Education

Key Stage 3

Programme of Study

The Religious Education curriculum at the Brentwood Ursuline is in keeping with the Curriculum Directory for Religious Education, produced by the Bishops of England and Wales. It aims to ensure all students deepen their understanding of their own faith and discover more about the faith of others. The course also provides opportunities for students to think philosophically and ethically about contemporary issues.

Over the two years, the students will study the following,

The theme of the Year 7 course is "Spirituality". Students will have the opportunity to think about what it means to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves. Topics include a study of the Ursuline community and the Christian community; the Holy Spirit and the Sacrament of Confirmation; prayer and the use of art, music and meditation in prayer; Creation and scientific explanations for the origins of the universe; how art and architecture can be spiritual; teachings on wealth and poverty; and the work of Christians to help those in need. In Year 7 students will also complete a study of Hinduism.

The theme of the Year 8 course is "Wisdom". Students will have the opportunity to develop their experience and knowledge in order to make good decisions. Topics include what it means to love ourselves and others; vocation; how we make good decisions; the wisdom of sacred stories; the wisdom that can be found in the history of the Church; a study of philosophical questions and how these questions have been answered by philosophers in the past; and what it means to live wisely including a study of prejudice and discrimination. In Year 8 students will also complete a study of Sikhism.

Learning/Teaching Approach

In Religious Education students are expected to work independently, manage their own time and resources and actively engage in all lessons. Students will need to be able to work with others to find creative solutions to problems. Students will develop the ability to analyse a variety of texts and other sources along with the ability to think critically about what they read. This will enable students to produce a written evaluation of a particular topic that is evidence based, uses technical terminology and that reaches a justified conclusion.
Students will also be given opportunities for prayer and reflection. They will be able to put their faith into action outside of the classroom through social justice projects.

Assessment

In Religious Education the progress of students will be checked in every lesson. Students will know what they are doing well and how they can improve by the end of each lesson. Students will be formally assessed at the end of each topic. This will take the format of a question and answer test similar to what they will be given at GCSE level. Students will be able to develop their understanding of the mark scheme so that they will be able to show mastery of the course.

Key Stage 4

Qualification

GCSE

Exam Board and Syllabus

AQA Religious Studies B

Programme of Study

The structure of the programme of study will be as follows:
A study of Catholic Christianity, as the primary religion and forming 50% of the programme of study, covering these six topics:

  • Creation
  • Incarnation
  • Triune God
  • Church and the Kingdom of God
  • Redemption
  • Eschatology

A second religion, Judaism, will be studied as part of the new requirement by the Government for Religious Studies, which will form 25% of the programme of study.

A study of religious, philosophical and ethical themes in the modern world, which will form 25% of the programme of study.

Learning/Teaching Approach

Students will study Catholic Christianity which will enable them to engage with questions of belief, value, meaning, truth and their influence on human life.

The study of a second religion will challenge students to reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they have learnt and contribute to their preparation for adult life in a pluralistic society and global community.

Students will be able to develop their ability to construct well-argued, well-informed and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding in Religious Studies. There will be opportunities to reflect on and debate key issues in the modern world raised through religious, philosophical and ethical studies. Students will have the opportunity to participate in class discussions in order to engage with the issues raised and be expected to develop their independent study skills through the use of the resources provided for them by the RE department.

Assessment

Examinations form 100% of the assessment at the end of the course; there is no assessment through coursework or controlled assessment.

What it leads to

After success at GCSE level many students choose Religious Studies at A Level.

Additional Points

The GCSE course is enhanced by the extra-curricular activities organised by the RE Department and the Chaplain, in which students in Years 10 and 11 are encouraged to participate, such as retreats, prayer and meditation and the Justice and Peace Group.

Students may choose to study Religious Studies at A level which is a popular A Level subject at BUCHS.

It is hoped that the Religious Studies course will lead students to put their Christian faith into action and to become more reflective people.

Tier of Entry

Single Tier.