The intent is framed within the Durham Agreed Syllabus which states RE will show: ‘The ability to understand the faith or belief of individuals and communities and how these may shape their culture and behaviour and this is an invaluable asset for children in modern day Britain. Exploring religious and non-religious world views in an academic way allows young people to engage with the complexities of belief, avoid stereotyping and contribute to an informed debate’
Within this framework, the RE curriculum will:
Topic: What is religion?
Looking at whether or not beliefs are unique and if they have to be linked to religion. Thinking of how people express beliefs looking at religious and Humanist views.
Looking at the nature of God and beliefs for and against God. Understanding key arguments for the beginning of creation and evidence to support both views. Students will visit different Churches and do a comparative study.
Topic: What does it mean to live in a religiously diverse country/world?
Looking at diversity and whether or not communities should be diverse. Identifying whether or not it is difficult to be a person of faith in County Durham. Discussing whether or not religion is dead in modern society and what religion teaches about multi-faith.
Topic: Can miracles happen?
Look at the Christian view of miracles. Read and watch modern day miracle stories. Discussion around the problem of miracles and scientific explanations.
SkillsSelf-reflection on personal skills. Researching miracle stories. Assessing the impact of faith on the world and in a multi-faith society. Identifying how pupils can impact on the world. Reflection on personal beliefs. Explain Christian and Humanist views of creation. Evaluate what it means to live in a religiously diverse society. Plan and create a modern day Church fit for everyone. Gathering evidence on the causation and design argument. Work as part of a team. Communicate key work.
Topic: Is death the end?
Looking at whether or not humans are unique. Discussing Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Native American, non-religious and Humanist views of the afterlife. Identifying reasons why people do and don’t believe in the afterlife.
Topic: Should religious believers be involved in war?
Looking at the causes and effects of war. Explaining Christian views of war including pacificm. Identifying how victims of war can be helped. Discussing alternatives to war.
Looking at the Muslim belief in Allah. Explaining the importance of the 5 Pillars of Islam. Students visit a Mosque and complete a study of the Mosque.
Explain the place of the 5 Pillars of Islam. Analyse the impact of this belief on the life of a Muslim. Explain how the Hajj makes a difference to people’s lives.
Evaluate the place of the Hajj in the life of a Muslim. Showing empathy for differing views and opinions. Compare and contrast different views of the afterlife.
Topic: How do people of faith make moral decisions?
Looking at how we know right from wrong. Giving examples of absolute and relative morality. Looking at the causes and effects of crime. Identifying Christian views of punishment. Giving arguments for and against the death penalty.
Looking at the Sikh view of human life. Identifying how Sikhs demonstrate their faith today. Students visit a Gurdwara and complete a study of the Gurdwara.
Topic: What is the problem of evil for theists?
Looking at natural and moral evil. Explaining the problem of evil and the purpose of suffering. Identifying how theists respond to evil and suffering.
Explain different religious and non religious views about the death penalty. Analyse different perspectives on crime and punishment. Assess the evidence given for certain crimes. Examine the coherence of a theists attitude to evil and suffering. Examine and explain why God allows suffering.
Topic: Does care for the environment really matter?
Looking at global warming and pollution. Evaluate Christian and Muslim views of stewardship. Explain whose responsibility it is to look after creation.
Topic: Does religion cause conflict?
To explore recent and current conflicts in the world and the role of religions or religious traditions and groups within them. Evaluate the causes of these conflicts and ask questions relating to these e.g. about political, religious and sectarian ideologies. Consider both religious and non-religious approaches to conflict resolution and analyse the effectiveness of these.
Topic: Should religion and politics mix?
Looking at abortion and euthanasia. Analysing the law on abortion and euthanasia. Identifying the influence that religion can have on political systems and issues nationally and globally. Evaluate individuals and religious groups who have campaigned for political beliefs and will consider how religious beliefs can affect the views, attitudes, actions and behaviours of individuals and communities. To explores and evaluates the place of the state religion in political structures and decision-making processes in Great Britain. To consider whether the state rule of law should come before individual religious and moral convictions.
Topic: Why do people suffer?
To explore one of the key philosophical questions which all humans and religious and nonreligious belief systems grapple with. Explore the nature of suffering and consider what is meant by ‘evil’, non-moral and moral evil and consequent suffering. Evaluate the reasons given by a variety of religious and nonreligious worldviews for why there is suffering e.g. Buddhist view, differing views within Christianity (e.g. free-will, Augustinian view, Irenaean view), atheist views. Differing responses to suffering and evil can also be explored e.g. through the use of case studies (current and historical).
Topic: How do we make moral decisions?
To explore what it means to be moral, what is the basis of people’s own individual sense of morality (‘moral compass’) and how this is used to make moral decisions. Evaluate some of the theories behind ethical decision making (e.g. situationism, utilitarianism) and the ways individuals, communities and societies use these. Explore the role religion can play in moral decision making for some individuals and societies. Consider the complexity in addressing some ethical issues by using current day examples. To think about and reflect on the basis for making personal moral decisions.
Topic: Are religious laws outdated?
To explore some key religious laws and teachings in relation to moral attitudes, actions and behaviours. To evaluate whether such laws have stood the test of time and remained relevant or whether they reflect a particular culture or period of time from the past. To explore similarities and differences between the moral codes and laws from different religious and non-religious worldviews and consider whether it is possible to have universal laws. Discuss and analyse such questions as: Should religions adapt their practices and moral codes in line with modern society and changing cultural and societal norms? If religious laws should change to reflect modern societies, which society? Harm no living thing?
Topic: Is death the end?
To explore a range of attitudes and beliefs concerning what happens when we die. Key schools of thought, ideas, convictions and beliefs (resurrection and after-life, reincarnation, death is the end of any form of life) will be exemplified through a range of religious and non-religious worldviews. To consider and analyse these. Examine how religious and non-religious beliefs are connected to practices, finding out how particular actions, words, symbols and rituals exemplify beliefs about life and life after death. Consider how and why perceptions and beliefs have changed for some individuals and how this is reflected today.
Topic: Can miracles happen?To explore what is meant by ‘miracle’ and the different definitions and types of miracle e.g. supernatural miracle (an event which breaks natural laws), ‘hidden hand’ miracle (a beneficial event of extraordinary coincidence), a liberal miracle (God working through humans to bring about change). To consider examples of these types of miracles in a range of religious traditions. Evaluate the validity of belief in miracles by considering arguments for and against miracles. Explore belief in the supernatural world, including an evaluation of why some people may believe in this but not the concept of miracles performed by God.
Homework is set on google classroom for KS3. No homework set for KS4 Core RE.