FACULTY OF HUMANITIES
Head of Department Mr J Bailey
What is Religious Education?
Religious Education is learning about and from world religions. Religious Education is about understanding yourself and understanding the world. Religious Education has a central role in the core Curriculum at the Green School for Girls.
Our vision is for students to leave school as religiously literate and culturally aware young people. Students will have had opportunities to explore their own beliefs and learn from and about religion as we explore life’s biggest questions about existence, morality and faith. We strive to provide an outstanding education which is rich and varied and encourages every student to ‘let their light shine’. As a Church of England school we stimulate knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith and how it influences the lives of people worldwide as well as shaping British culture.
Why do we study Religious Education?
Religious Education at The Green School for Girls plays a vital role within the curriculum and the wider context of the School. As a Church of England school, Religious Education is integral in delivering social, moral, spiritual and cultural aspects of learning. We look to be forward thinking and dynamic, offering outstanding teaching and learning that is challenging and engaging. The study of religious education aims to make all students religiously literate while undertaking a journey of discovery about belief systems, ethical choices, philosophical arguments and their own faith.
Our students will:
be able to make links between the beliefs, practices and value systems of a range of faiths and world views.
develop critical thinking skills such as analysis and evaluation.
learn to write and articulate coherent arguments to challenge or justify beliefs and values.
What do we study?
Students cover a range of units from theology, philosophy and ethics.
In Key Stage 3 we aim to encourage students’ thinking skills along with knowledge and understanding of their own beliefs and those of others. They engage with a wide range of topics covering philosophical enquiry (e.g. What is Reality? Year 9), ethical debate (e.g. Why should I care about the environment? Year 8) and world religions comparative theology (e.g. What is Religion? Year 7). This curriculum gives students a strong foundation for undertaking the full course GCSE in Years 10 and 11. The GCSE course (AQA) gives students the opportunity to study Christianity and Islam in depth examining both the beliefs and practices of these world religions. Students also apply these religious beliefs to a range of ethical and philosophical issues.In the Sixth form Philosophy and Ethics is a popular choice at A-Level.
To view a full summary of our KS3 and KS4 Religious Education curriculum please click here
To view information about A-level Philosophy and Ethics at the Green School Sixth Form please click here
At the beginning of the final year of Key Stage 3, students will consider the challenging question of 'What is reality?' Students will learn about different philosophical theories about the nature of reality and the extent to which we can know the truth. Students will learn about Plato's analogy of the cave and the Buddhist story of the enlightened chicken to reflect on whether the world in which we live is truly the 'real' world.' Students will revisit their methods of philosophical inquiry practised in Year 7 and Year 8 to express their opinion about whether there is the possibility of other worlds and whether one religion can be true. This learning is revisited in Year 11 when students learn about the reliability of miracles and general and special revelation.
Following this, students learn about the history of Christianity and how Christianity came to be the largest religion in the world today. Students will revisit their learning about Christianity developed in Year 7 and Year 8 and this unit deepens students' understanding about the origins of Christianity and why there are so many different denominations of Christianity in the world today. In doing so, students will build their understanding of the concept of diversity within religion. This unit is sequenced before our next topic because it imparts knowledge about the nature of God and Jesus and develops the students' understanding of the influence of religion in the world today.
In the Spring Term, students explore how different ideas about God have been interpreted in art, music, film and TV in recent history. Students will reflect on how the concept of God has changed over time and make links between religious teachings about the nature of God and how this has been translated by different artists in the materials studied. This topic revisits learning about the idea of God in religion in Year 7 and in the previous unit and builds on the concepts of diversity, expression and meaning. This unit is sequenced before learning about the arguments for and against God as it imparts meaningful knowledge about what different religions believe God's characteristics are.
Students will then explore the 'big question,' 'Does God exist?' Students will revisit their philosophical learning about the nature of God and the problem of evil and suffering from Year 8 to evaluate how convincing arguments for and against the existence of God are. Students will deepen their understanding of the concepts of meaning, purpose and truth as they learn about the teleological argument, the cosmological argument and the argument from religious experience and the key thinkers associated with these (e.g. Paley and Aquinas). Students will refine their skills of evaluation and judgement as they take a critical approach to these religious defences of the existence of God in the face of the problem of evil and suffering and science. This learning will be revisited in Year 11 when students study different versions of these arguments in greater depth and it is sequenced towards the end of Year 9 due to the challenging nature of the materials being studied.
Finally, at the end of Key Stage 3, students learn about how and why religious believers, both past and present, have worked to reduce racism. Students will learn about how individuals from different religions have put their beliefs about equality and the sanctity of human life into action by fighting against prejudice, discrimination and injustice. This unit is sequenced to coincide with Diversity Fortnight, which is a whole school celebration of different cultures in Britain today. This revisits learning from Year 7 about life in multi-faith Britain as well as the teachings of Jesus and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and links to future learning in Year 10 about prejudice and discrimination and religious attitudes towards racism, sexism, homophobia and Islamophobia. Students will deepen their understanding of the concepts of beliefs, ways of living and diversity as they think about the influence of religion and religious believers on issues of prejudice and discrimination and their own responsibility to work towards a more just and equal community and society.
How do we study Religious Education?
Our ethos strives to widen the personal, social and spiritual development of every individual student in the school through a variety of activities and range of pedagogical techniques. Students can enjoy a combination of independent work, group projects and discussions. In lessons there is often a focus on students working to think independently then share their ideas with a partner or in group then debate and evaluate their ideas as a class.
Presentation of Work
All students should write the TITLE and DATE in your book and underline them IN PENCIL, with a ruler. All sheets should be stuck in their books. Home learning and classwork should be clearly labelled. When students are completing feed forward they must use green pen to feedback.
Students will be set regular independent work in line with the school’s Home Learning Policy. Home learning is an integral part of the curriculum and tasks are aimed to either consolidate knowledge from the lessons or to prepare students for future learning. Tasks could involve independent research of a particular idea (e.g. ‘research and create a fact file about one inspirational person’, Year 7) or creative work (e.g. NATRE spiritualist arts competition). When no specific task is set students are always encouraged to read around the current topic or revise their recent work. Students should use google classroom to access lessons to extend learning. Students are responsible for completing key word sheets and feedforward in exercise books.
Co - curricular activities
Key Stage 3/4 Philosophy Society
Key Stage 3 Inter-Faith Club
Y8 - Hounslow Central Mosque (Spring 2024)
Y10 - St Paul's Cathedral Trip (Spring 2024)
A Level Philosophy and Ethics Trip - All Saints' Church (Autumn 2023)
A Level Philosophy and Ethics Trip - Candle Conference Study Day (Spring 2024)
Y9 - NATRE Spiritual Arts Competition (Spring 2024)
A Level University of Sheffield Philosophy Essay Competition (Spring 2024)
Recommended places of interest in London and around London
The British Library Sacred Texts Exhibition
St Paul's Cathedral
The National Art Gallery (Art and Religion)
Natural History Museum (Creation)
Assessment is an integral part of our RE curriculum. Students regularly self and peer assess work. Teachers give detailed feedback once a half term.
Formative assessment is used in lessons to help plan students progression. Summative assessments take place at the end of each unit and at the end of each academic year.
Careers Leading on from Religious Education
Knowledge of other cultures and world religious beliefs can be useful in many jobs where you are working with the public or communities. These include counselling and social services, marketing, sales and advertising, catering and hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism, retail sales and customer services, education and training, medicine and nursing, and service sector roles.
This list is not exhaustive, Religious Education gives students the analytical skills that are relevant in any career or venture.
To view more information about our school Careers programme please click here
SUPPORTING THE CURRICULUM
How parents/carers can support their children
- regularly checking work and home learning
- actively take part in revision activities e.g. testing keywords
- encourage students read from reading lists and visit places of worship or museums
- encourage an awareness of current world events through reading newspapers and watching news programmes
- encourage debate and discussion at home about current events or ethical topics to develop debating skills and stretch their own ideas
- show support through asking students what they are studying and open up discussions at home
- 'Alice’s Adventures - Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll
- 'Theo’s Odyssey' by Catherine Clement
- 'Sophie’s World' by Jostein Gaarder
- '101 Ethical Dilemmas' by Martin Cohen
- 'The Little Prince' by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- 'CPG Books New Grade 9-1 GCSE Religious Studies: AQA' A Revision Guide
- 'AQA GCSE (9-1) Religious Studies Specification A' Hodder Education
- 'AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Christianity', Oxford University Press
- 'AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Islam', Oxford University Press
- 'GCSE Bitesize Religious Studies' https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/subjects/zb48q6f
- 'BBC Religions : Islam' http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/
- 'BBC Religion: Christianity' http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/
- 'My life, My Religion: Islam' BBC Documentary
- 'My life, My Religion: Christianity' BBC Documentary
- Truetube.com Short Films
- 'The Life of Prophet Muhammad' BBC Documentary Series
- 'Crash Course Philosophy' Youtube Channel
- 'The Bible Project' Youtube Channel
- 'The School of Life' Youtube Channel