Topic 1: Belief in God
Students will consider the nature and existence of God principally from a Christian perspective. They will examine reasons for belief and be challenged concerning the reasonableness of Christians believing in God. They will go on to discuss some of the beliefs that Christians hold about God, for example that of the Trinity.
Topic 2: Islam
A consideration of the faith of Islam, looking at its origins and founder and the way in which the faith is practiced today. Students will be made aware of the basic teachings of the faith and how this affects the everyday life of its adherents.
Topic 3: The History and Beliefs of the Jews
Students will examine the historical development of the religion of Judaism by examining the lives of Abraham and Moses leading on to a consideration of the beliefs and practices of present day Jews. They will look at how the Jews celebrate the Sabbath, worship in the synagogue, practice strict food and dress laws as well as having the opportunity to examine some of the religious festivals celebrated by Jews both in the home and in the synagogue community.
Additional Topic: Eastern Religions
Students will choose one of the Eastern Religions to study: Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. They study belief in God and how this belief affects worship and the way of life of the followers.
Topic 1: Jesus - the beginning
This topic begins with an investigation into the historical evidence for Jesus’ existence. Students then move on to an examination of prophecies connected to the arrival of the Messiah. These are then compared with the birth stories of the arrival of Jesus. This leads to an assessment evaluating whether Jesus was the Messiah.
Topic 2: Jesus - his life
This topic looks at the life of Jesus with a special focus on his teachings and miracles. Students will consider why people wanted to kill Jesus and look in detail at the last week of his life. The topic concludes with an investigation into the evidence surrounding the resurrection of Jesus.
Topic 3: Jesus - his legacy
This topic looks at the impact Jesus had on the world from the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to over 2 billion people claiming to be Christians today. Students will look at different traditions within Christianity and how they worship God in a variety of ways.
Topic 4: Wealth and Poverty
This topic helps students to make the transition towards GCSE Religious Studies by building on their prior knowledge of religions and moving to a more thematic approach. In this topic students will explore the concepts of rich and poor, the causes of wealth and poverty and how and why people help others in poverty.
Topic 1: Animal Rights
This topic explores how humans should treat animals. The issues considered include methods of farming, medical experimentation, cosmetics, vegetarianism and religious food rules. All of these topics are discussed from religious and non-religious perspectives.
Topic 2: Ethics, Media and Religion
This topic looks at how a range of moral issues are portrayed in the media and students evaluate these from religious and non-religious perspectives. Issues include: body image, social media, film, music.
Topic 3: Religious Attitudes to Drugs and Alcohol
This topic explores different religious approaches to drugs and alcohol. Students discuss the law, how drugs are controlled, the effects of drugs on the individual and wider society and how to respond to drug addicts.
Topic 4: Is religion a cause of conflict or a force for peace?
This topic looks at peace and conflict from a religious perspective. Students will examine arguments for and against religious people fighting in wars. They will look at how religions are working for peace around the world as well as exploring examples of religious conflict.
At GCSE students study a range of issues that are important to life in today’s world. They study these from a secular point of view as well as looking at the teachings of Christianity and Islam. Students are encouraged to critically evaluate the various points of view studied, express their own opinions and engage in respectful debate.
Area of Study 1: Religion and Ethics through Christianity
Module 1: Christian Beliefs
Including what Christians believe about God, creation, the problem of evil and suffering, the need for salvation, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and what will happen when we die.
Module 2: Marriage and the Family
Including the purpose of marriage, sexual relationships, the importance of family life, contraception, divorce, gender prejudice and discrimination.
Module 3: Living the Christian Life
Including how Christians worship, why they pray, where they might go on pilgrimage, how they celebrate festivals, the local church and the worldwide Church.
Module 4: Matters of Life and Death
Including origins and value of the universe, sanctity of life, origins and value of human life, abortion, life after death and euthanasia.
N.B. modules 2 and 4 will also explore non-religious views.
Area of Study 2: Religion, Peace and Conflict through Islam
Module 1: Muslim Beliefs
Including the six beliefs of Islam, the nature of Allah, the prophets, the holy books, the nature and importance of angels.
Module 2: Crime and Punishment
Including attitudes to crime and justice, causes of crime, the nature of forgiveness, treatment of criminals and arguments for and against the death penalty.
Module 3: Living the Muslim Life
Obligatory acts of Shia Islam, the five pillars of Islam, the significance of salah, sawm, zakah and hajj, origins and meaning of jihad, origins and significance of Eid celebrations.
Module 4: Peace and Conflict
Including Muslim attitudes towards peace, the role of Muslims in peace-making, attitudes to conflict, pacifism, Just War theory, Holy War, weapons of mass destruction, Muslim views on terrorism.
N.B. modules 2 and 4 will also explore non-religious views.
How will I be tested?
Assessment will take place at the end of each module in the form of a written test.
Students will sit formal examinations for both units of work at the end of the course.