Religious education (RE) provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops students knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions, and other world views that offer answers to these challenging questions. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, and of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.
Key Stage 3
At Hampton College RE is taught to students in their mixed ability teaching groups, 2 hours per fortnight.
Year 7 – Students study an introductory unit entitled “ What is RE?.” This is then followed by a unit that explores and analyses a variety of Festivals from all of the major world religions. Students also study 'Jerusalem: a place of conflict' before persuing a depth study in 'Resurrection - What is the message of Easter for Christians in the 21st Century?' Students the study and compare 'Rites of Passage' before concluding with a study of the five pillars of Islam.
Year 8 – Students start with a detailed study of Sikhism. This is then followed by looking at the question 'do you have to be religious to be moral?' Students then embark on a focused study of Buddhism and Buddhist communities. Students finish the year by looking at how religion has been a force for change in the world looking, such as the work of Martin Luther king Jr.
Year 9 – In Year 9 students are very much encouraged to engage with 'issues' and how people's views can be influenced by their religion. The year starts with an exploration in to ideas and views on 'suffering'. We also study religious views on how humankind treats the environment. We consider responses to the Holocaust before ending Year 9 with a study on Humanism.
Key Stage 4
Those students who opt to study GCSE Religious Studies follow the Edexcel Religious Studies (Beliefs in action) syllabus.
This GCSE provides a more modern approach to studying topics related to Christianity and Islam. Students will look at issues that face us all in society today.
All students will be encouraged to practice and develop their skills in interpreting and evaluating pieces of information, communicating and applying your knowledge, and problem solving. Students will also have many opportunities to contribute to class debates where a variety of views will be considered and respected. Below is an overview of the themes and issues students will study in class as part of the course.
Religion and life based on a Study of Christianity (50% of the final grade)
Belief in God - the nature of God, the Trinity, the key events in the life of Jesus in the Bible, origins of the universe, the problem of evil of suffering.
Marriage and the Family - relationships, the nature of the family, marriage, divorce, contraception.
Living the Religious Life - worship, prayer, charity and pilgrimage.
Matters of Life and Death - the sanctity of life and death, non-religious views that support and challenge the concept of life after death, Catholic teachings about life and death. Gender prejudice and discrimination. Religious equality of men and women shown in the Bible.
Religion and society based on the study of Islam (50% of the final grade)
Belief in God - the nature of Allah, the five pillars of Islam, the nature of angels and prophethood.
Religious Experience - Islamic beliefs about life after death, numinous experiences, miracles, visions and answered prayers.
Living the Religious Life - Muslim holy books, Shahadah, Salah, Zakat and Khums, Sawm and Hajj, Jihad and festivals.
Equality - the sanctity of life, Human Rights, inequality, social harmony and religious freedom. Wealth and poverty and social justice.
Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5 we follow that AQA syllabus for Religious Studies. The course focuses on Christianity in both papers.
Paper 1 Philosophy of religion. 67% of the AS grade through a 2 hour exam and 50% of the A-level grade through a 3 hour exam.
Section A: Philosophy of religion
- Arguments for the existence of God
- Evil and suffering
- Religious experience
Section B: Ethics and religion
- Ethical theories
- Issues of human life and death
- Issues of animal life and death
Paper 2 Study of Religion (Christianity) 33% of the AS grade through a 1 hour exam and 50% of the A-level grade through a 3 hour exam.
- Sources of wisdom and authority
- God/Gods/ultimate reality
- Life after death
- Key moral principles
- Religious identity
Key Stage 3
A good starting point for researching any of the world’s major religions, their beliefs and festivals.
A superb starting point. It is designed for KS2, but gives you the basic information that will make everything else make sense! This is an award winning site. It has some good links to other sites as well.
Suitable for parents, and for students who feel confident about reading.
Lots of clear and appropriate information – again, for those who feel confident about reading.
This site lists loads of links for every RE topic. A good starting point for wider research.
Another good starting point for research. You can search by theme or by religion.
BBC Religion & Ethics
Especially useful for Year 9 pupil. This is a challenging but very informative site. It looks at issues such as war and punishment.
Key Stage 4 & 5