The focus is on asking important questions about values and beliefs, making links between their own and others’ responses, recognising the implications and consequences of making moral choices. Consideration is given to asking questions about why people choose to practice religion and the impact this has on individuals and communities. This leads us to investigate, compare and contrast the different beliefs about the origins of the universe, religious teachings and the impact they have on the individual. The relationship between science and religion is considered. Places and forms of worship, the relationships between them are explored, with focus on the individual believer. Opportunity is available in the summer term for pupils to visit places of worship and to explore the special relationships they have with their communities and others. The year finishes with a look at Buddhism with focus on meditation, how and why people choose to surrender their materialistic / worlds goods and not let their desires overtake them.
The focus continuous with asking important questions as in year 7, however, pupils are challenged to think through the exploration of Jesus’ life and the many challenges he faced. The question, ‘should people stand up for they believe in even if it is at a great personal cost, is linked to Jesus life experiences. What can we learn today from Jesus’ life, his courage? Pupils then compare and contrast the different religious festivals and analyse their significance for the believers and their communities. Subsequently, we consider the divide between the rich and poor in the UK currently. We consider if we are all responsible for helping one another or should this depend solely on the government? We then apply this issue to religious views on how we should deal with this issue. Should the divide exist? What could be done to rebalance society? The year finishes with an in-depth look at what is meant by forgiveness from both a personal viewpoint and a religious one.
The focus moves to understanding what is prejudice and discrimination. Different types of discriminations will be considered with reflections on relevant religious views to the matters discussed. Key historical figures such as, Marting Luther King, Rosa Parks, Gandhi will be reflected upon, including their religious beliefs, and an attempt would be made to relate these to the ideas of equality, freedom of religion and belief including freedom of religious expression. Religious teachings would be explored to inspire tolerance and harmony within our diverse communities of people in the UK today. This will also be linked to the concepts of human rights and the responsibilities that come with rights, including the responsibility to respect the rights of others. Subsequently, in year 9 pupils will start the GCSE course AQA Religious studies (ethics and philosophy) with the units ‘crime and punishment’, and ‘peace and conflict’. If pupils select GCSE RS then they will continue with the GCSE units in KS4. For information on these units please see KS4 ethics and philosophy.
Homework is an integral part of the assessments carried out in Key Stage 3. Students are set two ‘tasks’ per year and the tasks can be interpreted to suit the pupils individual strengths e.g. model making; leaflets; posters; PowerPoint presentations; essays; story boards etc. In addition, to assist pupils with their literacy there is a requirement for all pupils to show some ability of extended sustained writing. This will simply mean that pupils will be required to complete a written task, as well as their own strengths mentioned earlier.