The Importance of Religious Studies
The aim of Religious Studies is to encourage students to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning. It encourages students to develop their sense of identity and belonging and enables them to flourish individually within their community and as citizens within a pluralistic society and global community. Religious Studies has an important role in preparing students for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables pupils to develop respect for, and sensitivity to, others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own.
Students in Year 9 study a course which is based on the recommendations of the Bedfordshire agreed syllabus for Religious Studies. The skills base they develop of critical thinking and evaluation, aims to prepare the students for the Philosophy, Ethics and Religion GCSE.
Prejudice and discrimination in England today
Students begin year 9 exploring questions about the causes of prejudice and discrimination in the world around us. Case studies relating to homophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are explored (amongst others) in the context of the UN charter of Human Rights and current UK legislation. Students are encouraged to discuss the issues and formulate their own opinions whilst evaluating the views of their peers, the world of media and politics and those of different faiths.
War and Peace - Is religion the cause or the solution?
Here, more demanding questions about the implications of prejudice and discrimination are posed, using the Holocaust and the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides as case studies. Students will study the response of religion to these events and consider what or indeed if, lessons have been learned. Students are expected to evaluate the concept of forgiveness and consider how different faiths respond to such atrocities. As part of the course there is an opportunity for students to visit the Holocaust exhibition at the imperial war museum in London, run jointly with the history department. We also invite a Holocaust survivor to come into school to speak to every member of the year group.
Summer Term (second half)
Students will either start their Philosophy, Ethics and Religion GCSE option or their core ethical thinking lessons which will explore issues of religion and morality taken from current local, national and global events.
Years 10 and 11
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion GCSE (option)
Students in year 11 are following the OCR Religious Studies GCSE specification B. ‘Philosophy and Applied Ethics’. In year 10 they are following the new OCR Religious Studies specification which includes a detailed study of 2 religions as 50% of the learning content. This GCSE provides an opportunity for students to build upon the foundation laid by following the Locally Agreed Syllabus in Religious Education (where applicable) and to continue their study of religious values from earlier key stages, although it does not require or assume any prior knowledge in the area of the philosophy of religion and ethics. This specification offers all students equal opportunities to demonstrate their attainment, regardless of gender, religion and ethnic and social background; it is accessible to students of any religious persuasion or none.
There is an enrichment opportunity to visit the memorial at Auschwitz in Poland in year 10.
There are currently 4 classes studying the new GCSE as an option in year 10 and 4 classes following the legacy OCR course in year 11.
Lessons are taught in years 10 and 11 to all students once a fortnight. We aim to encourage students to engage with the big issues affecting them and the world in which they live. This course fulfils the statutory requirements of the Bedfordshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education for 14-19 year olds. Topics change regularly to address the issues that are most current.
In Year 10 students study topics such as Moral Absolutes, Abortion, Euthanasia, the Sanctity of Life, Capital Punishment, Charity and Poverty. These topical themes are continued in Year 11 with an exploration of British Values, Religious Britain, Migration, Brexit, Black Lives Matter and New Religious Movements.
These lessons also support the schools aims
To develop both individual and group skills, powers of clear, creative, critical and reflective thinking, and the capacity to make informed and responsible decisions.
To develop a reasoned set of attitudes, values and beliefs, combined with an open-minded and sensitive attitude towards the ideas and view of others.
To encourage an awareness and understanding of the variety of the world‘s beliefs and cultures and of the interdependence of people.
The department also has a Twitter account (@Redborne RS) which keeps students up to date with issues relevant to their studies.
Students in year 13 are studying the OCR Religious Studies Philosophy and Ethics A2. In year 12 they are following the new OCR Religious Studies A Level. This specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills that candidates will have developed through the study of GCSE Religious Studies. It does not, however, assume or require any previous study of the subject. It is designed to support a course of study which is suitable for candidates from any religious background (or none).
In supporting the development of these areas, the specification also makes a significant contribution to enhancing the spiritual, moral, social and cultural education of students.
This is a popular option at Redborne with 19 students studying it in year 12 and 22 in year 13.