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Religious Studies

 

Learning Journey & Sequencing Rationale

As Religious Studies Teachers at Harrow High, we want our learners to be critical thinkers who are able to formulate their views taking into consideration different views and beliefs. We want learners to develop an enquiring mind where they will analyse different interpretations of beliefs. Through the lessons teachers want to encourage and develop the key attitudes including; curiosity and wonder, commitment, fairness , respect, self –understanding, open- mindedness, critical mindedness and enquiry. We want our learners to be effective communicators, we believe developing the skills mentioned will benefit learners during their journey at school but also within their future lives.   

Religious Studies is taught over three years. There are four themes and two religions covered over the three years. In Year 9, learners cover Religion, Crime and Punishment, Islam Beliefs and Practices and Religion and Life. In year 10 learners cover Christianity Beliefs and Practices and Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice and then finally in year 11 learners cover Religion and Relationships and Families. The remaining two terms are spent revising the content delivered over the three years.

Rationale for Sequencing

Year 9

Year 9 begins with a study of Religion and Crime and Punishment, representing the key concepts in how religion will be applied to different aspects of crime and punishment. This initial unit is a well-designed introduction which also links to Citizenship which learners will have covered as part of Personal Development in year 8.

We then move on to Islam Beliefs and Practices this in comparison to Christianity learners appear to gasp better. As such this is taught before Christianity to enable learners to develop understanding on how to answer 4 mark, 5 mark and 12 mark questions applying knowledge.  With a sound base of understanding the requirements of 2, 4, 5- and 12-mark questions, it becomes desirable to challenge learners by next moving onto Religion and Life, this will give learners an opportunity to apply knowledge.

Year 10 and 11

Learners will move onto Christianity at the start of year 10, by this time learners have gained good understanding in how to answer questions and how to apply previous and new knowledge as well as justifying their own opinion using religious teachings. This also gives learners an opportunity to find similarities between Islam and Christianity.

Much of the teachings they learn as part of Islam in year 9 and Christianity in year 10 can be applied the final two units; Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice and Religion, Families and Relationships.

For example, within Christianity they learn key Christian concepts such as ‘Love thy neighbour’ this can then be applied to areas taught in both the last two units covered at the end of year 10 and start of year 11.

After the first term learners a revision package is then delivered, enabling learners to recap all the topics and for any new learners to catch up what they may have missed out on.  

 

 

 

unit overview - crime and punishment

Subject: Crime and Punishment

Skills

  • Analyse religious text
  • Developing skills to examine various interpretations religion and what they mean.
  • Organisation of work via learning essay writing skills.
  • Developing communication skills via reading answers.
  • Developing a range quotes that could be used from knowledge organisers.
  • Developing exam skills to answer the exam questions.
  • Comparative skills when looking at different religions.

Knowledge

Throughout this topic learners will: 

Analyse the of impact crime

Examine the pros and cons of different punishments.

Explain religious views in regards to deterrence, reformation, retribution and forgiveness.

Examine the religious views regarding capital and corporal punishment.

Examine the influence of religious text in matters of crime and punishment.

Rationale

This is a theme within the GCSE specification, learners are taught about crime in Personal Development in year 8, and the knowledge they have is built on to include religious views. Because they learn about crime in year 8, the Religious Studies crime and punishment is the first topic learners complete.

Learners are given opportunities to discuss and formulate different arguments regarding punishment and treatment of criminals.

As part of the theme, learners study the difference between UK laws and Islamic law, what learners find interesting most is analysing differences and also similarities. Learners are given an opportunity to look at examples of countries where both state law and Islamic law is followed.

Learners are interested in crime and find the subject interesting, as part of the topic, learners examine reasons for crime and also enjoy discussing their opinion on different crimes and courts.

Though crime rates are relatively low in Harrow in comparison to other London Boroughs, we feel giving learners knowledge of different crimes and consequences one can face if they break laws will give learners the knowledge they need to make informed and sensible decisions as they progress though their years at Harrow High School but also into their adult lives.

Within this topic learners begin to develop important skills in answering 4/ 5 and 12 mark questions, because they have different opinions on areas such as capital punishment/ prison it gives learners an opportunity to understand what is needed when answering 12 mark questions, i.e. the ability to give different opinions and use religious views to strengthen their arguments and to reach justified conclusions.

unit overview - islam

Subject: Islam

Skills

  • Analyse religious text
  • Developing skills to examine various interpretations religion and what they mean.
  • Organisation of work via learning essay writing skills.
  • Developing communication skills via reading answers.
  • Developing a range quotes that could be used from knowledge organisers.
  • Developing exam skills to answer the exam questions.
  • Comparative skills when looking at different religions.
  • Develop translation skills.
  • Use comparative skills when looking at different Islamic roots.

Knowledge

Throughout this topic learners will: 

  • Analyse the six Articles of Faith in Sunni Islam and five roots of Usul ad- Din in Shia Islam
  • Learn the different practices including the five pillars of Islam and additional Shia duties.
  • Explain religious views regarding angels and prophets
  • Examine religious festivals
  • Examine the influence in believing in predestination and life after death.
  • Analyse the importance of prayer in Islam as well as the importance of Shahada, Sawn, Zakat and Hajj.

Rationale

As part of the GCSE specification all learners must sit two papers focusing specifically on religious beliefs and practices. At Harrow High School, learners will be taught Christianity and Islam.  According to London Borough of Harrow agreed Syllabus 2016,  12.5% of the population in Harrow have identified themselves as Muslims,  Islam was chosen due to the large number of Muslim learners at Harrow High School, it was also chosen as it gives learners an opportunity to identify the similarities between two religions which many deem as very different. It demonstrates similarities in both beliefs and practices, for example the story of creation/ important figures within both religions and angels.

Learners learn through their peers and identify similarities and enjoy sharing experiences.

The specification also gives learners an opportunity to formulate views about the two religions that sometimes is not coherent to what the media is deemed to portray about the religions.

Learners learn about festivals from both religions and in many aspects the choice of two religions celebrates diversity within our school.

unit overview - religion and life

Subject: Religion and Life  

Skills

  • Analyse religious text
  • Developing skills to examine various interpretations religion and what they mean.
  • Organisation of work via learning essay writing skills.
  • Developing communication skills via reading answers.
  • Developing a range quotes that could be used from knowledge organisers.
  • Developing exam skills to answer the exam questions.
  • Comparative skills when looking at different religious views.

Knowledge

Throughout this topic learners will: 

  • Learn different origins of the universe, including scientific views such as the Big Bang Theory.
  • Gain knowledge of the different religious teachings regarding protection of the world, including the religious teachings about stewardship and dominion.
  • Explain the different ways human beings are using and abusing the environment.
  • Examine the use and abuse of animals and the different religious views regarding this.  
  • Examine the influence in believing in life after death.
  • Analysing the different arguments related to abortion and euthanasia.

Rationale

As part of the Religious Studies specification, four themes have to be chosen. Religion and Life has been chosen due to the link to Sex and Relationship Education (SRE), as part of the specification learners learn about the different opinions on when life begins and views regarding abortion. Learners find this interesting and engaging, this topic also looks at topics such as animal experimentation and euthanasia. These are areas where there are many different opinions, it gives learners an opportunity to not only analyse religious views but to formulate their own opinions on the matters. Due to areas such as abortion and euthanasia often being debated and represented in the media, this topic was also chosen as it gives learners an opportunity to comment on laws on abortion and euthanasia here in the UK and in other countries.

Learners also look at the different creation theories and as part of the topic are given opportunities to express their beliefs, within this learners are taught that all opinions must be expressed in a respectful manner, the topic promotes respect and listening of each other coinciding with Harrow High School behaviour policy.

This topic also gives learners an opportunity to develop comparative skills between what they are taught in science in regards to the origins life and religious views on the origins of life.

knowledge Organiser

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments, and calculations.

We encourage all pupils to use them by doing the following:

  • Quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • Practise spelling key vocabulary
  • Further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the unit.