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Religious Education: Key Stage 3

The aim for RE at St Peter’s is for students to understand the views and opinions of people whose beliefs and values differ from their own, which is vital in equipping them to handle issues in their lives, preparing them for the workplace and adult life. Therefore, our curriculum is designed to give students a broad view of these beliefs and ideas which will allow students to be knowledgeable about the different cultures and people that they may encounter and hopefully broadening their worldview. Throughout key stage 3 students will build on their knowledge by reflecting on different themes - belief, worship, identity and morality.

In year 7 students begin by building on their existing knowledge from Key Stage 2, exploring the basic beliefs of the 6 major religions and Humanism. They will begin the year considering the question – Is Britain still religious? And during this time, they will use data from local sources and Census data to try to argue their point of view. They will explore the idea of worldviews and how this affects our decisions. They will then consider how the concept of equality is shown in the Sikhi religion. The topic of meaning and purpose will allow students to reflect on identity and will cover ideas from the 6 major religions and Humanism to explain differing views of beliefs in God and faith as well as what makes us who we are. Just before the Easter break, students will explore the topic of Who was Jesus, where they will look at historical views as well as the importance of Jesus for Christians. In the topic of Sacred Spaces students will reflect on the theme of worship and specifically the places that are important to religious believers. Finally, in year 7 students will look at the topic of love, forgiveness and action where they will have the chance to reflect on the responses of people due to their faith.

In year 8 students will deepen their understanding of the 6 major religions as they begin looking at responsibility from the perspective of Hindus. After this they will begin to explore some ethical topics like ‘Is it right to eat meat?’, and ‘Should animal testing be allowed?’ where they can examine arguments and begin to justify their own points of view. After this the students will consider the evidence for life after death and make decisions on their views about reincarnation and near death experiences as evidence. The next topic students will study is the importance of sacred texts for religious believers and how the authority of these texts might be shown in the actions of believers. In the penultimate unit the students will look at the topic of miracles and consider what they believe makes something miraculous as well as trying to explain some ‘miraculous’ events. Finally, in year 8 students will consider the topic of Crime and Punishment from religious perspectives where they will be able to discuss responsibility as well as arguments for and against the death penalty.

In year 9 students will begin the year identifying Buddhist views on suffering and ways that Buddhists try to alleviate suffering. In the second topic students will look at different religious attitudes to war and try to identify how a person’s faith might affect their behaviours. Next, building on the ethical topic in year 8 students will consider such topics as abortion and euthanasia and consider different responses to these ethical issues. Finally, students will look at topics of prejudice and discrimination in response to the Holocaust and Islamophobia. The aim is for students to understand different beliefs and recognise how these beliefs have impacted people, all whilst having the opportunity to reflect on their own beliefs.