Religion, Philosophy and Ethics
- Learning to Fly in RPE
- Independent Study in RPE
- RPE Curriculum Overview
What will students be studying this year?
Initially, Year 7 students will spend time examining their own beliefs and the views of their peers. This allows for important interaction and socialisation amongst the form class, helping students to explore each other’s’ views and backgrounds in a respectful manner. The students will then go on to consider three religions in depth: Christianity, Sikhism and Hinduism. They will consider the similarities and differences between them, including their history and values, in order to give students a firm foundation for studying these religions further at GCSE. Students will also begin to study ethical issues such as poverty, equality and justice. A visit to the Sikh Gurdwara, where a seminar on Sikh beliefs about equality and justice takes place, enables students to bring this year’s learning together.
In Year 8 students will consider three religions in depth: Judaism, Christianity and Islam: they will consider the similarities and differences between them, including their shared history and values. This will give students a firm foundation for studying these religions further at GCSE. Students will also begin to study ethical issues such as female leadership in the church. An Interfaith workshop in enrichment week involving speakers from a range of faiths and backgrounds enables students to bring this year’s learning together.
In Year 9 your daughter will begin studying the full GCSE course which is examined at the end of Year 11. We will be following the AQA Religious Studies A GCSE specification (8062). On this course, students will prepare for two exam papers (1) ‘Religions: Beliefs, teachings and practices’ (Christianity and Islam) and (2) ‘Thematic studies’. The ‘Thematic studies’ paper allows students to explore religious, philosophical and ethical studies from a wide range of religious perspectives and also non-religious perspectives such as atheism and humanism. In Year 9, students will study, ‘Islam: Beliefs and teachings’ and ‘Christianity: Beliefs and teachings’.
What are the major assessments this year?
Each topic studied features an assessment at the end, and these take a number of forms- from pair presentations, to group projects and individual essays. For each topic a detailed ‘target sheet’ is provided with information as to how students can access the higher levels. There is a 1 hour ‘End of Year’ examination, in which students are assessed on their knowledge of a range of the topics covered this year.
What will the current performance grade be based on, and what do the levels mean?
The current performance grade is based on all of the assessments and homework that they have completed to date. Students are provided with a specific levels descriptor sheet before each assessment.
What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?
In the first instance, she should speak to her subject teacher. She should try to identify specific areas of the subject which she is finding a challenge so that we can offer targeted support which may take the form of lunchtime or after school support sessions. In addition she may be assigned a student from the sixth form who can offer help and advice.
How can I support my daughter?
The best way to support students is to talk to them about their studies, what they are particularly enjoying and whether they would like further help. Do try to engage them in discussion by asking them their views on topical issues, and whether they would agree or disagree with the views of others. An important skill that we try to develop in Year 7 is the ability to justify their opinions, and understand others, so you could challenge them to provide further support for their view, or to look at a topic from an alternative perspective. Discussing any ethical issues (for example, extremism or sexual discrimination) or philosophical issues (such as “why are we here?” or “what evidence is there for God’s existence?”) would be beneficial. Newspapers, television and radio are a great source of topical issues and there are often documentaries covering ethical or religious issues which are very accessible.
What kind of independent work should my daughter be completing?
Students are given regular independent homework to complete and this should be recorded in your daughter's planner. When students’ homework and assessments are marked, they receive a number of targets and corrections and students should be proactive about working on these. Students should also keep abreast of contemporary issues in the news and discuss these topics with their friends and family outside of lessons.
Who can I contact for further advice and information?
Please feel free to contact the Head of RPE, Ms Harvey, on firstname.lastname@example.org with your question or concern.