Religious Education

Head of Department: Elizabeth George

Our curriculum in Religious Education, in line with most courses of study in the subject, aims to give all children a good grounding in the following areas: Bible knowledge; World Religions; contemporary issues – but also, just as importantly, to encourage curiosity and tolerance towards religious beliefs and practices, as well as spiritual and ethical matters.

Children in Class 3 and Class 4 look at a number of Bible stories (starting with the Old Testament in Class 3, then the New Testament in Class 4). This foundation programme gives them a broad appreciation of the Bible, together with the historical background and moral education contained therein. In addition, one separate topic is covered in each year group: Special Days, in Class 3; Faith Leaders (such as Buddha or Pope Francis), in Class 4.

The main focus in Shell and Midway then shifts to World Religions, contemporary issues, ethical thinking and philosophy. The following is studied over these two years: The 6 major world religions with particular attention paid to pilgrimage, founders and leaders.

From Midway onwards, all the work forms part of the Common Entrance preparation, as we cover the ISEB Syllabus for Theology, Philosophy and Religion. Midway cover Islam (beliefs and practices) and Christianity (Practices and Ceremonies) followed by Great Philosophical thinkers and their ideas.

In Upper, ethical issues take centre stage with pupils covering the environment, prejudice, discrimination and freedom, life and death and punishment. Skills are honed in essay writing.

In Remove, Islam (practices and ceremonies) is taught as well as general preparation for the CE exam, including revision techniques and a review of topics covered in Midway and Upper.

With the new syllabus, there is increasingly an emphasis on an understanding of contemporary ethical and philosophical issues. At this stage, children start grappling with some of the “bigger questions”  and developing insights about human nature and society. Children begin the process of weighing up evidence and presenting a balanced argument, learning not only to articulate their own opinions, but also to appreciate others’ viewpoints.

Year 3The Creation
The Tower of Babel
Jacob and Esau
Joshua and the Walls of Jericho
David and Goliath

Year 4The Bible and The New Testament
Life of Jesus
The Nativity
Jesus and his Disciples
Jesus’ teaching
Faith leaders and founders
ShellAround the World the RS Way
(pilgrimage and the 6 major world religions)
Alien Quest
(6 World Religions)
Founders and Leaders
(6 World Religions)
(Beliefs and practices)
(Practices and Ceremonies)
Great Thinkers and their Ideas
UpperThe environment
Prejudice, discrimination and freedom
Life and deathPunishment
Practices and Ceremonies
Review of Islam and ChristianityRevision and Exam prep
Leavers’ programme