Religious Studies

In the Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics Department we look to deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of the religious traditions and worldviews within our world and to give them the tools to critically assess the impact of these diverse and sometimes competing ideas on our society.

We aim to support students’ critical understanding of the beliefs and practices of different religions and worldviews which shape our history and culture. This, in turn, will give them a firm grounding from which to start an examination of the values of those around them and to aid in the development of a deeper respect for the religious and cultural differences of others. This is accomplished through Key Stage 3 by a study of different themes through the six main worldviews, alongside an examination of some of the beliefs and practices of those traditions. We believe this will contribute to creating students as thinkers who will contribute far more thoughtfully to a cohesive and compassionate society.

KS3

KS3 Overview

Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics at Chis and Sid deals with people and ideas, developing thinking skills which are needed for any academic subject. Pupils develop their religious literacy through an ability to gather information, use a variety of enquiring techniques, ask and consider challenging philosophical questions and empathise with alternative viewpoints. Religious Studies also provides an opportunity for pupils to explore their own beliefs and gain an essential understanding about the world in which we live in and the people with whom we share it.

Expected Equipment

  • Blue, black, purple and red pens
  • Colouring pencils
  • Rubber
  • Ruler
  • Highlighters.

Resources for learning

Curriculum Information

  • Class size is 32 with pupils taught in forms
  • Classes are taught twice a fortnight in one hour lessons
  • Homework is set weekly with some extended tasks over two weeks requiring further detailed research and development of content
  • Pupils are assessed within topics using a variety of assessment styles including knowledge tests, extended writing and decision making activities.

Extracurricular enrichment

  • Year 7 trip to Canterbury to study it as a site of pilgrimage; this trip is in conjunction with Geography
  • Philosophy Club – weekly opportunity to meet with students across all key stages to discuss topics of Philosophy and Ethics
  • RS TED Talks – weekly showing of topical TED talks.

Programme of Study

RS, Philosophy and Ethics at Chis and Sid encourages the students to develop their religious literacy. This is done through a systematic examination of the major faith traditions in the world in which they live. The course is based on critically assessing the impact of these traditions on the world through an in-depth examination of specific beliefs and practices of the major faith traditions. The students are also given opportunities to critically evaluate their own and others’ responses to matters of religion and ethics and to relate it to their own life. The result of the three years of study is to build the skills necessary for the RS GCSE that is part of the curriculum here at Chis and Sid, as well as better equipping them to be the leaders of tomorrow. At Key Stage 3 we teach to the Bexley Agreed Syllabus, 2021-2026. Within Bexley, we have links to SACRE and deliver training and support to teachers in other schools both in the borough and beyond and we have a longstanding link with Kings College, London, as centre for Initial Teacher Training.

KS4

KS4 Overview

Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics at Chis and Sid deals with people and ideas, developing thinking skills which are needed for any academic subject. Pupils develop their religious literacy through an ability to gather information, use a variety of enquiring techniques, ask and consider challenging philosophical questions and empathise with alternative viewpoints. Religious Studies also provides an opportunity for pupils to explore their own beliefs and gain an essential understanding about the world in which we live in and the people with whom we share it.

Expected Equipment

  • Blue, black, purple and red pens
  • Colouring pencils
  • Rubber
  • Ruler
  • Highlighters.

Resources for learning

Curriculum Information

  • Class size is approximately 25
  • Classes are taught four times a fortnight
  • Homework can be set weekly when deemed by the teacher to be necessary to extend the student’s learning
  • Additionally, pupils complete end of topic tests as well as the school examinations at the end of Year 10.

Extracurricular enrichment

  • Philosophy Club – weekly opportunity to meet with students across all key stages to discuss topics of Philosophy and Ethics
  • RS TED Talks – weekly showing of topical TED talks

Programme of Study

Students follow the academically rigorous OCR GCSE J625 in Religious Studies. This critical thinking approach to religion allows the students to further develop their religious literacy by deepening their knowledge of the beliefs and practices of two major world faith traditions. They also apply this knowledge, alongside non-religious perspectives, to some of the most pressing religious, philosophical and ethical issues facing the world today. Over the two years, they hone the skills of constructing well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, useful for any areas of academic study.

Specific Subject content:

The course of study critically examines the beliefs and practices of both Christianity and Islam.

  • In the Christian section, the students study the nature of the God, the Trinity, the role of Jesus Christ, Biblical accounts of Creation, the problem of evil and eschatological beliefs. The practices section looks at worship, prayer, pilgrimage, Christian festivals and celebration and the role of the church in the community and the wider world
  • In the Islam section, students study the nature of Allah, core beliefs, the role of prophets, the Qur’an and eschatological beliefs. In the practices section, the students look at worship, prayer, the 5 Pillars, festivals and holy days and jihad
  • In the second half of the course the students critically examine issues of religion, philosophy and ethics in the modern world. These include relationships and families, the existence of God, religion, peace and conflict and dialogues between religious and non-religious issues of the day.

KS5

KS5 Overview 

Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics at CSGS deals with people and ideas, developing thinking skills which are needed for any academic subject. Pupils develop their religious literacy through an ability to gather information, use a variety of enquiring techniques, ask and consider challenging philosophical questions and empathize with alternative viewpoints. Religious Studies also provides an opportunity for pupils to explore their own beliefs and gain an essential understanding about the world in which we live in and the people with whom we share it. 

Expected Equipment 

  • Blue, black, purple and red pens 

  • Colouring pencils 

  • Rubber 

  • Ruler 

  • Highlighters 

Resources for learning 

Reading lists for further reading: RS teachers maintain a lending library of topical books that students are encouraged to take and read 

ALL students are encouraged to engage with different forms of media, print, digital, visual, and to apply the knowledge they have gained in the class to the world in which they live. 

Curriculum Information 

  • Class size is approximately 20 

  • Classes are taught 5 times a fortnight 

  • Homework can be set weekly when deemed by the teacher to be necessary to extend the student’s learning. 

  • Additionally pupils are expected to undertake independent reading to broaden their knowledge and engagement with critical writing 

  • Pupils are assessed continuously through the use of exam style questions within homework and classwork tasks as well as more formal exam style assessment at the end of topics.  

Extracurricular enrichment 

There are two conferences, one in Y12 and one in Y13 designed to extend and deepen the students’    engagement and understanding of the content of the course. They are also good examples of the style of learning they will undertake should they decide to carry on to university. 

Programme of Study 

Students follow the OCR H573 A level in Religious Studies. This is divided into three sections, delivered by two different teachers. These sections are the Philosophy of Religion, Religious and non-religious ethics and the Development of Christian Thought. The core of all these topics is a critical analysis of subject in which the students must both master the content as well as provide a well-supported judgement. 

Specific Subject content: 

Philosophy of Religion 

The influence of the ancient Greeks on Western philosophy, the existence of the soul, arguments for the existence of God, the attributes of God, religious experience, the problem of evil and religious language 

Religious and non-religious ethics 

The normative ethical theories of Situation ethics, natural law, utilitarianism and Kantian ethics are studied. The students then apply these theories to the issues if euthanasia, business ethics and sexual ethics. The topics of meta-ethics and conscience are also studied. 

Development of Christian Thought 

The influence of St Augustine, death and the afterlife, knowledge of God’s existence, interpretations of the role and importance of Jesus Christ, Christian moral principles, using the exemplar of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, religious pluralism in the modern society, gender in society and theology and the challenges of secularism.