Ysgol Stanwell School

Archer Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 2XL

Religious Education

Head of Department
Mrs J Skilton
Mr P Griffiths
Mr L Norman
Mrs E Smith
Miss A Tuthill

In RE we offer opportunities for pupils to study Christianity and the other major world faiths in Britain in order to:

  • Learn to understand and respect different religions, beliefs, values and traditions (including ethical life stances), and understand their influence on individuals, societies, communities and cultures;
  • Explore issues within, across and between faiths and consider questions of meaning and purpose in life;
  • Learn about religious and ethical teaching, enabling them to make reasoned and informed judgements on religious and moral issues;
  • Develop their sense of identity and belonging, preparing them for adult life as citizens in a plural society;
  • Develop skills of enquiry and response in analysis, expression, reflection, evaluation and application, through the use of distinctive language, listening and empathy.

Key Stage 3

In RE we enable pupils to acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of:

  • Christianity and the other principal religions represented in Great Britain;
  • How these religions influence individuals, communities, society and the world;
  • The nature of belief, religion, philosophy and ethics.

Curriculum Plan

Key stage 3 studies a wide range of topics:

Autumn Term – Year 7

  • Unit 1:
    • Why Study religion?
    • Base-line test on celebrations – Christmas and Divali.
    • Christianity
    • Picturing Jesus.
    • Relevance and importance of Jesus for believers and non-believers.
  • Unit 2:
    • Christianity
    • Picturing Jesus.
    • Jesus’ birth and early life.
    • The nature of Christ.
    • Concept of temptation and the temptation of Jesus.

Spring Term – Year 7

  • Unit 3:
    • Christianity
    • Picturing Jesus
    • The miracles of Jesus.
    • Parables Picturing Jesus: An assessment activity on Jesus as a key figure in Christianity today.
    • Jesus as Messiah.
    • The death and resurrection
  • Unit 4:
    • Judaism
    • Investigating Jewish artefacts.
    • Exploring what Jews believe.
    • Shabbat.
    • The meaning and significance of Chanukkah.

Summer Term – Year 7

  • Unit 5:
    • Judaism
    • Passover – assessment letter and symbols task with commentary.
    • Unit 6:
    • Judaism
    • Worship in the synagogue.

Autumn Term – Year 8

  • Unit 3:
    • Christianity
    • Beliefs and Practise
    • Christian symbols and their meaning
    • What God means for Christians
    • How beliefs are shown in Christian festivals – Easter
  • Unit 4:
    • Christianity
    • Beliefs and Practise
    • What the Bible teaches Christians
    • Why prayer is important
    • How religious beliefs affect everyday life
    • Comparing Codes for Living form the six main world religions and reflecting on ideas about rules needed for living.

Spring Term – Year 8

  • Unit 1:
    • Beliefs and Practise
    • Sikhism
    • Sikh artefacts
    • Sikh beliefs
    • 5 Ks
    • The Khalsa
    • Guru Nanak and the ten Gurus
    • The Gurdwara
    • The naming ceremony
  • Unit 2:
    • Sikhism
    • Assessment of unit on Sikhism = class test at the end of the unit.

Summer Term – Year 8

  • Unit 5:
    • Hinduism
    • Introduction to Hinduism
    • Hindu artefacts.
    • The Hindu concept of God – The Trimurti & other deities.
    • Hindu worship – Puja in the home and at the Mandir. (Assessment task = report on Hindu worship.)
  • Unit 6:
    • Hinduism
    • Exploring what it means to be a Hindu in Wales
    • Curriculum Cymraeg

Autumn Term – Year 9

  • Unit 1:
    • Islam and Christianity
    • Introduction to Islam – Muslim artefacts
    • Comparing Christian and Muslim beliefs about God.
  • Unit 2:
    • Islam
    • Introduction to Islam
    • The Five Pillars.
    • The life of Muhammad.
    • Ramadan.

Spring Term – Year 9

  • Unit 3:
    • Our World unit (GCSE Short Course)
    • What am I ?Religion and science – creation stories
  • Unit 4:
    • Christianity
    • Christian stewardship
    • Examples of Christians using talents from God
    • Christian Aid

Summer Term – Year 9

  • Unit 5:
    • Islam/Christianity
    • Christian & Muslim beliefs about the soul, creation and man’s place in the world.
    • The differences between humans and animals
  • Unit 6:
    • Christianity/Islam
    • Christian & Muslim attitude to animal rights – examples of Christians/Muslims showing responsibility for the world

Key Stage 4

Pupils at Stanwell follow the WJEC GCSE Short Courses. In Years 9 and 10 pupils study the Religion and Life Issues Short course consisting of the following units of study:

  1. Our World – creation, what it means to be human, animal rights, environmental issues.
  2. Is it Fair? – Justice and equality, prejudice and discrimination, charity, wealth and poverty, authority.
  3. Relationships – Love, marriage, contraception, divorce.
  4. Looking for meaning – Does God exist? Response to God, the nature of God, Death and beyond, symbols and their meaning.

In Year 11 pupils study the Religion and Human Experience Short Course which consists of the following units of study:

1. Religion and Conflict

At the core of this module is the study of religion and conflict with a particular focus on peace, forgiveness and attitudes towards war. Through the practices and teachings of two different religious traditions candidates will explore and respond to issues of peace, reconciliation, suffering, forgiveness, non-violent protest and attitudes to war.

2. Religion and Medicine

At the core of this module is the way which issues of medical ethics has impacted on
personal choices. Central to the topic is an understanding of sanctity of life and the role that conscience plays in making life and death choices. Through two different traditions pupils should explore practices and teachings concerning abortion, euthanasia, IVF and contraception.

3. Religious Expression

At the core of this topic is the different ways that people express their faith. pupils will be expected to show how the work of a religious charity or organisation exemplifies faith and religious beliefs through its actions and motivation.

4. Authority – Religion and State

At the core of this topic is an exploration of the impact of authority on religion and society. Pupils will be expected to have a clear understanding of what is meant by the key concept of authority and the dilemmas that can be caused between the demand of religion and state.

In following a course based upon this specification pupils are given the opportunity to:

  • Identify, investigate and respond to fundamental questions of life raised by religion and human experience
  • Acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of the beliefs, values and traditions of Christianity and Islam
  • Consider the influence of the beliefs, values and traditions associated with Christianity and Islam
  • Consider religious and other responses to moral issues.

Key Stage 5

Pupils at Stanwell who opt to take AS and A level Religious Studies follow the WJEC GCE course. Students study the following:

At AS level students study the following units:

  • Introduction to Religion in contemporary society:
    • Medical and environmental issues
    • Religion and TV
    • Religion and Community
    • Religion and the individual
  • Introduction to Religion and Ethics:
    • Aquinas’ Natural Law
    • Situation ethics: Joseph Fletcher
    • Utilitarianism: Bentham and Mill
    • Applied Ethics

At A2 level students study RS3 ETH Studies in Religion and Ethics which consists of the following units:

  • Aristotle’s Virtue Theory
  • Kant’s Moral Theory
  • The Ethics of War
  • Medical and Genetic Ethics

Students also study RS4 HE Studies in Human Experience which focuses on:

  • Life, Death and Life after Death.

Students all study for the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification in which they explore social and cultural issues through the theme of Racism. Students also focus on ethics as part of the PSE programme in Year 12.

What does religion mean to you?

A poem by Lowena Diment:

Let’s all start with a simple question,
I only wish to make a suggestion.
What does religion meant o you?
I would love to learn your point of view.

To me it means hope for so many people,
But for some it’s visiting a church with a steeple.
Many preach peace and harmony on earth
And a baptism would mean a spiritual rebirth.

Churches, mosques, synagogues and more,
A place to pray to the saviours of us all.
To “love thy neighbour” as said in Christianity
Is to be widely spread throughout humanity.

I ask once more that simple question
As I only wish to make a suggestion.
What does religion mean to you?
I would love to learn your point of view.

To me it is to keep an open mind,
To be faithful to friends, loyal and kind.
As there is no definitive reason to life,
To believe in a higher power would cause me no strife.

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