Welcome to the Religious Education Department

"What is the meaning of human life, or, for that matter, of the life of any creature? To know the answer to this question means to be religious. You ask: ‘Does it make any sense, then, to pose this question?’ I answer: ‘The man who regards his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unhappy but hardly fit for life." Albert Einstein


RE at Ashton begins with the study of what it is to be human. We teach RE with the intention to:

  • Increase awareness of the main world religions.
  • Increase understanding of the beliefs and practices of others.
  • Consider our own place in the world.
  • Be able to ask questions of meaning.
  • Evaluate the value of response to these questions.

The knowledge and skills gained in RE will allow students to take advantage of the opportunities offered in later life by equipping them with the knowledge and understanding of diverse beliefs in the world. It will enable to develop their own idea of their place and responsibilities within the world. 

The curriculum will allow students to learn something of beliefs and practices of followers of the six main world religions and give them opportunities to ask questions of meaning and to evaluate the responses given from within these religious traditions.

Students will develop their knowledge and skills as the move through the curriculum, with year 7 providing foundational knowledge for the work in year 9 and beyond. Year 8 content has some progression into KS4 but the content is intended to ensure students experience a breadth of belief in their religious education. The skills of questioning, retrieval and evaluation developed in year 8 are progressed into year 9 and beyond. 

The curriculum is designed to build on previous knowledge and skills, offering opportunities to retrieve and consolidate previous learning and also to identify, address and narrow any gaps in learning. Gaps in learning caused by absence are minimised through the work provided for students accessing remote learning being in line with the work set in class.

Why learn RE?

In the RE Department we aim to explore the meaning and purpose of life through the framework of key concepts within the major world religions. The skills acquired in RE will be useful for any further area of study that requires thinking and applying knowledge. It is particularly useful in jobs where students may work with people from different religious or cultural backgrounds. The evaluative skills gained will help students to argue a point whilst remaining sensitive to others. This is a valuable skill in all walks of life. A GCSE in Religious Studies is useful for all careers, but especially professions such as the police, retail, teaching, the law, the caring professions and the armed forces, in fact any profession that brings students into contact with other people.

We will:

  • ensure the curriculum conforms to the Lancashire Agreed Syllabus.
  • ensure that the curriculum contains depth and breadth of content that reflects the beliefs and traditions of our local community and progresses from KS2 into KS3 and then again into KS4 and beyond;
  • focus on the development of tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary;  
  • use the LAS fields of enquiry to encourage students to be curious learners, ask questions and love the subjects that they are taught;
  • allow students opportunities to experience the wider world around them through educational visits;
  • provide students with guidance in their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development so they are equipped to play a full, active and purposeful part in modern society;
  • promote tolerance, individual liberty and mutual respect;
  • nurture each student’s unique sense of identity and belonging 
  • prepare students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

Year 7

During year 7, students will study the following topics:

Theme/Topic: God  -  Fertile question: What is the evidence for the existence of God?

  • Beliefs
  • Awe and wonder
  • Design argument
  • Creation
  • Religious experience
  • The six main world religions

Theme/Topic: Judaism  -  Fertile question: Should you always keep your promises?

  • Abraham
  • Moses
  • Authority
  • Law
  • Synagogue
  • Covenant
  • Shabbat
  • Yom Kippur

Theme/Topic: Christianity  -  Fertile question: What is Love?

  • The Fall
  • Incarnation
  • Jesus as a bridge
  • Holy week
  • Good Friday
  • Resurrection

Year 8

During year 8, students will study the following topics:

Theme/Topic: Sanatana Dharma -  Fertile question: What is our duty?

  • Ultimate questions
  • Trimurti
  • Samsara
  • Caste System
  • Arjuna’s duty
  • Gandhi and ahimsa

Theme/Topic: Buddhism  -  Fertile question: Is all life suffering?

  • Dukkha
  • 3 Universal Truths
  • 4 Noble Truths
  • Enlightenment
  • The Eightfold Path

Theme/Topic: Sikhism  -  Fertile question: How can we serve others?

  • Service
  • Nanak
  • Gurdwara
  • Langar
  • Khalsa
  • Guru Granth Sahib

Year 9

During year 9, students will study the following topics:

Theme/Topic: The Abrahamic Tradition  -  Fertile question: What beliefs and practices do Christians and Muslims share?

  • How can God be known
  • Historical Jesus
  • Jesus for Christians
  • The Christian God
  • Diversity within Christianity
  • Jesus in Islam
  • Shared Abrahamic Prophets
  • The Prophet Muhammed
  • The Islamic God
  • The Authority of Holy Books in Islam
  • Diversity in Islam

Theme/Topic: Jesus  -  Fertile question: How does a belief in Jesus affect Christians today?

  • Incarnation
  • Holy Week
  • Crucifixion
  • Resurrection
  • Ascension

Theme/Topic: Biblical and Quranic Literacy?  -  Fertile question: Do religious stories hold meaning today?

  • What is the Bible
  • What is the Qur’an
  • Adam and Eve / Adam and Hawwa
  • Cain and Able / Habil and Qabil
  • David and Goliath / Daud and Jalut

Year 10 and 11 GCSE

In Year 10, students are able to opt for GCSE RE, in which case they follow the AQA Specification A GCSE. It involves a study of the beliefs and practices of Christianity and Islam. They follow this course through year 9, 10 and 11. They then go on to look at themes within religion and society. The four themes that we study are:

  • Relationships and families.
  • Religion and life.
  • The existence of God and revelation.
  • Religion, crime and punishment.

Core RE

All students must legally receive Religious Education. To meet this requirement, all students have one term of non-examined RE in year 10 and 11 on a carousel with PSHE and Careers. This engaging curriculum is based on themes from the AQA GCSE Specification focusing on elements from the Religion and life and the Religion, crime and punishment units.

Skills development at KS3 and KS4

Students will have the opportunity to develop the following skills throughout the curriculum. These skills will be revisited and built upon throughout KS3 and KS4. The skills taught are explicit referenced in the relevant Schemes of Work.

  • Investigation – this includes: asking relevant questions; knowing how to use a variety of sources in order to gather information; knowing what may count as good evidence in understanding religion(s).
  • Interpretation – this includes: the ability to draw meaning from artefacts, works of art, poetry and symbolism; the ability to interpret religious language; the ability to suggest meanings of religious texts.
  • Reflection – this includes: the ability to reflect on feelings, experience, attitudes, beliefs, values, relationships, practices and ultimate questions.
  • Empathy – this includes: developing the power of imagination to identify feelings such as love, wonder, forgiveness and sorrow; the ability to consider the thoughts, feelings, experiences, attitudes, beliefs and values of others; the ability to see the world through the eyes of others, and to see issues from their point of view.
  • Evaluation – this includes: the ability to debate issues of religious significance with reference to evidence, argument, opinion and statements of faith; weighing the respective claims of self-interest, consideration for others, religious teaching and individual conscience.
  • Analysis – this includes: distinguishing between opinion, belief and fact; recognizing bias, caricature, prejudice and stereotyping; distinguishing between the features of different religions.
  • Synthesis – this includes: linking significant features of religion(s) together in a coherent pattern; connecting different aspects of life into a meaningful whole.
  • Application – this includes: making links between religion and individual, community, national and international life; identifying key religious values and their links with secular values.
  • Expression – this includes: the ability to articulate ideas, beliefs and values; the ability to respond to religious ideas, beliefs and questions through a variety of media.
  • Self-understanding – this includes: the ability to draw meaning from significant experiences in their own and others’ lives and from religious questions and answers.

Mr A. Barrow

Head of RE

Miss S. Borwick

Teacher of RE

Miss C. Parkinson

Teacher of RE

Religious Education

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