Religious Studies

Exam Board: AQA Spec A

Religious Education is a compulsory 2 year and 3 year GCSE course at Harrow High. Learners in year 9 study the GCSE over 3 years whilst the current year 10 learners are studying the GCSE over 2 years. Learners are timetabled for 2 lessons each week in year 9, 2 lessons in year 10 and 3 lessons in year 11. All learners sit the examination at the end of year 11.

The specification is set up to help students develop an awareness of different religious views regarding a number of different topics. The specification allows for an in depth study of practices and beliefs within Christianity and Islam.
Students will develop an understanding of the similarities between the two different religions focusing on the morals, principles and the beliefs and practices.
The specification gives learners an opportunity to debate issues and draw on different religious views.

As part of the 2 and 3 year course, learners will study Islam and Christianity and 4 different themes.

The themes which have been picked for the learners are the following:
Relationships and Families
Religion and Life
Religion, Crime and Punishment
Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice.

Islam and Christianity:
Learners will learn about the beliefs and practices of both religions, this will include learning about celebrations, judgement, prayer and life after death.

Relationship and Families:
This topic will look at different religious views regarding sexuality, marriage and family planning. The topic will explore religious views on marriage and divorce and examine gender equalities within religions.

Religion and Life:
This topic will look at issues such as euthanasia, abortion, animal abuse and the origins of the universe. As part of the topic learners will examine different religious beliefs and look at both Pro Life and Pro Choice arguments regarding abortions and conception. This topic also teaches learners different methods of contraception and religious views regarding different methods of contraception.
As part of this topic learners will also learn about the different religious ideas about the value of life. Learners will explore reasons why at times the environment is not cared for and the religious beliefs in caring for others. A speaker from Animal Aid is invited in, giving learners an opportunity to ask questions and debate and listen to different views.

Religion, Crime and Punishment:
In this topic learners will learn about different types of punishments and the aims of punishments when crimes are committed. As part of the topic learners will learn about both Muslim and Christian views on capital and corporal punishment.
Learners will examine the different forms of punishment and also look at young offenders and punishment.

Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice:
In this topic learners will learn about the different forms of discrimination and what religion teaches about the treatment of others. Learners will explore religious views regarding wealth and poverty and the role of charity within religions.
Learners will read religious stories/ teachings which demonstrate principles of equality.

How Learners Are Assessed
Learners will be required to complete two exam papers. Each paper is to be completed in 1hr 45 minutes.
Prior to the exams, learners will sit mock exams. Learners will also complete mini in class mock on completion of each topic.

Homework:
Homework plays an integral part of the course where students get to develop and enhance their independent working skills. Homework at KS4 is set weekly and will include researching, written work and exam preparation by answering past exam questions.

Revision, Intervention and Enrichment
Underachieving learners are encouraged to attend period 7 sessions on Fridays.
There are also Saturdays and some holiday booster sessions which are held in preparation for examinations.