Religious Education

In our increasingly busy and technical society, the spiritual moral social and cultural dimensions of life can easily be neglected. In recognition of this, government has stipulated that SMSC must play a central role in all schools. At Windlestone, we recognise the importance of developing the inner lives of our students as a part of helping them to grow into well-rounded individuals. 

The ethos of the school reflects our emphasis on the spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of learning and these are delivered across the curriculum and through extracurricular activities as well as R.E. lessons. Through our R.E. curriculum, we aim to inform students about the beliefs of others and to encourage them to think about what they believe and consider to be important in life.

We want our students to be familiar with their own cultural heritage and to understand the way in which belief systems continue to shape society. In addition, we foster an attitude of open minded enquiry so that students can appreciate why other people behave as they do whilst being free to question respectfully and to develop their own moral compass.

Key Stage three

At KS3 we cover four key religious concepts -belief, authority, expression of belief and impact of belief through the study of three core religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam. We focus on the development of three key skills - knowledge and understanding of religion, critical thinking and personal reflection.

Year 7 covers:

  • Religious concepts, what are they and how do they reflect religion?
  • Introduction to religion using artefacts, religious art and expression
  • Religious messengers and what they show about belief and commitment
  • Jesus, beginning of Christianity, Bible, miracles and parables. Disciples.
  • Religious symbols including Christian symbols, Jewish and Sikh symbols
  • Religious festivals; what they show about belief, expression, commitment

Year 8 covers:

  • Special journeys and why people make them and the beliefs which they reflect.
  • Jewish pilgrimage and festivals including Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah.
  • Muslim pilgrimage and introduction to the five pillars of Islam
  • Christian pilgrimage- why places are special and what happens there.
  • Christian milestones- what happens and what this reflects about beliefs.
  • Christian festivals- what they commemorate and how. Symbolism.
  • Christian churches- what is in a church what happens there, symbolism.

Year 9 covers:

  • Judaism –what Jewish people believe, practice and how they behave.
  • The Holocaust, what happened, the impact, what it shows about morality.
  • Islam – The five pillars, Muslim festivals, Muslim symbolism.
  • Muslim beliefs and ethics, family life and what it is to live as a Muslim.
  • Christianity- God, images of God, why people believe, religion and science.
  • Christian views of humanity, the problem of evil, free will.
  • Christian ethics- Christian moral codes and how we make moral decisions
  • Questions of life and death – first coursework question for Entry Level Religious Studies.

Key Stage four

At Key Stage four, students study for Edexcel Entry Level Religious studies. They have to produce three pieces of coursework which include the following elements:-

  • Religious Experience – What is a religious experience, why such an experience might lead a person to believe in God and how this belief shapes the way that Christians respond to poverty and charity work.
  • Matters of life and death – Christian beliefs about life after death, attitudes towards abortion and a personal opinion of the arguments about euthanasia and assisted dying.
  • Social Cohesion – An example of racial discrimination, why Christians should promote racial harmony and the treatment of women in Christianity.