Key Stage 3

Year 7

Intent

Students will explore both religious and humanist perspectives across time, from the beginnings of ancient religion and spirituality to modern religious beliefs. They will develop a clear understanding and appreciation of the six main world religions, considering how they have been shaped by society and have shaped society. They will be supported and encouraged to draw comparisons, identifying common beliefs and contrasting practices. They begin to explore the historical and social impact of religion and embark on philosophical debate on key issues such as the existence of God and whether Jesus was the Son of God or not.

Learning Journey

Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • What is spirituality?
  • How have ancient religions helped shaped society today?
  • Why do people believe in a higher power?
  • How does belief impact action?
Key Knowledge
  • Rituals
  • Life after death
  • Ancient Egypt
  • Native Americanism
  • Polynesia culture
  • Mysticism
  • Rudolph Otto
  • Higher power
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • How have the Abrahamic religions shaped the understanding of three different religions?
  • Why is Abraham so significant?
  • Why are there three religious interpretations of the same texts?
Key Knowledge
  • Abraham
  • Sacrifice
  • 12 Tribes
  • Ishmael/Isaac
  • Interpretation
  • Son of God
  • St Paul
  • Revelations
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • Can you experience God
  • Does God exist?
  • What is the strongest evidence that God exists?
  • What are the key characteristics of God?
Key Knowledge
  • Omniscient
  • Omnipresent
  • Omnipotent
  • Omnibenevolent
  • Vision
  • Cosmological argument
  • Teleological argument
  • Evidence
  • Miracle  
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • Was Jesus the Son of God?
  • Was Jesus a social reformer?
  • What is significant about the life of Jesus?
Key Knowledge
  • Virgin Birth
  • Incarnation
  • Miracles
  • Temptation
  • Baptism
  • Crucifixion
  • Resurrection
  • Ascension
  • Validity of truth
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • How did Hinduism impact Sikhism?
  • How does the concept of God differ between Eastern Philosophies?
  • What happens when you die?
  • How is God worshipped?
Key Knowledge
  • Hinduism
  • Sikhism
  • Waheguru
  • Brahman
  • Reincarnation
  • Moksha
  • Mukti
  • Worship
Themes, Questions and Concepts
  • Is Buddhism just a way of life?
  • What is the purpose of suffering?
  • Can we reach enlightenment?
  • What is the purpose of mediation?
  • Is Buddhism a state of mind?
Key Knowledge
  • Buddhism
  •  Moral desert
  • 4 Noble truth
  • 8-Fold Path
  • Enlightenment
  • Theravada
  • Mahayana
  • Nepal

Skill Development

Students will develop the following skills;

a) Critical thinking- Learning how to assess a source and question the credibility and truth within it. Students will hone this skill throughout the year and ultimately become philosophers who can question the existence of God.

b) Empathy – Understanding the human experience. Students will reflect on key teachings such as equality, love and forgiveness and learn how to apply them to modern society.

Evaluation – Being able to make a rational judgement with supporting evidence. Students will develop their written and oral skills through a series of open-ended questions encouraging them to create their own arguments which will be shaped in class.

Year 8

Intent

Building on their Year 7 experience, students deepen their understanding of religious and non-religious beliefs and practices. They now explore religion and ethics, focusing on some of the key religious figures throughout history and the 21st century. In doing so, students explore the notion and importance of possessing a moral compass, the extent to which this is guided by religion and how it has influenced the lives and actions of others. This leads to them considering how a moral compass can guide and influence their own lives.

Learning Journey

Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • What does it mean to be ‘good’?
  • What is morality?
  • How can we make ‘good’ decisions?
Key Knowledge
  • Ethics
  • Phillipa Foot
  • Jeremy Bentham
  • Utility
  • Kant
  • Duty
  • Categorical imperative
  • Situation Ethics
  • Joseph Fletcher
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • What can we learn from people of the past that applies to us today?
  • Why is being an upstander important?
  • Why are social reformers important?
Key Knowledge
  • Prophet Muhammed
  • Feminism
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Underground railroad
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Apartheid
  • Edith Eger
  • Resilience
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Patriarchy
  • Marsha P Johnson
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • How does religion impact modern thinking?
  • What does it mean to be ethical in medical practice?
  • Do we always need to preserve life?
Key Knowledge
  • Hippocratic oath
  • Blood transfusion
  • Organ donation
  •  Vivisection
  • Euthanasia
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • How does religion impact modern society?
  • What is the value of being environmentally ethical?
  • Is eco-friendly living possible?
Key Knowledge
  • Renewable and non-renewable energy sources
  •  Factory farming
  • Free range farming
  • Globalisation
  • Urbanisation
  • Eco-friendly
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • How did Hinduism impact Sikhism?
  • How does the concept of God differ between Eastern Philosophies?
  • What happens when you die?
  • How is God worshipped?
Key Knowledge
  • Hinduism
  • Sikhism
  • Waheguru
  • Brahman
  • Reincarnation
  • Moksha
  • Mukti
  • Worship
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • Is Buddhism just a way of life?
  • What is the purpose of suffering?
  • Can we reach enlightenment?
  • What is the purpose of mediation?
  • Is Buddhism a state of mind?
Key Knowledge
  • Buddhism
  •  Moral desert
  • 4 Noble truth
  • 8-Fold Path
  • Enlightenment
  • Theravada
  • Mahayana
  • Nepal

Skill Development

Students will develop the following skills;

a) Understanding Bias- Developing awareness of the prejudice against one or a group of people by understanding sensationalism in the media and the way religions are represented.

b) Global Citizenship- Encouraging students to become involved with global issues and discuss ways in which they can contribute to the betterment of society

Ethical Decision Making- The ability to make tricky decisions that have impact on themselves or others and the ability to assess and make moral judgements.

Year 9

Intent

Building further on existing knowledge of both religious and humanist (non-religious) beliefs and practices, our Year 9 students consider the relationship between religion and philosophy in greater depth. They will study the development of philosophy from the Ancient Greeks to the modern era, and explore how attitudes and ideas about our existence have changed and been challenged over time. They will become increasingly confident in making well informed, supported judgements on moralistic issues.

Learning Journey

Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • How does ancient philosophy impact modern society?
  • Why is Machiavelli controversial?
  • How can we challenge misinterpretation of Nihilism and Existentialism?
Key Knowledge
  • Wisdom
  • Thales
  • Socrates
  • Plato
  • Aristotle
  • Kierkegaard
  • Machiavelli
  • Nietzsche 
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • Can you experience God?
  • Is it right to say that God exists?
  • What is the strongest argument to suggest that God exists?
Key Knowledge
  • Vision
  • Mysticism
  • General Revelation
  • Special Revelation
  • Ontology
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • What is reality?
  • What is truth?
  • What is knowledge?
Key Knowledge
  • Epistemic justification
  • Validity
  • Rationality
  • Origins of belief
  • Empiricism
  • Determinism
  • Perception
  • Descartes
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • What is the soul?
  • Do we have a soul?
  • Does it matter if we have a soul?
Key Knowledge
  • Plato
  • Aristotle
  • Epicurus
  • Death
  • Consciousness
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • What happens when we die?
  • How can we investigate the afterlife?
  • How does a belief in the afterlife impact modern society?
Key Knowledge
  • Near Death Experiences
  •  Previous lives
  • Heaven
  • Hell
  • Devil
  • Reincarnation
  • Moral desert
Themes, Concepts and Questions
  • Can God and evil exist?
  • What is the purpose of evil?
  • Why do we suffer?
Key Knowledge
  • Theodicy
  • Inconsistent triad
  • Moral evil
  • Natural evil
  • Freewill
  • Afterlife
  • Augustine
  • John Hick
  • Irenaeus

Skill Development

Students will develop the following skills;

a) Analysing sources- Students will review and reflect on religious and non-religious sources and be able to annotate and explain complex theories

b) Evaluation- Students will assess the nature of theoretical answers to complex questions in current society

Philosophical Enquiry- Students will be able to consider existence and ethics as we understand them and be able to propose responses to moral, theological and secular ideas.

August 2022

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