RE

Information about our RE curriculum.

Contact head of subject for further information.

Religious Studies

Students study Religious Studies in Years 7 to 9. A short course GCSE Religious Studies is compulsory and students can choose to study the full course with additional topics of study for a "full" GCSE in RE.


Year 7

Year 7 students have one lesson per fortnight. They investigate religious beliefs and practices, giving opinions on what the reasons behind them might be. They think about how having a faith might affect both the individual and the community.

Autumn Term

  • Does God exist?
  • Why do some people believe in God and others don’t?
  • What is a symbol?
  • What symbols do Sikhs use?
  • The foundation of Sikhism
  • Who was Guru Nanak?
  • The birth of the Khalsa

Spring Term

  • Where do Sikhs worship?
  • Is the Langar a good idea?
  • What rules do Sikhs follow?
  • Why did Guru Teg Bahadur choose to die?
  • What are human rights?
  • How do Sikhs celebrate religious festivals?

Summer Term

  • What is in the Bible?
  • What can we learn from the Bible’s most popular stories?
  • What are parables?
  • What do they mean?
  • Is the Bible true?

Extra Curricular

  • Visit the central Gurdwara in Manchester.
  • See how the Guru Granth Sahib is treated.
  • Take part in a Langar meal.

Year 8

Year 8 students have two lessons per fortnight. Their investigation into Judaism leads onto a consideration of prejudice and discrimination. They then look at the role of religion in causing or healing conflict.

Spring Term

  • What does it mean to be Jewish?
  • Who were Abraham, Joseph and Moses?
  • Is there a scientific explanation for the plagues of Egypt
  • What are the Ten Commandments?
  • How do Jews express their faith?
  • What is kosher food?
  • What are Pesach and Shabbat?
  • What would you find in a synagogue?
  • How do Jews celebrate ‘rites of passage?’
  • How difficult is it to be Jewish in the modern world?

Spring Term

  • What is prejudice?
  • What is discrimination?
  • What causes prejudice?
  • What can be done about prejudice and discrimination?
  • Can religion help stop prejudice and discrimination?
  • What happened during the Holocaust?
  • Who was the boy in the striped pyjamas?
  • Who was Oskar Schindler?
  • Do you have to be religious to want to help others?
  • Do holocausts still happen?

Summer Term

  • What does it mean to be a Christian?
  • What do Christians have to do?
  • Who is your Christian superhero?
  • What happens in a Church?
  • Who was Jesus?
  • Did Jesus exist?
  • What do Christians think about God?
  • Do Christians celebrate ‘rites of passage’?
  • Does religion still matter?
  • What is Hindusim?
  • What is Buddhism?

Extra Curricular

  • Visit the synagogue in Southport or the Manchester Jewish Museum.
  • Visit a local Church to investigate the symbolism and to decide if the Church is important or not.

Year 9

Year 9 students have two lessons per fortnight. A full investigation into Islam helps prepare for GCSE in year 10. Other topics help to develop the analytical skills students will need to answer examination questions.

Autumn Term

  • What does it mean to be a Muslim?
  • Who was Mohammed (pbuh)
  • What are the Five Pillars of Islam?
  • What happens during Ramadan?
  • What is Hajj?
  • How do Muslims pray?
  • What is the difference between Zakah and Saddaqah?
  • What happens when a new baby is born?
  • What happens at a Muslim Wedding?
  • What happened to Osama bin Laden’s body?

Spring Term

  • Can a scientist believe in God?
  • Where did the universe come from?
  • What makes a human being?
  • Do human beings have a higher purpose?
  • What is your purpose in life?
  • How should we use our talents?
  • What makes a martyr?
  • Who was Chico Mendes?
  • Who was Martin Luther King?

Summer Term

  • What is ethical thinking?
  • How do you make a moral decision?
  • Is war ever right?
  • Should the laws on euthanasia be changed?
  • Should we ban the bomb?
  • Is abortion ever justified?
  • How do humans use animals?
  • How should animals be treated?
  • How should we treat the environment?

Extra Curricular

  • Visit the Mosque in Liverpool.
  • Visit Liverpool Cathedral.
  • Prepare to take part in a community project overseas during years ten or eleven.

GCSE

For both short and full courses, we study the topics through two religions: Christianity and Islam. Both courses involve an examination at the end of the course. There is no coursework element to this course.

Paper 1 - Religion & Life Issues

All students will take this paper to be awarded a short course GCSE, or as part of the full GCSE course. The key questions explored during this course are as follows.

Relationships

  • What is the purpose of sex?
  • Is marriage out of date?
  • Can religion tell you not to use contraception?
  • Is divorce too easy nowadays?
  • Should same sex marriage be allowed in a place of worship?

Is it fair?

  • Is equality possible?
  • Why are people prejudiced?
  • How can we make the world a fairer place?
  • Is discrimination always bad?
  • Does religion cause prejudice and discrimination?
  • Is the media always fair?

Looking for Meaning

  • Why do some people believe in God?
  • How do people experience God?
  • How do people respond to God?
  • What happens when we die?
  • Are funerals for the deceased or the living?

Our World

  • Why are we here?
  • What makes us human?
  • How did the universe begin?
  • Creation vs evolution.
  • Why should we look after the planet?

WJEC Specification

RE short course specification.

Paper 2 - Religion & Human Experience

Students who wish to study for a full course in GCSE Religious Studies will then study four further topics in addition to those in the short course. The key questions explored during this course are as follows

Religion and Conflict

  • What makes for good relationships between people?
  • What causes conflict and disagreement?
  • Is it ever right to fight?
  • What is ‘Just War’?

Religion and Medicine

  • Should people have free will to make life/death decisions?
  • Should abortion and euthanasia be allowed?
  • How do you make ethical Judgements?

Religious Expression

  • What is the point in going to Church?
  • Can pilgrimage help a person’s spiritual growth?
  • Does it matter if a Church is plain or ornate?
  • How do you express your faith?

Authority Religion and State

  • Why should we obey the law?
  • How should we deal with offenders?
  • What is punishment for?
  • What if the law is wrong?

WJEC Specification

RE Full course specification.

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Birkdale High School, a limited company registered in England and Wales under Company number 07695504.

Registered address: Windy Harbour Road, Southport PR8 3DT

Headteacher: G Bourgade

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