Students look at what it means to be part of Bluecoat Wollaton Academy and explore the Christian ethos and mission of our school, before examining different approaches to the Bible, to support students receiving their Braithwaite Bible on Founders Day. In the Spring term we study the life and person of Jesus Christ, using artwork as a point for reflection and discussion on the life of Jesus and how he influences Christians today. In the final term, we explore the Sikh faith before studying inspirational people of faith such as Gandhi, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Malala Yousafzai and considering how they have used their faith to inspire others and bring about social justice.
Having studied the foundational beliefs of Christianity , in Year 8 we begin by examining some of the arguments Christian philosophers have developed to prove the existence of God and how these have been challenged by Atheists. The focus of the Spring term is on Morality and Ethics, learning about both Christian and non-religious ethical theories before applying them to issues of justice and equality. In Summer term, we learn about the person of Muhammad and key Muslim beliefs, encouraging open dialogue to address misconceptions about this world faith. Then, as part of our Christian Ethos, we take part in a project called “Spirited Arts” in which students all over the UK explore a given theme and create personal art work as part of a national competition.
In Year 9 students build on the knowledge through an in depth study of the main theological beliefs of both Christianity and Islam. The Belief in God unit focuses on belief in the Trinity and the person of Jesus as well as Eschatology (Life after Death and Theodicy (solutions to the Problem of Evil. The Belief in Allah unit looks at both the Sunni 6 Beliefs and the 5 Shi’a Roots, including Tawheed (Belief in the oneness of God), Divine Justice and attitudes towards predestination.
The 2nd part of Year 9 builds on the Ethics unit in Year 8 by considering moral issues from the perspective of these faiths as well as considering non-religious responses. Christian attitudes toward marriage and family life are explored as well as issues around gender equality both in the home , the church and the world of work. Within the Islam unit, beliefs towards crime, punishment and forgiveness are studied as well as differing Muslim attitudes towards Capital Punishment.
Having studied the key theological beliefs of Christianity and Islam in Year 9, students then focus on how these beliefs are demonstrated through Worship and Practice. Living the Christian Life explores contemporary worship and prayer, the role of both the local church as well as contrasting Christian views on evangelism and missionary work. The Islam unit focuses on the 5 Pillars as well as an exploration of the actual meaning of Jihad.
This is then followed by the study of the moral and philosophical issues around life and death from a Christian perspective, considering the meaning of the sanctity of life, abortion, euthanasia as well as a the differing views of both science and faith to the origins of the universe and humanity.
The course culminates with another ethical unit exploring issues around Justice, Peace and conflict. This includes a consideration of the Islamic beliefs in Just War and Holy War and how these beliefs can be applied in a world that has nuclear weapons and terrorist attacks.
The focus of is then on consolidation of knowledge and exam technique, The GCSE exam content is revisited with a particular focus on the ability to use this to answer exam questions. Students learn skills so that they are able to write essays that are able to discuss and evaluate a range of beliefs, attitudes and practises. Students develop how to appraise evidence, being able to explain differing interpretations of the same teachings and then consider which is more cohesive with their understanding of the faith tradition.
GCSE (Exam Board: Edexcel B)
Paper 1B Religion and Ethics: Christianity: (1hour 45 mins 50%)
Paper 2C: Religion, Peace and Justice: Islam (1 hour 45 mins 50%)
Religious Studies is an excellent source of transferable skills that can be applied to a vast range of different career paths. Click here for examples of some of the employability skills Religious Studies can provide.