Religious Studies at Aston Fields Middle School

What is the point of RS?

‘Religious Studies education (helps to) develop pupils' knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions and other world views. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development.’  (Church of England, 2006)

A sound curriculum contains principles which are fundamentally important for all children and young people, for communities, and for the well-being of society.

Religious Studies education helps pupils to understand the world around them, explore their own experience and identity, and compare this to others.

What have OFSTED said about RS at Aston Fields?

We are very pleased to inform parents of the positive judgments that Ofsted made. They remarked that:

‘The religious education curriculum, greatly enjoyed by the students, ensures they understand and respect the diversity of faiths in modern British society.’

‘The very effective religious education curriculum enables students to learn about other faiths, to examine their impact on today's British society and to reflect on their own beliefs and opinions.’

An Overview of the curriculum at Aston Fields Middle School

Key Stage 2 :

Religious Studies is taught through HSSE lessons at Key Stage 2.

The INTENT of religious Studies is:

  • To encourage pupils to ask questions about religion, world views and being human
  • To develop understanding and skills required to appraise various responses
  • To demonstrate sensitivity towards the views of others as well as being able to articulate personal beliefs in an appropriate manner

By the end of Key Stage Two, our intent is that all pupils will be able: 

  • To make connections between various worldviews and religions. To demonstrate understanding of the significance of celebrations, forms of worship, pilgrimages and rituals.
  • To describe and understand the various aspects of communities investigated. To consider the links between stories, beliefs, teachings and other sources of wisdom.
  • To explore how a range of beliefs, symbols and actions create a sense of meaning and impact upon lifestyle choices.
  • To provide explanations as to the meaning and significance of various religions and worldviews.
  • To show appreciation of the value of belonging to a community of faith/ belief and the challenges that individuals may face due to their commitment.
  • To explore the various dimensions within a religion or worldview in order to reflect upon the diversity within and between faith communities.
  • To discuss and present their personal views, as well as the values of others, on challenging questions about belonging, meaning, purpose and truth. To express these ideas through a range of forms including reasoning, music, art and poetry.
  • To reflect upon how diverse communities can live together for the wellbeing of all.
  • To reflect upon a range of responses to ethical questions, including ideas about right and wrong and what is just and fair, with clarity in the explanation of their opinions.

KS2 Curriculum/Implementation

Pupils explore key questions around the following faiths:

Christianity

Islam

Hinduism

Judaism

Year 5 and 6 - Key Questions

YEAR 5

  • Why do some people think that God exists?
  • If God is everywhere, why go to a place of worship?
  • What would Jesus do? (Can we live by the values of Jesus in the 21st century?)
  • What does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain today?

YEAR 6

  • What matters most to Christians and Humanists?
  • What do religions say to us when life gets hard?
  • What difference does it make to believe in ahimsa (harmlessness), grace and/ or Ummah (community)?
  • Is it better to express your beliefs in arts and architecture or in charity and generosity?

Key Stage 3 :

Intent

  • To encourage pupils to ask questions about religion, world views and being human
  • To develop understanding and skills required to appraise various responses
  • To demonstrate sensitivity towards the views of others as well as being able to articulate personal beliefs in an appropriate manner

By the end of Key Stage 3, our intent is that all pupils will be able: 

  • To explain and interpret ways that the history and culture or religions and worldviews influence individuals and communities. To appraise a wide range of beliefs and practices and their influence on others.
  • To explain and interpret a range of beliefs, teachings and sources of wisdom and authority (including experience) in order to understand how they impact upon the way we see the world.
  • To explain how individuals and communities express their beliefs in various forms and ways of living. To be able to compare and contrast a wide range of these, demonstrating understanding of the relationship within and between groups.
  • To explain the religions and worldviews studied with clarity and reasoning. To evaluate them using a range of educated methods.
  • To interpret a wide range of ways in which commitment and identity are expressed. To demonstrate insightful analysis and evaluation of the controversies about commitment to religion and worldviews, accounting for the diversity within communities.
  • To consider and evaluate the question: what is religion? To use a range of disciplines to analyse the various aspects of this question.
  • To explore a range of ultimate questions that are raised by human life, making well-informed and reasoned responses. To draw on a wide range of examples from the arts, media and philosophy.
  • To examine and evaluate issues about community relations and respect for various perspectives from varied religions and worldviews.
  • To explore and express insights into significant moral and ethical questions. To use well-reasoned personal responses which draw on a range of examples from real life, fiction or other forms of media.

KS3 Curriculum/Implementation

Pupils explore key questions around the following faiths:

Christianity

Islam

Buddhism

Sikhism

Year 7 and 8 - Key Questions

YEAR 7

  • Intro to KS3 RS
  • What is so radical about Jesus?
  • What difference does it make to believe in Sikhism?
  • What is good and what is challenging about being a teenage Sikh in Britain today?
  • Should religious buildings be sold to feed the starving? Christians, Muslims and Sikhs

YEAR 8

  • The Island/ Do we have a level of responsibility towards our Environment?
  • Does religion help people to be good? Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Sikh and Humanist
  • Does living biblically mean obeying the whole Bible?
  • Is death the end? Does it matter? Christian, Buddhist and Humanist
  • Spirituality and the Arts

Impact

Our curriculum aims to ensure all pupils:
1. Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals
• identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews
• appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
2. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities
• express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues • appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.
3. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively
• enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all
• articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives. 

Throughout the school, pupils consider how these three aims influence religion in their local area. They develop a clearer understanding of their community, build tolerance and respect for the beliefs and lives of others and a greater understanding of their place in their community. They have been exposed to the larger questions of responsibility and ethics and are prepared, not just for the next stage of their education, but to be responsible citizens in a modern, multicultural Britain.