It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said: The Messenger of Allah said “Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim.”
At Abu Bakr Girls school within the Religious Studies department the seeking of knowledge is seen as an essential part of a Muslim’s life on this earth, which is why we enable our pupils the opportunity to seek knowledge to develop their understanding of their faith and develop their spirituality and closeness to Allah. We also focus on equipping our pupils with the right skills and understanding for them to use within the wider society once they leave school. We focus on developing pupils understanding of diversity of religion and culture present within Britain and how to tolerate, respect, accept and interact with people of different faiths, cultural and racial backgrounds and those with protected characteristics.
The aims of Religious Studies are to help pupils:
- Develop an awareness of spiritual and moral issues in life experiences.
- Develop knowledge and understanding of Islam and other major world religions and value systems found in Britain.
- Develop an understanding of what it means to be committed to a religious tradition.
- Be able to reflect on their own experiences and to develop a personal response to the fundamental questions of life.
- Develop an understanding of religious traditions and to appreciate the cultural differences in Britain today.
- Develop investigative and research skills and to enable them to make reasoned judgements about religious issues.
- Have respect for other peoples’ views and to celebrate the diversity in society.
- Develop an understanding on how to be an active citizen within society.
In Key Stage 3, Religious Studies is taught to pupils in year 7-9. Study within autumn and Spring Term focus on topics of Islam and in Summer Term topics of focus are from the other major world faiths. The breath of study in KS3 includes:
- Beliefs of a Muslim
- The five pillars of Islam
- The study of the lives of the Prophets Adam and Nuh (AS)
- Developing love for Allah: A study of the 99 beautiful names of Allah
- The Seerah of the Prophet (SAW) Makkah period
- Beliefs in God in the major world faiths
- Practices and Worship in the major world faith
- Festivals and religious celebrations in the major world faiths
- Halal and haraam
- Islam and Wealth
- The study of the lives of the Prophets Yusuf and Musa (AS)
- Developing love for Allah: The importance of Du’aa and Dhikr
- The Seerah of the Prophet (SAW) Madinah period
- Religious Expression and its significance
- Religious journeys and their significance
- Rules and ways of living
- Modesty and Hijab
- Women in Islam
- The study of the lives of the Prophets Esa, Dawood, Suleiman and Ayyub (AS)
- Developing love for Allah: Methods of drawing closer to Allah
- The Rightly Guided Caliphs
- Rites of passage within the major world faith
In Key Stage 4, Religious Studies is taught to pupils in year 10 and 11. The breadth of study includes:
- Beliefs, Practices and Worship in Islam
- Sources of Wisdom and Authority
- Forms of Expression and Ways of Life
- Philosophy and Ethics
- Beliefs, Practices and Worship in Christianity
In key stage key stage 4 Religious Studies is taught according to the Edexcel board. The specifications for Edexcel Specification A: Faith and Practice in the 21st Century Islam and Christianity is taught over the two years and pupils are taught two lessons per week. By the End of KS4, all our pupils will achieve a GCSE in Religious Studies. We ensure that the topics studied in Religious Studies build upon prior learning. We offer opportunities for pupils of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each area of study, and we ensure that the planned progression built into the scheme of work offers pupils an increasing challenge as they move through the school.
The examination is based on three areas of study:
Area of Study 1: Study of Religion: Islam
Area of Study 2: Study of Second Religion: Christianity
Area of Study 3: Philosophy and Ethics: Islam
- Pupils for the full course are required to study all three areas of study
- Each area of study has a separate exam paper
- Paper one is based on the Area of Study 1: Study of Religion: Islam consists of four sections, each section consist of one question broken into four sub sections. Pupils are required to answer all questions. The examination will last for 1 hour 45mins
- Paper 2 is based on Area of Study 2: Study of Second Religion: Christianity and paper 3 is based on Area of Study 3: Philosophy and Ethics: Islam. Each paper consists of two sections; each section consists of one question broken into four sub sections. Pupils are required to answer all questions. The examination will last for 50mins
- There are no Tiers
Pupils in year 10 will study Area of Study 1: Study of Religion Islam
Area of Study 1: Study of Religion Islam of Edexcel’s GCSE in Religious Studies provides a wide ranging exploration of beliefs and practices of Muslims today particularly in regards to Sunni and Shi’a Muslims. It invites pupils to study the nature of Islam, its diversity and the way it affects the lives of the believers.
Area of Study 1: Study of Religion: Islam has four sections
- Beliefs and Teachings
- Sources of Wisdom and Authority
- Forms of Expression and Ways of Life
Pupils in year 11 will study Area of Study 2: Study of Second Religion: Christianity and Area of Study 3: Philosophy and Ethics: Islam
Area of Study 2: Study of Second Religion: Christianity of Edexcel’s GCSE in Religious Studies provides a wide ranging exploration of beliefs and practices of Christians today. It invites pupils to study the nature of Christianity, its diversity and the way it affects the lives of the believers.
Area of Study 2: Study of Second Religion: Christianity has two sections
- Beliefs and Teachings
Area of Study 3: Philosophy and Ethics: Islam of Edexcel’s GCSE in Religious Studies provides a wide ranging exploration of some of the most central themes in Religious Studies at any level of Study. The course offers an understanding of philosophical questions in relation to the existence of God and proof of his existence in accordance to Muslim teachings and Islamic philosophy. The study also invites pupils to assess the role and importance of the family life and relationships within Islam as well as dwelling on the growing changes of attitudes towards the family and relationships within the 21st Century.
Area of Study 3: Philosophy and Ethics: Islam has two sections
- Arguments for the Existence of Allah
- Religious Teachings on Relationships and Families in the 21st Century
Teaching and learning
Teaching Religious Studies provides regular opportunities for:
- Group work
- Paired work
- Whole class teaching
- Individual work
- Activities where pupils can include PLTS
- Peer assessment
We base our teaching and learning style in RE on the key principle that good teaching in RE allows pupils both to learn about religious traditions and to reflect on what the religious ideas and concepts mean to them. Our teaching enables pupils to extend their own sense of values and promotes their spiritual growth and development. We encourage pupils to think about their own views and values in relation to the themes and topics studied in the RE curriculum.
Our teaching and learning styles in RE enable pupils to build on their own experiences and extend their knowledge and understanding of religious traditions. We use their experiences at religious festivals such as Eid etc. to develop their religious thinking. We organize visits to local places of worship and invite representatives of local religious groups to come into school and talk to the pupils.
Pupils carry out research into religious topics. They study particular religious faiths and also compare the religious views of different faith groups on topics such as rites of passage or festivals. Pupils discuss religious and moral issues using computers and working individually or in groups.
We recognise the fact that all classes in our school have pupils of widely differing abilities, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all pupils by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this in a variety of ways, for example, by:
- setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
- setting tasks of increasing difficulty (we do not expect all pupils to complete all tasks);
- grouping the pupils by ability in the room and setting different tasks for each ability group;
- providing resources of different complexity, adapted to the ability of the child;
Everyday basic resources for the delivery of the curriculum are kept in classrooms. A variety of published material and photocopiable teaching resources are used to facilitate the teaching of Religious Studies.
Enrichment – clubs and school visits, internal and external
As part of our enrichment programme pupils have the opportunity to visit various places of worship, as well as have speakers coming in from outside talking to pupils about various aspects of religion in particular religious expression. We also deliver an Interfaith Week project each year that allows pupils to develop understanding of diversity within religion within the United Kingdom, this is done through many different activities, such as having organisations like 3FF coming in or pupils carry out particular research tasks.
Meeting the needs of all pupils – SEN and gifted and talented pupils
At our school we teach Religious Studies to all pupils; whatever their ability. Religious Studies is an integral part of the school curriculum policy, as it provides a broad and balanced education to all pupils. Through our Religious Studies teaching we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make progress. We do this by setting suitable learning challenges and responding to each child’s different needs. Assessment against the National Curriculum allows us to consider each child’s attainment and progress against expected levels.
When progress falls significantly outside the expected range, the child may have special educational needs. Our assessment process looks at a range of factors – classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style, and differentiation – so that we can take some additional or different action to enable the child to learn more effectively. This ensures that our teaching is matched to the child’s needs.
We enable pupils to have access to the full range of activities involved in learning Religious Studies. Where pupils are to participate in activities outside the classroom, for example, a visit to a Sikh temple, we carry out a risk assessment prior to the activity, to ensure that the activity is safe and appropriate for all pupils.
Assessment and record keeping
We assess pupils’ work by making informal judgements as we observe them during lessons. We mark a piece of work once it has been completed and we provide pupils with quality comments. On completion of a unit of work, we make a summary judgement about the work of each pupil in relation to the expectations of the unit. We record the attainment grades in our assessment files using KSM, which we use as a basis for assessing the progress of each pupil, for setting new goals, and for passing information on to the next teacher at the end of the year.
Mrs S. Kalang