RS and Ethics
Intent and Aims
We want all students to leave enthused and inspired by the application of Religious Studies, understanding a range of concepts, knowledge and ideas of how the study of religions is really relevant in the world today and how this can affect some aspects of lives. This is reinforced by an emphasis on the understanding of dealing with some of the most profound and difficult questions in human life, questions such as “What is the purpose of life?”, “How should we treat each other?” and “How do we explain and cope with death and suffering?” Students have the opportunity to learn about and develop knowledge of, and ability to understand, religion, beliefs, practices, spiritual insights and secular world views to gain a broad picture of how religion affects society today. They will learn important skills such as debate and argument, chains of reasoning and the application of looking at the world through the eyes of others; key skills for life beyond school and underpinned by exploration of their own views and perceptions of the world around them. We are proud as Moulton School and Science College to deliver a broad spectrum of religious teaching that students can apply to their life pathways.
- have education in religious literacy to prepare them for life in modern Britain.
- give students a knowledge of, and ability to understand, different religions, beliefs, practices, spiritual insights and secular world views in order to build an empathy for different individuals
- to show how religion has affected global populations and links and migration between societies of different faiths and cultures.
- to give students a rounded view of what faith is and how this fits in with today’s society.
- to address social attitudes, including anti-racism and how these fit in with British Values in the 21st century.
- Interpreting religious beliefs through a variety of sources such as teachings, sources,
practices and ways of life
- Reflecting upon and reflecting on human experience in light of the religions and beliefs studied, including questions of identity, belonging, diversity, equality, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments, making increasingly insightful links to the specific religions studied
- Different cultures, religions and ways of life in society
- Key religions including
○ Alternative religions including Paganism and Scientology
○ Secular beliefs including Humanism
- “Big Questions” such as
○ What is the purpose of life?
○ How moral should we be?
○ How do we reflect equality in the 21st century?
○ How do we explain and cope with death and suffering?
○ Does God exist?
- Faith and its place in modern society including how different human attitudes towards it can cause discord.
Our programmes of study
The RS course at MSSC plays an important role in preparing pupils for their future, for employment and lifelong learning. The course enhances their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:
- Developing awareness of the fundamental questions raised by human experiences, and of how religious teachings can relate to them
- Responding to such questions with reference to the teachings and practices of religions and other belief systems, relating them to their own understanding and experience
- Reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their study.
- Enable students to have healthy and fulfilling lives (SMSC)
- positive mental health and being happy
- managing emotions and conflict management
- an understanding of life, death and the purpose of life
- developing confidence and self esteem
It also teaches pupils to be considerate and responsible members of the school, local, national and international community:
- Recognising right and wrong
- Accepting responsibility for behaviour
- promoting tolerance and harmony between different cultures
- the importance of combating discrimination
- Justice and Fairness and respecting the rule of law and public institutions
Employability skills gained throughout the course are as follows :
In Key Stage 4 pupils will have chosen Religious Studies as an option and will build on the skills and knowledge from their lessons in Years 7, 8 and 9 to develop their own ideas into investigating and understanding religious beliefs and teachings in respect of the two main religions of the world; Christianity & Islam.
We study the following units:
- Christianity: Beliefs, Teachings & Practices
- Islam: Beliefs, Teachings & Practices
- Thematic Studies: Relationships & Families, Religion & Life, The Existence of God and Revelation, Crime and Punishment - incorporating learning from KS3 and building on that foundation; applying religious and secular views to life issues
- thinking about and interpreting religious beliefs, teachings, sources, practices, ways of life and ways of expressing meaning that reflect social attitudes in the 21st century
- Questioning, exploring, reflecting upon and interpreting human experience in the light of religions and beliefs studied. This includes communicating reflections, responses and evaluations about questions of identity, belonging, diversity, equality, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments, making increasingly insightful links to the specific religions studied.
- They will also know how to respond to command words - describe, explain, assess, evaluate with writing and discursive transferable skills.
- Trips to Christian and Muslim places of worship to see how Christians and Muslims worship.
Ethics plays an important role in preparing students for their future, for employment and lifelong learning. It enhances their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Ethics at MSSC follows a debate/discussion style of lesson once every two weeks and is delivered by teachers of Religious Studies. This is in line with the entitlement of 5% of Curriculum time particularly for those who have not chosen RS as an option choice.
The Ethics curriculum at MSSC follows a flexible approach to a variety of topics covered throughout the year. It adapts to current issues that arise and builds on developing awareness of the fundamental questions raised by human experiences, and of how religions teachings can relate to them, bringing Moulton Values to life. It responds to such questions with reference to the teachings and practices of religions and other belief systems, relating them to their own understanding and experience. Reflection on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of these studies.
A holistic approach to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC), British Values, Diversity and Inclusion and Community Cohesion focuses on preparing students for life in the 21st century, engaging students in a contemporary and relevant context. Ethics explores student responses to life’s challenges and reference is constantly made to those who live out their beliefs, insights and values in their daily lives and within their own communities. Staff are consulted as to the topics planned and discussed and many contribute to the curriculum resources for timely input and shared good practice.
In Year 9 students continue to have 2 RS lessons a fortnight as they begin their GCSE option subjects in Year 10. However, in the final half term of the year, they will start these courses and so will also begin their Ethics curriculum. They will start their sessions looking at Environmental Ethics, focusing on the value of the natural world, problems and solutions and how global warming is both an environmental issue and a human rights one.
In Year 10 students continue with the course by exploring Peace and Conflict which includes reasons for war, Just War theory and Jihad, responses to victims of war, pacifism and reconciliation. They will move on to Community Cohesion where multiculturalism is addressed, the benefits and issues it raises including racism and discrimination and the influence of religion including secularisation. Life and Death issues give students the opportunity to debate and argue around issues including Abortion and Euthanasia, consider when life begins and discuss both secular and religious viewpoints. Rights and Responsibilities introduces the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the worldwide response to these through charities including Amnesty International. Medical Ethics explores genetic engineering, stem cell research and cloning, giving students the opportunity to debate how far this technology should be used from a number of ethical points of view. Finally in the final term students will explore ethical themes in media and film, in particular looking at films including The Truman show to discuss how themes of control and reality are perceived.
Year 11 continues with their Ethics sessions to enrich them with a variety of topics including: Ethics in Sport focusing on immorality, cheating, money and sports washing; Crime and Punishment which looks at why people commit crimes and allows students to debate about the ways and reasons criminals are punished, whether the death penalty should be legal and focuses on different religious traditions and their different attitudes towards punishment; Relationships will address attitudes towards families and the role and impact of families for the individual and wider society, LGBTQI+ rights in Britain and around the world and religious attitudes towards these.
The topics are flexible and so can move between different terms or year groups if required and should elements of life and events dominate the headlines then sessions will adapt to accommodate discussion and debate that may be required.
Literacy is taught through introducing and using keywords and definitions, small group and paired discussions and interacting with text and diagrams to use information.
There is no assessment aspect to the topics as the course is non-examined.