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RE

 

Welcome to the Religious Education department at the Burgate School and Sixth Form Centre.

RE at the Burgate School follows the locally agreed syllabus, ‘Living Difference’. Students have opportunities to learn about living faiths and how people following different beliefs actually live them out. In doing this students will appreciate how and why people live differently from each other.

We aim to encourage students to:

have REspect for other people’s ideas

compaRE religions

interpREt art, history, politics - religion affects them all

REspond to religion in their own way

REsearch what other people believe and why

expREss their own opinions and beliefs and share them with others

search for the sacREd side of life

We support students in the development of their own values and principles and in their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.


 

Lower School: Key Stage 3

During Key Stage 3 students learn systematically and critically about religion and belief, covering Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. Students also learn about modern issues that permeate our world, considering how people of faith and none respond to them. 

 


 

Upper School: GCSE

At Key Stage 4 some students opt for GCSE RS (Philosophy and Ethics). The course aims to enable students to:

• Adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion

• Explore religion and beliefs, reflect on fundamental questions, engage with them intellectually and respond personally

• Enhance their spiritual and moral development, and contribute to their health and well being

• Enhance their personal, social and cultural development, their understanding of different cultures locally, nationally and in the wider world and to contribute to social and community cohesion

• Develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the study of religion, and relate it to the wider world

• Reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in light of their learning

The course is divided into four topic areas:

Philosophy 1 (Deity, Religious and Spiritual Experience, End of Life)

Philosophy 2 (Good and Evil, Revelation, Science)

Ethics 1 (Relationships, Medical Ethics, Poverty and Wealth)

Ethics 2 (Peace and Justice, Equality, Media)

Each individual unit equals 25% of the total GCSE marks and has a one hour written paper worth 48 marks.

OCR RE: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/type/gcse/rel_stu/b/index.html


 

Sixth Form: AS and A2

At Key Stage 5 religious and philosophical thought is developed further be following the OCR A/AS level syllabus RS (Philosophy and Ethics). Students will learn that Philosophy & Ethics is concerned with moral dilemmas and how people make decisions. They will learn about ethical theories in a range of contexts and appreciate their values and limitations in explaining them to modern problems.

Students will study four units of work:

Unit G571 Philosophy of Religion

- Ancient Greek influences on philosophy of religion;

- Judaeo-Christian influences on philosophy of religion;

- Traditional arguments for the existence of God;

- Challenges to religious belief.

Unit G572 - Ethics

- Ethical theories;

- Applied ethics topics.

Unit G581 Philosophy of Religion

- Religious language;

- Experience and religion;

- Nature of God;

- Life and death;

- Miracle.

Unit G582 Religious Ethics

- Meta-ethics;

- Free will and determinism;

- Conscience;

- Virtue ethics;

- Applied ethics topics.

AS level students will sit units G571 and G572. Each unit is worth 50% of the total AS marks and the exam paper for each unit is 1 hour 30 minutes.

A level students must have sat AS level. They then are examined in units G581 and G582. Each unit is worth 25% and the exam paper for each unit is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

OCR RE: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/type/gce/hss/rs/index.html


 

Curriculum Guides
for Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics

Year 7

 

Unit Descriptions

Landmark Assessments

Autumn 1

The Island – Introduction to Religion

What is religion and belief?

How and Where did religions start?

Is there one rule we should all follow?

Do we have to be religious to be a good person?

Why is it important to understand what other people believe?

Why should we understand what other people believe?

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Judaism

The founders of Judaism – Abraham and Moses.

The Exodus

The Ten Commandments

The Torah

Orthodox and Reform Judaism

 

Is reform Judaism really Judaism?

Spring 2

Summer 1

Buddhism

The story of the Buddha

Enlightenment

Nirvana

Dhama

Sila

Anicca

Karuna

How do Buddhists overcome suffering?

Summer 2

 

Year 8

 

Unit Descriptions

Landmark Assessments

Autumn 1

Christianity

God and the Omnis

The trinity

Atonement

Jesus

Does it matter what Jesus really looked like?

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Islam

Islamophobia

Muhammad

Tawheed

Sawm

Hajj

Salat

Zakat

Women in Islam

Are women treated fairly in Islam?

Spring 2

Summer 1

Creation and the Environment

Christian creationism

Science of creation

Stewardship and Dominion

Gaia Hypothesis

Who can save the planet?

Summer 2

 

Year 9

 

Unit Descriptions

Landmark Assessments

Autumn 1

Buddhist Concepts

Samsara

Kamma

Nibbana

Marks of existence

8 Fold Path

GCSE Style Assessment

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Good and Evil and the Holocaust

Moral and Natura Evil

The Problem of Evil

Augustine and Irenaean Theodicies

What should we call the Holocaust?

Jewish attitudes to the Holocaust

How should we respond to the Holocaust?

Rwandan Genocide – lessons from the Holocaust.

Does suffering make it impossible to believe in God?

 

GCSE Style Assessment

Spring 2

Summer 1

Ethical Issues

Abortion, Euthanasia, Genetic Engineering

GCSE Style Assessment

Summer 2

 

 

Year 10

Specification:  OCR

 

Unit Descriptions

Landmark Assessments

Autumn 1

Beliefs about deity

Philosophical arguments for the existence of God

The nature of God

Miracles

Work of Jesus

The Holy Spirit

 

Christianity, Peace and Justice

Just War Theory

Christian attitudes towards War

Attitudes to violence and pacifism

Justice

Crime and Punishment

Social Injustice

1 Philosophy GCSE assessment

1 Ethics GCSE assessment

 

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Religious and Spiritual Experience

Worship in a Church and at home

Symbolism

Art and Music

Prayer and Meditation

Food and Fasting

 

Religion and Equality

Biblical teachings on Equality

Attitudes to other religions

Attitudes to racism and gender

The role of women in society

Forgiveness and reconciliation

1 Philosophy GCSE assessment

1 Ethics GCSE assessment

 

Spring 2

Summer 1

The End of Life

Body and Soul

Heaven, Hell and Purgatory

Salvation, redemption and the suffering of Christ

God the judge

Funeral Rites and supporting the bereaved.

 

Christianity and the Media

Different forms of the media and their influence

Portrayal of Christianity and importance of religious figures in the media

The way Christianity uses the media

Censorship and free speech

Portrayal of sex and violence in the media

 

Christianity and Human Relationships

Relationships and Contraception

Gay marriage

Divorce and remarriage

Roles of Men and Women

1 Philosophy GCSE assessment

1 Ethics GCSE assessment

 

Summer 2

 

Year 11

Specification:  AQA

 

Unit Descriptions

Landmark Assessments

Autumn 1

Good and Evil

Beliefs about Good and Evil

The Problem of Evil

Why is there suffering in the world?

Responses to suffering

Reasons for moral behaviour

 

Christianity and Medical Ethics

Sanctity of life

Attitudes to abortion

Issues raised by fertility treatments

Cloning

Attitudes to euthanasia and suicide

Treatment of animals in research

1 Philosophy GCSE assessment

1 Ethics GCSE assessment

 

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Religion and Science

Scientific theories about the origins of the word and humanity

Scientific theories about the origins of the word and humanity

Humans and animals and their treatment

Stewardship and Dominion

 

Christianity, Poverty and Wealth

Christian views on wealth

Causes of hunger, poverty and disease

Responses to the needs of starving, poor and sick

Different ways charity is put into practice

Christian teachings about the use of money

Moral and immoral occupations

1 Philosophy GCSE assessment

1 Ethics GCSE assessment

 

Spring 2

Summer 1

Revision of all topics

 

 

L6 Philosophy and Ethics

Specification:  OCR Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics)

 

Unit Descriptions

 Autumn 1

Philosophy of Religion

Ancient Greek influences on philosophy of religion

Plato: the Analogy of the Cave

The prisoners, the shadows, the cave itself, the outside world, the sun, the journey out of the cave and the return to the prisoners.

 

Plato: the concept of the Forms: the Form of Good

The relation between concepts and phenomena.

The concept of ‘ideals’.

The relation between the Form of the Good and the other Forms.

 

Religious Ethics:  Ethical theories

The concepts of absolutist and relativist morality.

What it means to call an ethical theory absolutist and objective.

What it means to call an ethical theory relativist and subjective

The terms deontological and teleological.

 

Ethical theories: Natural Law

Natural Law

The origins of Aquinas’ Natural Law in Aristotle’s idea of purpose.

Aquinas’ ideas of purpose and perfection.

The use of reason to discover Natural Law.

The primary and secondary precepts.

Autumn 2

Philosophy of Religion

Ancient Greek influences on philosophy of religion

Aristotle: ideas about cause and purpose in relation to God

Metaphysics Book 12

Aristotle’s understanding of material, efficient, formal and final cause.

Aristotle’s concept of the Prime Mover.

 

Judaeo-Chritian influences on philosophy of religion

The concept of God as Creator

The way the Bible presents God as involved with his creation.

The imagery of God as a craftsman.

The concepts of omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence.

The concept of ‘creatio ex nihilo’.

Compare this view with Artistotle’s Prime Mover.

Discuss whether, if God created the universe, God is therefore responsible for everything that happens in it.

 

Religious Ethics

Ethical theories: Kantian ethics

Kantian ethics

The difference between the Categorical and Hypothetical Imperatives.

The various formulations of the Categorical Imperative.

Kant’s understanding of the universalisation of maxims.

Kant’s theory of duty.

Kant’s idesas of the moral law, good will and the summum bonum.

 

Ethical theories: Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism

The classical forms of Utilitarianism from Bentham and Mill

The principle of Utility.

The differences between the Utilitarianism of Bentham and of Mill.

The Hedonic Calculus, higher and lower pleasures, quantity v quality, and Act and Rule Utilitarianism.

The Preference Utilitarianism of Peter Singer.

 

Spring 1

Philosophy of Religion

Judaeo-Christian influences on philosophy of religion

The goodness of God.

The ways in which the God of the Bible is seen as morally perfect and the source of human ethics.

The concept of God as lawgiver and as judge.

Consider whether, in a Biblical context, God commands things because they are good or whether things are good because God commands them.

 

Traditional arguments for the existence of God

The Ontological arguments from Anselm and Descartes, challenges from Gaunilo and Kant

The Ontological argument from Anselm and Descartes.

Challenges to it from Gaunilo and Kant

Anselm’s understanding of God – his understanding of the differences between contingent and necessary existence.

Descartes’ understanding of existence as a perfection which God cannot lack

Gaunilo’s analogy of the island in On Behalf of the Fool.

 

Religious Ethics

Ethical theories: religious ethics

Religious ethics – a study of the ethics of the religion chosen by the candidate

The main ethical principles of the religion studied and how the followers of the religion make ethical decisions.

The ways in which religion and morality may seem to be linked or be seen as separate from each other.

How far morality may be seen as dependant on God (Divine Command theory).

How far religious ethics may be seen as absolutist or relativist

How ethical theories may be considered religious.

 

Applied Ethics

The ethical theories:

Natural Law

Kantian Ethics

Utilitarianism

Religious Ethics

 

Spring 2

Philosophy of Religion

Traditional arguments for the existence of God

The Cosmological argument from Aquinas and Copleston: challenges from Hume and Russell

The Cosmological argument from Aquinas and Copleston.

The arguments put forward by Copleston in the 1948 radio debate with Russell and Russell’s counter arguments.

Hume’s criticisms of the cosmological argument.

 

The Teleological argument from Aquinas and Paley; challenges from Hume, Mill and Darwin

The teleological argument from Aquinas and Paley.

The challenges to it from Hume, Mill and Darwinism.

 

Religious Ethics

Applied Ethics

Abortion, the right to a child

The concept of the ‘Sanctity of Life’ and how it applies to abortion.

The concept of personhood as applied to abortion.

The right to life as applied to abortion and the rights of all those involved.

The issues of infertility and the right to a child.

The status of the embryo.

Whether a child is a gift or a right.

The application and the different approaches of the ethical theories listed above to abortion and the right to a child.

 

Summer 1

Philosophy of Religion

Traditional arguments for the existence of God

The Moral argument from Kant: psychological challenges from Freud.

The moral argument from Kant, including his concept of the ‘summum bonum’ and his inferences about inate moral awareness.

Psychologcial challenges from Freud to the moral argument, his view that moral awareness comes from sources other than God.

 

Challenges to religious belief

The problem of evil

The problem of evil: the classic theodicies of Augustine and Irenaeus.

The nature of the problem of evil and the possible differences between natural and moral evil.

How each theodicy understands the responsibility of God for the existence of evil in the world.

The origins of evil and the role of human free will.

 

Religious Ethics

Applied Ethics

Euthanasia

The concept of the ‘Sanctity of Life’ and how it applies to euthanasia.

The concept of the ‘Quality of Life’ and how it applies to euthanasia.

The right to life as applied to euthanasia.

The application and the different approaches of the ethical theories listed above to euthanasia.

 

Genetic engineering

The ethical questions raised by the different types of genetic engineering to humans, animals and plants, human embryo research.

The application and the different approaches of the ethical theories listed above to genetic engineering.

 

Summer 2

Philosophy of Religion

Challenges to religious belief

Religion and science

Scientific and philosophical views on the creation of the universe; particularly the debate between Creationism and the Big Bang theory.

Darwinism and various developments of evolutionary theory.

‘Intelligent Design’ and ‘Irreducible Complexity’.

Religious responses to challenges posed by scientific views.

 

Religious Ethics

Applied Ethics

War and Peace

The principles of ‘Just War’ and its application.

The theories of ethical and religious pacifism.

The application and the different approaches of the ethical theories listed above to war and peace.

 

 

 

U6 Philosophy and Ethics

Specification: OCR

 

Unit Descriptions

Autumn 1

Philosophy of Religion

Religious Language

Religious Language – uses and purpose.

The via negative (Apophatic way)

The verification and falsification principles.

Different views on the meaningfulness of religious language.

The uses of symbol, analogy and myth to express human understanding of God.

The views of the Vienna Circle, A J Ayer, Anthony Flew, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Paul Tillich on religious language.

 

Religious Ethics

Ethical Topics and Theories: Meta-ethics

Meta-ethics

The use of ethical language – the ways in which different scholars understand how words like ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘right’, ‘wrong’ are used when ethical statements are made.

How meta-ethics differs from normative.

The different approaches: cognitive and non-cognitive; ethical naturalism, intuitionism; emotivism and prescriptivism and how these apply to ethical statements.

 

Autumn 2

Philosophy of Religion

Religious Experience

Experience and religion

Arguments from religious experience from William James.

The aims and main conclusions drawn by William James in The Varieties of Religious Experience.

The following different forms of religious experience: visions, voices, ‘numinous’ experience, conversion experience, corporate religious experience.

The concept of revelation through sacred writings.

 

Religious Ethics

Ethical Topics and Theories: Free Will and Determinism

Free will and determinism

Hard determinism, soft determinism and libertarianism.

The views of Darrow, Honderich, Hume and Locke.

Theological determinism (predestination) and religious ideas of free will.

The influences of genetics, psychology, environment or social conditioning on moral choices.

The implications of these views for moral responsibility.

The link between free will, determinism and moral responsibility.

 

Spring  1

Philosophy of Religion

Religious Experience

Miracle – a study of how God might interact with humanity by looking at the concept of miracle

Different definitions of miracle, including an understanding of Hume.

The biblical concept of miracle and the issues this raises about God’s activity in the world.

The concept of miracle, and criticisms mad e by Hume and Wiles.

The implications of the concept of miracle for the problem of evil.

 

Religious Ethics

Ethical Topics and Theories: Nature and Role of the Conscience

The different views of the conscience as God-give, innate or the voice of reason or instilled by society, parents, authority figures.

Whether conscience is a reliable guide to ethical decision-making.

The views of Augustine, Aquinas, Butler, Newman, Freud, Fromm, Piaget.

 

Spring  2

Philosophy of Religion

Attributes

Nature of God

God is eternal, omniscient, omnipotent and omni-benevolent – and the philosophical problems arising from these concepts.

The views of Boethius in his discussion of eternity and God’s foreknowledge in Book 5 of The Consolations of Philosophy.

The question as to whether or not a good God should reward or punish.

 

Religious Ethics

Ethical Topics and Theories: Virtue Ethics

Virtue Ethics

The principles of Virtue Ethics from Aristotle.

The ‘agent-centred’ nature of Virtue Ethics.

The concepts of eudaimonia and the Golden Mean.

The importance of practising the virtues and the example of virtuous people.

More modern approaches to Virtue Ethics.

 

Summer

Philosophy of Religion

Life and Death, The Soul

Life and Death

Distinctions between body and soul, as expressed in the thinking of Plato, Aristotle, John Hick and Richard Dawkins.

Other concepts of the body/soul distinction.

Different views of life after death: resurrection and reincarnation.

Questions surrounding the nature of disembodied existence.

 

Religious Ethics

Applied Ethics

The ethical theories:

Natural Law
Kantian Ethics
Utilitarianism
Religious Ethics
Virtue Ethics

 

Environmental and business ethics

The issue of how humans should relate to the environment, its resources and species.

Secular approaches – the Gaia hypothesis.

Issues in business ethics: the relationship between business and consumers; the relationship between employers and employees.

The relationship between business and the environment; business and globalisation.

The application and the different approaches of the ethical theories listed above to environmental and business ethics.

 

Sexual ethics

The issues surrounding sexual ethics- premarital and extramarital sex, contraception, homosexuality.

The application and the different approaches of the ethical theories listed above to sexual ethics.