Mrs L Colson, B.D.(Hons.), P.G.C.E., P.Q.H – Head of Department
Mrs A Armstrong, Miss L Duncan, Mr A Funnell
Statement of Values
All members of the school are important and each has a contribution to make within the whole school setting. We value thinking skills, achievement and the desire for knowledge along with the evaluation of that knowledge in everyday life. We acknowledge that Religious Education plays an important role in the school community life and that it has a valuable part to play in the personal, social and moral and spiritual development of the pupils within the school.
The following aims and objectives relate directly to the aims of Omagh High School.
- To maintain and/or stimulate student curiosity, interest and enjoyment in Religious Education and to acquire knowledge and understanding of the subject with the skills in which to evaluate topics covered.
- To encourage students to have open, enquiring minds through the development of Thinking Skills and to perceive Religious Education in the context of a wider body of knowledge, vocabulary and skills to provide a sound basis for life-long learning and the pursuits of personal interest. To employ a variety of learning and teaching activities and resources and ICT technology that allow all pupils irrespective of their gender, ethnic origin, academic ability etc to have equal access to Religious Education and to experience success and enjoyment in their work.
- To cultivate in students a sense of belonging, knowledge of differing denominations within Christianity, differing religions within the world, differing cultures and an empathy with people in our own and other societies.
- To develop in students an awareness of moral issues relating to today’s society and various religious and secular view points on these moral issues.
- To develop students as individuals, contributors to society and contributors to the Economy and the Environment.
- To develop in students an understanding and appreciation of the world in which we live in religious, cultural and moral terms.
- To encourage in students the development of informed opinions and to support such opinions with reasoned arguments and to communicate ideas and opinions effectively.
- To support the implementation of the statement on ‘Shared Values’ and to enable pupils to develop a range of desirable personal capabilities such as working with others, self-management, creativity, safety awareness, politeness, perseverance, concern for others, initiative and independence.
Key Stage 3
RE Overview of Year 8 – 10 Units
|Year 8||Year 9||Year 10|
|Why Study RE||Our World – The Environment||Jerusalem – A Holy City?|
|The Bible||Easter||Our Moral Views|
|Relationships – The Story of Ruth||Jesus and Others||Experiencing God|
Key Stage 4
RE: Overview of GCSE Short Course / Full course Units
CCEA Religious Studies GCSE Specification
Unit 6 Christianity: Ethics
This unit introduces students to ethics in the study of religion. Students explore personal and family issues, matters of life and death, developments in bioethics, contemporary issues in Christianity and modern warfare.
Students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of, and critically evaluate:
1. Personal and Family Issues
- Christian views on the meaning and purpose of sexual relationships, taking account of the diversity of ethical positions within Christianity, including the role and importance of celibacy;
- Attitudes towards same-sex relationships, considering the range of Christian views;
- Christian teachings about the benefits and challenges of marriage and divorce, taking account of the diversity of ethical positions within Christianity;
- Different types of family and the importance of the family unit in society;
- Alternatives to marriage, including civil partnerships and cohabitation;
2. Matters of Life and Death
- The debate about abortion, taking account of social, political, biblical, church and other ethical viewpoints;
- The views of pro-life and pro-choice groups, the status of the embryo, sanctity of life and alternatives to abortion;
- The debate about euthanasia, taking account of social, political, biblical, church and other ethical viewpoints, and the distinction between the different types of euthanasia (passive and active, voluntary and involuntary); and
- The contribution of the Hospice movement.
- The debate about capital punishment, taking account of social, political, biblical, church and other ethical viewpoints;
- The aims of punishment, including deterrence, protection, reform, vindication and retribution;
- The issues of repentance, forgiveness, justice and restorative justice;
3. Developments in Bioethics
- The nature of human infertility and the means to overcome it;
- The role of in vitro fertilisation treatment in overcoming human infertility and issues arising from this treatment;
- The status of the embryo, and the moral problems associated with destroyed embryos and embryo experimentation;
- The issues surrounding human surrogacy;
- The role of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in regulating developments in bioethics; and
- Biblical and church teaching that is relevant to new reproductive technologies.
4. Contemporary Issues in Christianity
- The causes and types of prejudice and discrimination, including race, religion, gender and disability;
- Biblical and church opinions on prejudice and discrimination;
- Bible teaching on responsibility towards people in need;
- The causes and characteristics of local, national and global poverty, and the distinction between absolute and relative poverty;
- The work of one organisation fighting poverty and injustice, for example Christian Aid, St Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army or Trócaire;
- Ways in which individuals and communities can respond to and support both fair trade and campaigns for justice;
5. Modern Warfare
- The causes of war, and the Just War tradition in Christianity and its continuing relevance for today;
- The ethics of modern warfare, including the use of weapons of mass destruction, and the morality of nuclear deterrence;
- The debate about the human and economic cost of war, and the victims of war, including refugees, child soldiers and innocent civilians; and
- The debate about pacifism, taking account of different religious and ethical viewpoints.
Unit 7 – An Introduction to Philosophy of Religion:
This unit introduces students to philosophical ideas in the study of religion. Students explore issues surrounding the existence of God, the nature of God, how people relate to God and the problem of evil and/or suffering.
- Students can explore these issues from any religious or non-religious perspective. However, where indicated below, some topics require them to be familiar with the responses and teaching of two different world religions.
- Students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of, and critically evaluate:
1. The Existence of God
- The meaning of the terms theist, atheist and agnostic;
- Arguments for the existence of God, including the strengths and weaknesses of each and evidence to support or reject each argument:
- The First Cause argument and Thomas Aquinas;
- The argument from design and William Paley;
- The argument from religious experience; and
- The moral argument;
- The debate between creationism and science about the origin of the universe:
- Creation stories from two different world religions;
- The views of two different world religions on how people relate to the universe and the place of humanity in the created order; and
- Scientific ideas about the origins of the universe and people, including a basic understanding of the Big Bang and evolutionary theories;
2. The Nature of God
- Ways of understanding and describing God, using the following terms:
- Immanence and transcendence;
- Omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnibenevolent;
- Knowable and unknowable; and
- Monotheism and polytheism; and
- Contrasting beliefs about the nature of God.
3. The Problem of Evil and/or Suffering
- The difference between natural suffering and moral evil;
- Theories about the origin, nature and purpose of evil and/or suffering;
- How the existence of evil and/or suffering challenges the existence of God and religious truth, and the issues presented by innocent suffering and God’s providence;
- Two different ways in which world religions explain the existence of evil and/or suffering in the world;
4. Experiencing God
- Different ways in which believers experience God in two world religions, including how God is revealed through:
- Sacred texts;
- Religious leaders and religious example; and
- The nature and importance of revelation, including the difference between general and special revelation, and a consideration of whether revelation can lead to religious faith;
- Examples of revelation from sacred texts, history and the modern world, including:
- Answered and unanswered prayer;
- Miracles; and
- Challenges to religious experience, including hallucinations, wish-fulfilment or lack of evidence;
5. Life After Death
- Two different ways in which world religions understand the afterlife, including belief in resurrection, reincarnation and final judgement; and
- Non-religious views of the soul and the afterlife.
- Possible ‘proofs’ of life after death, including near death experiences and claims to have remembered past lives, and opinions about the extent to which these experiences are real or illusory; and
- How different beliefs in the afterlife affect the way believers live in this life.
- Communication (written and oral)
- Information Technology
- Application of Number
- Working with others
- Problem Solving
- Decision making
- Improving own learning and performance – Research skills
Students can progress to careers in higher education courses such as:
- Social work
Religious Studies is also a GCSE and A’ Level which is given value to employers due to the skills that it promotes.
Careers Linked with Religious Education
- Office administration
- Civil service
- Caring Professions (e.g. Teaching / Social Work / Counselling / Medical profession)
- Youth work
- Minister / Church
- Non-government, organisations (NGO)
- Work with charities