AIMS & OBJECTIVES
Religious Studies enables pupils to understand the significance of religion in the context of the wider body of knowledge and skills and to develop an understanding of the influence that religious beliefs and values have upon individuals and society.

Pupils are required to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues. The department aims to enhance the Spiritual, Moral, Cultural and Social development of pupils, through the skills of awareness, empathy, response and reflection. Red House School Religious Studies department offers lessons that are engaging and inspiring in order to stimulate pupil’s curiosity, interest and enjoyment. Pupils are encouraged to participate in tasks that foster independent learning by giving pupils the opportunity to think for themselves and learn from each other.

The department fosters philosophical and moral debate from the earliest age through the investigation of key questions such as: Why are we here? Where are we going? What is the big story in the Bible? Why do some people believe in God when there is evil and suffering? Is war ever right? Does religion cause conflict? Why should we commemorate the holocaust? Where can young people look for guidance today?

Pupils are encouraged to consider the evidence for the existence of God, the nature of truth, examine and evaluate the beliefs, teachings and practices of the major world religions. A great emphasis is placed in
bringing the curriculum alive through school visits, visiting speakers, the use of thinking skills activities such as community of enquiry, debating and mysteries.

CURRICULUM
Religious Studies is offered as an option subject and has proven to be very popular and successful since its introduction in 2005. Pupils follow the EDEXCEL Religious Studies Syllabus A; Religion and Life and Religion and Society. The course covers the pertinent issues that are relevant to life today such as the arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’ the existence of God, including the problem of suffering, the relationship between science and faith. Following the more ‘philosophical’ part of the course is the exploration of various issues; life and death, war and peace, crime and punishment, marriage and family life and social harmony. By studying these issues pupils have an opportunity to consider their own beliefs and what has shaped them whilst also considering the impact of faith on the lives of believers. This, course develops issues that have been covered in Key Stage 3 and in turn is fantastic preparation for the study of this subject at Advanced Level.

OUT OF THE CLASSROOM
Pupils in Year 4 visit local churches from different denominations and a Gurdwara. Pupils in year 5 visit a mosque as part of their study of the beliefs and practices of Islam and later in the year have the opportunity to explore the Orthodox Synagogue in Newcastle. During Year 7 pupils visit Durham Cathedral as part of their study of Christian art. International story teller Adam Bushnell works with pupils in key stage 3 examining ideas on moral guidance, the holocaust and religious symbolism.