Religious Studies


Federation Faculty Lead – Nick Binfield

Intent

Religious Education at the Isle of Wight Education Federation (IWEF) – asking the Big Questions you were afraid to ask!

Never has Religious Education been more important – just look at the news and the world around you!

Religious Education at IWEF is taught according to the IoW Agreed Syllabus Living Difference III.

Living Difference III seeks to introduce children and young people to what a religious way of existing in the world may offer in leading one’s life, individually and collectively.

It recognises and acknowledges that the question as to what it means to lead one’s life with such an orientation can be answered in a number of qualitatively different ways. These include the idea that to live a religious life means to subscribe to certain propositional beliefs (religion as truth); the idea that to live a religious life means to adhere to certain practices (religion as practice); and the idea that to live a religious life is characterised by a particular way of being in and with the world: with a particular kind of awareness of and faith in the world and in other human beings, (religion as existence).

Religious education at IWEF intends to play an educative part in the lives of our children and young people as they come to speak, think and act in the world.

Implementation

Religious Education at the Isle of Wight Education Federation (IWEF) is taught according to the IoW Locally Agreed Syllabus Living Difference III. All teachers teach Religious Education using the Cycle of Enquiry as in the Agreed Syllabus.

This entails teachers bringing children and young people first to attend to their own experience and that of others, to engage intellectually with material that is new and the to discern, with others in their class and beyond, what is valuable with regard to living a religious life or one informed by a non-religious or other perspective.

This approach to religious education in schools is consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly Articles 12, 13, 14 and 30, and supports the work of rights respecting education (RRE).

Religious Education at IWEF is taught as a discreet lesson and includes: discussion, written work, short films, Philosophy for Children activities, reasoning tasks and group/peer work.

The main religions studied will be: Christianity as it reflects the Christian nature of the UK, what it means to live life as a Muslim (as the second largest religion in the World) and what it is to live life as a Buddhist: this offers an interesting and engaging contrast to the other (Abrahamic) faith traditions. There will also be opportunities to discuss other faiths and secular (e.g. Humanist) worldviews.

In Year 9, students will be given the option to choose to study Religious Education at GCSE, where we delve deeper in the Christian and Buddhist traditions and get our teeth into more gritty topics such life after death, abortion, relationships and the existence of God. We follow the EDUQAS syllabus which is notable for its academic rigour and interesting conceptual approach. Students also be invited to study Philosophy at A level or RE at A Level. No GCSE is needed for these topics, just a thirst for knowledge and an open mind!