Designing the curriculum for Key Stage 3
‘Students should extend and deepen their knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global context. Building on their prior learning, they learn to appreciate religions and worldviews in systematic ways. They should draw on a wide range of subject-specific language confidently and flexibly, learning to use the concepts of religious study to describe the nature of religion. They should understand how beliefs influence the values and lives of individuals and groups, and how religions and worldviews have an impact on wider current affairs. They should be able to appraise the practices and beliefs they study with increasing discernment based on analysis, interpretation and evaluation, developing their capacity to articulate well-reasoned positions’ (NCFRE p24).
A balanced curriculum would include:
a. Learning about the nature of religion and belief, exploring questions about the nature, truth, meaning and value of religion and belief
This could include being taught about:
- what is meant by belief including study of non-religious beliefs
- the relationship between beliefs, teaching and ethical issues
- different ways in which people describe their spiritual experience
- the ways in which religions use kinds of language to express ideas about, e.g. God, creation, the afterlife
- how religion and belief may play a vital part in people’s identity
- the place of religions and worldviews in the local community
- the place of modern media in relation to religion and belief
- questions such as ‘What do religions and non religious worldviews say about the purpose and destiny of human existence?’
b. Learning about Christianity: in-depth and systematic study of the key theological ideas and the diversity of ways in which these are expressed.
This could include study of:
- the key Christian beliefs including Creation, Fall, Salvation, Incarnation, Resurrection, Redemption and how these relate to the concept of the Trinity
- how these beliefs are represented in and the Bible and other sources of wisdom (including the arts)
- the differences in interpretation of these beliefs across the diversity of Christianity
- how these beliefs impact on the expression of Christianity in individual and community life
c. Learning about at least one other religion and/or non religious worldview: an in-depth and systematic study of the key ideas and beliefs and exploring a diversity of ways in which these are expressed.
This could include study of:
- the key beliefs and ideas of the religion(s) and worldviews
- how these beliefs are represented in religious texts and other sources of wisdom (including the arts)
- the differences in interpretation of these beliefs across the diversity of the religion or worldview
- how these beliefs impact on the expression of the religion or worldview in individual and community life
Exemplars of curricula developed for different school contexts can be seen here in Spring 2015.