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GCSE Religious Education Years 10 & 11

Students who haven’t opted for the RE GCSE

Year 10 and 11 students have one lesson of Religious Education per two week timetable. This fulfils their statutory entitlement. Year 10 students have a varied Religious Education curriculum following the SACRE guidelines. Part of their Religious Education curriculum is the Young Philosophers Course, understanding and debating classical moral and philosophical problems, which allows them to strengthen their skills of analysis, evaluation and critical thinking in order to improve their attainment in all their other studies.  Given that students have only one lesson per fortnight there are no CAT assessments or reports issued for Religious Education.

Specification

AQA - The specification and assessment structure can be found at the link: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/gcse/religious-studies-a-8062

What will I study?

Students who opt to study GCSE Religious Studies have 5 GCSE lessons per fortnight as one of their four optional subjects, studying two units over the two year course and sitting two papers in the final exams at the end of year 11.

All other students – who don’t opt for GCSE Religious Studies - have one mandatory lesson of RE a fortnight as part of their statutory entitlement which offers students’ access to aspects of the Lincolnshire schools SACRE agreed syllabus and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development) education.  SMSC includes British Values of, democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith. There is no exam or external accreditation for those students not taking RE as a GCSE.

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices

What is assessed?

Beliefs, teachings and practices of Buddhism and Christianity.

How is it assessed?
  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 96 marks (plus 5 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar)
  • 50% of GCSE

Component 2: Thematic studies

What is assessed?

Either four religious, philosophical and ethical study themes or two religious, philosophical and ethical study themes and two textual study themes.

Religious, philosophical and ethical study themes:

  • Theme A: Relationships and families.
  • Theme B: Religion and life.
  • Theme C: The existence of God and revelation.
  • Theme D: Religion, peace and conflict.
  • Theme E: Religion, crime and punishment.
  • Theme F: Religion, human rights and social justice.
Textual study themes:
  • Theme G: St Mark's Gospel – the life of Jesus.
  • Theme H: St Mark's Gospel as a source of religious, moral and spiritual truths.
How it's assessed
  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 96 marks (plus 5 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar)
  • 50% of GCSE

What skills and qualities are required?

  • An ability to think
  • Be open minded
  • Skills of analysis
  • The ability to use existing knowledge to answer different questions

How will I learn?

You will learn through discussion, visits from speakers, field trips, ICT and written work.

Subject content

Students must take assessments in two components.

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices – studied in Year 10

Year 10

3.1.2 Christianity

Students should be aware that Christianity is one of the diverse religious traditions and beliefs in Great Britain today and that the main religious tradition in Great Britain is Christianity. This knowledge may be applied throughout the assessment of the specified content.

Students should study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity specified below and their basis in Christian sources of wisdom and authority. They should be able to refer to scripture and/or sacred texts where appropriate. Some texts are prescribed for study in the content and questions may be set on them. Students may refer to any relevant text in their answers and AQA will publish a list of appropriate texts as part of the supporting material for this specification. These additional texts will not be required for study, alternatives may be used, and questions will not be set on them.

Students should study the influence of the beliefs, teachings and practices studied on individuals, communities and societies.

Common and divergent views within Christianity in the way beliefs and teachings are understood and expressed should be included throughout. Students may refer to a range of different Christian perspectives in their answers including Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.

3.1.1 Buddhism

Students should be aware that Buddhism is one of the diverse religious traditions and beliefs in Great Britain today and that the main religious tradition in Great Britain is Christianity. This knowledge may be applied throughout the assessment of the specified content.

Students should study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Buddhism and their basis in Buddhist sources of wisdom and authority. They should be able to refer to scripture and/or sacred texts where appropriate. Some texts are prescribed for study and questions may be set on them. Students may refer to any relevant text in their answers and AQA will publish a list of appropriate texts as part of the supporting material for this specification. These additional texts will not be required for study, alternatives may be used, and questions will not be set on them.

Students should study the influence of the beliefs, teachings and practices studied on individuals, communities and societies.

Common and divergent views within Buddhism in the way beliefs and teachings are understood and expressed should be included throughout. Students may refer to a range of Buddhist perspectives in their answers, for example, Theravada, Mahayana, Zen and Pure Land.

Year 11

Component 2: Thematic studies.

What's assessed?

Two religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes and two textual studies themes.

Religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes:

  • Theme B: Religion and life.
  • Theme C: The existence of God and revelation.

Textual studies themes:

  • Theme G: St Mark's Gospel – the life of Jesus.
  • Theme H: St Mark's Gospel as a source of religious, moral and spiritual truths

3.2.1 Religious, philosophical and ethical studies

Students should be aware of different religious perspectives on the issues studied within and/or between religious and non-religious beliefs such as atheism and humanism.

Students must also study religious, philosophical and ethical arguments related to the issues raised, and their impact and influence on the modern world.

Students will be expected to show their understanding of religion through the application of teachings from religion and beliefs. They will also be expected to make specific references to sources of wisdom and authority including scripture and/or sacred texts. They may refer to any relevant religious text such as the Pali Canon, the sermons of the Buddha, the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Vedas and Upanishads, the Qur’an and Hadith, the Torah and Talmud, and the Guru Granth Sahib.

As part of the supporting material for this specification, AQA will publish a list of appropriate texts; alternatives may be used and no questions will be set on them.

Students must demonstrate knowledge and understanding that: the religious traditions of Great Britain are, in the main, Christian, the religious traditions in Great Britain are diverse.

Students may draw upon Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, as well as other religions and non-religious beliefs such as atheism and humanism

3.2.1.2 Theme B: Religion and life

Students should study religious teachings, and religious, philosophical and ethical arguments, relating to the issues that follow, and their impact and influence in the modern world. They should be aware of contrasting perspectives in contemporary British society on all of these issues.

They must be able to explain contrasting beliefs on the following three issues with reference to the main religious tradition in Britain (Christianity) and one or more other religious traditions: Abortion, Euthanasia and Animal experimentation.

3.2.1.3 Theme C: The existence of God and revelation

Students should study religious teachings, and religious and philosophical arguments, relating to the issues that follow, and their impact and influence in the modern world. They should be aware of contrasting perspectives in contemporary British society on all of these issues.

They must be able to explain contrasting beliefs on the following three issues with reference to the main religious tradition in Britain (Christianity) and non-religious beliefs such as atheism and humanism: Visions, Miracles, and Nature as general revelation.

3.2.2 Textual studies

Students entering for textual studies themes must also study Christianity or Catholic Christianity in Component 1. Students electing for this route must study both textual studies themes (themes G and H).

In studying these themes, students should be aware of the significance, importance and influence of St Mark’s Gospel for individuals, communities and societies. They should understand how varied interpretations of the meaning of passages from St Mark’s Gospel may give rise to diversity within Christian traditions and consider how far Christian and non-religious communities give authority to St Mark’s Gospel, especially in relation to other sources of contemporary authority. Students should be able to show knowledge of the set texts for study and an understanding of their importance for Jesus, for his early followers and for people of the 21st century. Students should be able to consider the authority of the Gospel and the relevance of Jesus’ example and teaching.

Year 10

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1 3.1.2.1 Beliefs and teachings. 

The nature of God:

  • as omnipotnent, loving and just, and the problem of evil and suffering
  • the oneness of God and the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • different Christian beliefs about creation including the role of Word and Spirit (John 1:1-3 and Genesis 1:1-3).

Different Christian beliefs about the afterlife and their importance, including: resurrection and life after death; judgement, heaven and hell.

Jesus Christ and salvation

Beliefs and teachings about:

  • the incarnation and Jesus as the Son of God
  • the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension
  • sin, including original sin
  • the means of salvation, including law, grace and Spirit
  • the role of Christ in salvation including the idea of atonement.

GCSE exams in Religious Studies A include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to:

  • apply knowledge and understanding of two religions
  • apply knowledge and understanding of key sources of wisdom and authority including scripture and/or sacred texts, where appropriate, which support contemporary religious faith
  • understand the influence of religion on individuals, communities and societies
  • understand significant common and divergent views between and/or within religions and beliefs
  • apply knowledge and understanding in order to analyse questions related to religious beliefs and values
  • construct well-informed and balanced arguments on matters concerned with religious beliefs and values set out in the subject content.
2

3.1.2.2 Practices

Worship and festivals

Different forms of worship and their significance:

  • liturgical, non-liturgical and informal, including the use of the Bible
  • private worship
  • prayer and its significance, including the Lord’s Prayer, set prayers and informal prayer

The role and meaning of the sacraments:

  • the meaning of sacrament
  • the sacrament of baptism and its significance for Christians; infant and believers' baptism; different beliefs about infant baptism
  • the sacrament of Holy Communion/Eucharist and its significance for Christians, including different ways in which it is celebrated and different interpretations of its meaning
  • the role and importance of pilgrimage and celebrations including:
  • two contrasting examples of Christian pilgrimage: Lourdes and Iona
  • the celebrations of Christmas and Easter, including their importance for Christians in Great Britain today.

The role of the church in the local and worldwide community

The role of the Church in the local community, including food banks and street pastors.

  • The place of mission, evangelism and Church growth.
  • The importance of the worldwide Church including:
  • working for reconciliation
  • how Christian churches respond to persecution
  • the work of one of the following: Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD), Christian Aid, Tearfund.

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of religion and beliefs including:

  • beliefs, practices and sources of authority
  • influence on individuals, communities and societies
  • similarities and differences within and/or between religions and beliefs.

AO2: Analyse and evaluate aspects of religion and belief, including their significance and influence

Spring Term
1

3.1.1.1 Key Beliefs

The Dhamma (Dharma)

  • The concept of Dhamma (Dharma).
  • The concept of dependent arising (paticcasamupada).

The Three Marks of Existence:

  • anicca (impermanence)
  • anatta (no fixed self)
  • dukkha (unsatisfactoriness of life, suffering).

The human personality, in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions:

  • Theravada: the Five Aggregates (skandhas) of form, sensation, perception, mental formations, consciousness.
  • Mahayana: sunyata, the possibility of attaining Buddhahood and Buddha-nature.

Human destiny:

  • Different ideals in Theravada and Mahayana traditions: Arhat (a ‘perfected person’) and Bodhisattva ideals
  • Buddhahood and the Pure Land.

As above

2 The Buddha and the Four Noble Truths

The Buddha’s life and its significance:

  • the birth of the Buddha and his life of luxury
  • the Four Sights: illness, old age, death, holy man (Jataka 075)
  • the Buddha’s ascetic life
  • the Buddha’s Enlightenment

The Four Noble Truths:

  • suffering (dukkha) including different types of suffering
  • the causes of suffering (samudaya); the Three Poisons, ignorance, greed and hate
  • the end of craving (tanha), interpretations of nibbana (nirvana) and Enlightenment

The Eightfold Path (magga) to nibbana/nirvana; the pathas the Threefold Way: ethics (sila), meditation (samadhi) and wisdom (panna). Dhammapada 190–191

As above

Summer Term
1 Component 1

Worship and festivals

The nature, use and importance of Buddhist places of worship including temples, shrines, monasteries (viharas), halls for meditation or learning (gompas) and their key features including Buddha rupa, artefacts and offerings.

Puja, the significance and role of puja/devotional ritual in the home and in the temple, including chanting, both as a devotional practice and as an aid to mental concentration, mantra recitation, use of malas.

Meditation, the different aims, significance and methods of meditation:

  • Samatha (concentration and tranquillity) including mindfulness of breathing
  • Vipassana (insight) including zazen

The visualisation of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

The practice and significance of different ceremonies and rituals associated with death and mourning in Theravada communities and in Japan and Tibet.

Festivals and retreats and their importance to Buddhists in Great Britain today, including the celebrations, origins and significance of:

  • Wesak
  • Parinirvana Day

As above

2

Revision and Summer Exams

Buddhist ethics

Ethical teaching:

  • kamma (karma) and rebirth
  • compassion (karuna)
  • loving kindness (metta).
  • The five moral precepts:
  • do not take life
  • do not take what is not given
  • do not misuse the senses
  • do not speak falsehoods
  • do not take intoxicants that cloud the mind.

The six perfections in the Mahayanan tradition:

  • generosity
  • morality
  • patience
  • energy
  • meditation
  • wisdom, including how the individual develops these perfections within themselves.

As above

Year 11

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1

3.2.1.2 Theme B: Religion and Life

The origins and value of the universe

The origins of the universe, including:

  • religious teachings about the origins of the universe, and different interpretations of these
  • the relationship between scientific views, such as the Big Bang theory, and religious views.

The value of the world and the duty of human beings to protect it, including religious teaching about stewardship, dominion, responsibility, awe and wonder.

The use and abuse of the environment, including the use of natural resources, pollution.

The use and abuse of animals, including:

  • animal experimentation
  • the use of animals for food

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of religion and beliefs including:

  • beliefs, practices and sources of authority
  • influence on individuals, communities and societies
  • similarities and differences within and/or between religions and beliefs.

AO2: Analyse and evaluate aspects of religion and belief, including their significance and influence

2

3.2.1.3 Theme C: The existence of God and revelation. Philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God.

The origins and value of human life

The origins of life, including:

  • religious teachings about the origins of human life, and different interpretations of these
  • the relationship between scientific views, such as evolution, and religious views.
  • The concepts of sanctity of life and the quality of life
  • abortion, including situations when the mother's life is at risk
  • ethical arguments related to abortion, including those based on the sanctity of life and quality of life
  • euthanasia
  • beliefs about death and an afterlife, and their impact on beliefs about the value of human life

As above

Spring Term
1

3.2.1.3 Theme C: The existence of God and revelation.  The nature of the divine and revelation.

Special revelation as a source of knowledge about the divine (God, gods or ultimate reality) including visions and one example of a vision.

Enlightenment as a source of knowledge about the divine.

General revelation: nature and scripture as a way of understanding the divine.

Different ideas about the divine that come from these sources:

  • omnipotent and omniscient
  • personal and impersonal
  • immanent and transcendent.

The value of general and special revelation and enlightenment as sources of knowledge about the divine, including:

  • the problems of different ideas about the divine arising from these experiences
  • alternative explanations for the experiences, and the possibility that the people who claimed to have them were lying or mistaken.

As above

2

3.2.2.1 Theme G: St Mark’s gospel: the life of Jesus.  The early ministry of Jesus.

  • John’s preparation for Jesus’ ministry: 1:1–8.
  • Jesus’ baptism and temptation: 1:9–13.
  • The paralysed man: 2:1–12.
  • Jairus’ daughter: 5:21–24a, 35–43.
  • The rejection at Nazareth: 6:1–6.
  • The feeding of the five thousand: 6:30–44

The later ministry of Jesus

  • The conversation at Caesarea Philippi: 8:27–33.
  • The transfiguration of Jesus: 9:2–9.
  • Jesus’ passion prediction: 10:32–34.
  • The request of James and John: 10:35–45.
  • Bartimaeus: 10:46–52.
  • The entry into Jerusalem: 11:1–11.

As above

Summer Term
1

3.2.2.1 Theme G: St Mark’s gospel: the life of Jesus.

3.2.2.2 Theme H: St Mark’s Gospel as a source of religious, moral and spiritual truths

Significance

The titles Son of Man, Son of God, Christ (Messiah) and Son of David, including their meaning for 1st century Jews and Jesus.

The significance for 21st century Christians of Jesus’ understanding of the titles Son of Man, Son of God, Christ (Messiah) and Son of David.

St Mark’s portrayal of Jesus as a teacher and miracle worker, including contrasting views on the historicity of the miracle stories.

Differing beliefs about the meaning of Jesus’ words and actions at the Last Supper.

Differing beliefs about the significance of Jesus' death and resurrection, and different explanations given for the empty tomb.

Differing views on the authority of St Mark ’s Gospel relating to the life of Jesus in relation to the challenges posed by secular sources of contemporary authority.

 

The Kingdom of God

  • Parable of the sower: 4:1–9, 14–20.
  • Parable of the growing seed: 4:26–29.
  • Parable of the mustard seed: 4:30–32.
  • Jesus and the children: 10:13–16.
  • The rich man: 10:17–27.
  • The greatest commandment: 12:28–34.

Jesus’ relationships with those disregarded by society

  • The man with leprosy: 1:40–45.
  • The call of Levi: 2:13–17.
  • The Greek (Syro-Phoenician) woman’s daughter: 7:24–30.
  • The epileptic (demon-possessed) boy: 9:14–29.
  • The widow at the treasury: 12:41–44.
  • The anointing at Bethany: 14:1–9.

Faith and discipleship

  • The call of the first disciples: 1:16–20.
  • The woman with a haemorrhage: 5:24b–34.
  • The mission of the Twelve: 6:7–13.
  • The cost and rewards of discipleship: 8:34–38; 10:28–31.
  • Peter’s denials: 14:27–31, 66–72.
  • The commission and ascension: 16:14–20

Significance

The significance and importance for Jesus, for the people of his day and for people in the 21st century, of key events in the life of Jesus recorded St Mark.

Different ways in which the Kingdom of God might be understood, including as a present reality and a future hope, and as a personal inner state and a community.

Reasons for 1st century attitudes and those of Jesus to those disregarded by society.

The significance and importance for Christians of Jesus’ attitudes to those disregarded by the society of his day.

Different views on the significance and importance for Jesus’ disciples and for 21st century Christians of discipleship as seen in incidents relating to Jesus’ disciples and in Jesus’ teaching.

Different views on the nature and importance of faith as seen in St Mark’s Gospel.

Differing views on the authority of Jesus’ teaching as recorded by St Mark in relation to the challenges posed by secular sources of contemporary authority.

As above

Assessments

Resources Topic Type of assessment
CAT 1

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices - 3.1.2 Christianity

Past paper for each topic - Religious Studies A (8062) – Full course GCSE
CAT 2 Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices 3.1.1 Buddhism Past paper for each topic - Religious Studies A (8062) – Full course GCSE
CAT 3 End of Year Exam – All Year 10 Content

End of Year Examination

CAT 4

Component 2: Thematic studies

Past paper for each topic - Religious Studies A (8062) – Full course GCSE
CAT 5

Component 2: Thematic studies

Past paper for each topic - Religious Studies A (8062) – Full course GCSE
CAT 6 Component 2: Thematic studies End of Year Examination

Main Resources

Resource Details Term
Text books

AQA GCSE (9-1) Religious Studies Specification A

Authors: Lesley Parry, Jan Hayes, and Sheila Butler
Publisher: Hodder Education
ISBN-13: 9781471866852

 

AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Buddhism

Authors: Cynthia Bartlett (series editor), Kevin James
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN-13: 978-0-19-837032-1

 

AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Christianity

Authors: Cynthia Bartlett (series editor), Marianne Fleming, Peter Smith, David Worden
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN-13: 978-0-19-837033-8

 

AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Mark’s Gospel

Authors: Francis Loftus
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN-13: 978-0-19-837039-0

All

Recommended Reading

Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Ecclesiastes, Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of John, Psalms

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach

Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics  by Gary Zukav

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by  Douglas Adams

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella

Behold The Man (S.F. Masterworks) by Michael Moorcock

All
Recommended websites

RE:Quest - the definitive toolkit Christianity in R.E. - http://www.request.org.uk/

BBC Religion and Ethics - http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/0/

RE:Online - http://www.reonline.org.uk/

 
Equipment

Course File

All

Enrichment opportunities

   
Please see the Extra Curricular programme  

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