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Religious Studies

Welcome to Religious Studies 

History teaches about chronology, the length of human experience and Geography teaches about the extent and breadth of human experience. Religious Education, meanwhile, teaches about how people have tried to navigate their way through the length and breadth of human history. It deals with the beliefs people have held and still hold, the stories people have told and still tell, Religious Education is about the ways that people have tried to make sense of the things that happen to them, the things they are frightened of and the things they do not understand.  We try to teach that Religion is not in conflict with science but is another way of answering the questions that science asks with “How ?” and Religion asks with “Why ?”

At Swallow Hill Community College we follow the Leeds SACRE syllabus (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education).  As a result, our curriculum reflects the fact that, in the main, the religious tradition of this country is broadly Christian. The department teaches Christianity as a living and local faith, Judaism and Buddhism. The younger students are encouraged to see how spiritual needs become religious values and to understand that all religions are different versions of the same journey. At GCSE level the course is taught from a Christian perspective, but in line with the department`s philosophy and students are free to respond to the questions from any religious tradition with which  they may be more familiar.

The values that are promoted throughout Religious Education are respect for spiritual values, tolerance, evaluation and enquiry.  We teach secular ideas as well as spiritual ones and students are encouraged to challenge dogma of all kinds. Throughout KS3 the emphasis is on understanding religious behaviour and how having a religious belief affects a person`s life. At KS4 the emphasis is on Christian Ethics and Philosophy; again students have the opportunity to debate, challenge and support ideas, both in the classroom and in their written responses.

Students are introduced to the concept of moral absolutism and moral relativism in year 9 and so learn to understand the idea that some actions may not always be right or always wrong in every circumstance. The need to show concern and compassion for others is reflected in the yr 8 work covering the Bible story, `Who is my neighbour ?` and in the Ethics aspect of the GCSE course  where one aspect of all our learning is based on, “Love God and love your neighbour as you love yourself”.  It is in this aspect that students are encouraged to fully recognise that not all members of the same faith think the same way.