“Everyone has some kind of philosophy, some general worldview, which to men of other views will seem mythological.” – H. Richard Niebuhr

The role of religious studies is to give language and understanding to our beliefs, thoughts, and ideas. We all approach life with a particular worldview, often we are not aware of this, but religious studies challenges us to consider what we think and why. In realising our starting point, we then recognise that others, similarly, have their starting point, that may be different. This realisation brings understand of other people and hopefully tolerance. We do not have to all think the same, but to understand that others think differently for equally good reasons means we gain respect.

Students studying religious studies will be challenged both in the way they think and about their views. Hopefully they develop the skills that enable them to be critical and questioning about themselves and others.

Key information:

Curriculum Progression

Religious Studies at Magnus is based on three disciplines, Philosophy, Social Science and Theology. It is also taught through an enquiry question model. Each year has an over-arching enquiry question, each term then has its own question, and each lesson has its own, feeding up through the terms and years.

Key Stage 3

Year 7 EQ: What is Belief?

Year 8 EQ: How do you live a ‘good’ life?

Year 9 EQ: What gives life meaning?

Key Stage 4

At GCSE, students consider the above question specifically from a Secular, Christian and Buddhist worldview. We have recently changed to Buddhism to bring a greater contrast in thinking between religions.

The themes we study at GCSE are religion and relationships, belief in God, religion and matters of life and death, and religion, peace and conflict.

For more information about the way in which the enquiry questions in the lessons builds in each year, please see below.

Key Stage 3 and
Key Stage 4
Threshold Concepts:
1. Community and Change
2. Words and beyond
3. A good life
4. Making sense of life’s experiences
5. Influence, culture, community and power
6. The big picture

Key Stage 5 (A Level)

At A Level, students study the same questions in greater depth, building on what they have previously studied. The three components to the course are theology (Christianity), philosophy and religious ethics.

Students develop skills that allow them to select and deploy relevant information and to evaluate the strengths of differing arguments about religious figures and sacred texts; ethical theories, religious experience and language.

Year 7Year 8Year 9Year 10Year 11
Enquiry Question: What is belief?Enquiry Question: How do you live a good life?Enquiry Question: What gives life meaning?Enquiry Questions: What is belief? How do you live a good life? What gives life meaning?Enquiry Questions: What is belief? How do you live a good life? What gives life meaning?
HT1What are worldviews?How do we make moral decisions?Is belief in God reasonable?How do Christians lead a good life?How does belief in God differ?
HT2What are the key concepts in a religious worldview?How should we treat each other?Can religion without a god give meaning?How do Buddhists lead a good life?Is belief in God questionable?
HT3What are the key concepts in a secular worldview?How should we treat the environment?Is death the end?How should we treat each other in relationships?How do we deal with conflict?
HT4What are people believing?How should we treat animals?Should religion and society be separate?How can we show commitment?How can we overcome conflict?
HT5What does it mean to be a religious person in this country?How does a religious person lead a good life?What do Christians believe?What is the origin and purpose of life?Revision
HT6Can belief be expressed through art?What are the consequences of not living a good life?What do Buddhists believe?What is the value of life?Revision
TripsHolocaust CentreGalleries of JusticeBuddhist Temple Nottingham

Curriculum Plan

Procedures for withdrawal at Magnus Church of England Academy

RE is taught in accordance with national curriculum requirements and is, therefore, educational. Collective Worship is held in accordance with the school’s trust deed and is Christian Worship. It is however, understood that parents have a right of withdrawal on conscience grounds from either or both activities.

If parents insist upon withdrawing their children from RE and/or Collective Worship, this will be requested in writing to the Principal. The Principal will contact the parents of the pupils who have indicated that they may withdraw from RE and/or Collective Worship. They will be invited into the Academy to discuss these matters, the Agreed Syllabus and the syllabus relating to Magnus Academy, to meet their concerns.

Parents of withdrawn pupils will then be asked to provide alternative material of a religious nature, which will constitute their child’s RE. Tasks can then be completed during timetabled RE periods and seen by parents. The school will not be required to comment upon the academic performance of these pupils in RE. As it is impractical for pupils to be unsupervised in school, withdrawn pupils may be asked to work in one of our student support areas around the academy.