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Redland Green School

KS3 philosophy & Religion

Philosophy and religion offers pupils a profound insight into the beliefs and practices of the world faiths and has a central role in promoting respect, appreciation and understanding of people's religious beliefs and values, which is at the heart of our syllabus.  Philosophy and religion also has a substantial contribution to make to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of young people whilst most importantly promoting a respectful and tolerant attitude towards the varying religions and cultures within society. 

Although our curriculum is split into distinct topics there are four core threads that run through all of these topics. As students progress through the topics and years they will have an increasingly sophisticated understanding of each:

  • Key concepts - Religion is underpinned by key concepts such as resurrection. As students progress through the curriculum they will have a wider and deeper understanding of these concepts.
  • Religious beliefs and teachings - Each religion has its core beliefs and teaching. Our curriculum will introduce the students to the core beliefs of Christianity and Islam as well as touch on the other significant world religions.
  • Religious practices - How religious beliefs are then translated into practice can vary between religions and even within a religion. This will appear in all of our units.
  • Philosophy and Ethics - Underpinning all of this is the core thread of ethics, the moral principles that govern a person's behaviour. We will introduce this throughout Yr7 and 8 and consolidate this more completely in Yr9.


Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Focus for the year:
Establishing the foundations of the key beliefs and teachings within Christianity and the study of an additional world religion, Sikhism.
Focus for the year: Building our understanding of Christianity and establishing the foundations of the key beliefs of Islam. Focus for the year:
Establishing the foundation of the key beliefs of Buddhism and applying our understanding of religious beliefs to moral and ethical situations. 

What is religion?

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This unit allows us to gauge the level of religious understanding the students have from primary school.  In addition to this, it allows us to establish the fundamental place and purpose of religion in society by addressing key beliefs and practices of the various world religions.  We also give students the chance to explore their own beliefs on spiritual questions about God and life. This forms the building blocks of the foundations that the rest of the units are built on.


Foundations of Christianity

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This unit focuses on the historic and Biblical stories of Jesus.  We look at the fundamental concepts of the Trinity, divinity, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus - all of which are crucial for future thematic topics.


Creation and the environment

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This is a topical unit at a time of climate crisis so allows us to look at an issue that students are interested in, from a religious perspective.  The unit also gives students the opportunity to look at alternative views of key scientific and non-religious explanations for the universe.  This is with the view of showing that regardless of beliefs we all have a duty to care for the environment. 



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We find many of our students have not studied Sikhism before so this unit aims to teach them about the youngest of the 6 World Religions;  a religion that is often referred to as the 'jewel' of the religions.


Religion and Expression

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In this unit our students can reflect on their philosophical and ethical beliefs and their role within their community, society and the wider world.


Being committed

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Commitment to a set of beliefs, and then following through with specific practices is at the heart of every religion.   It allows students to reflect on what it takes to make a commitment at this stage in their life as well as introducing the idea of future commitments such as marriage. Students will learn about the importance of joining a religion and taking on the responsibilities that this brings.


Poverty and Charities

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We look at the causes and effects of poverty which is another issue that is very relevant to our city. We look at the ways in which different charities help those in need and ultimately focus on the Salvation Army as this is a charity that works locally.  This allows us to link religious beliefs and teachings to practices. 



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Not only is Islam the fastest growing religion in the world, it is the second largest religion in the UK, in Bristol and in our school.  As a result of this, it is fundamental that students have an understanding of the beliefs, teachings and practices within this religion.  Islam is regularly in the news and this unit allows us tackle pre-conceived ideas and misconceptions around topics such as Jihad.



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Pilgrimage is something that is directly relevant with our student body as a number go on Hajj and celebrate Eid al-Adha. This unit allows us to build on the work done on monotheistic religions in Year 7 by looking at a practice that is common to all these religions:  Pilgrimage. 


Freedom and Justice

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The aim of this unit is to introduce pupils to key issues surrounding social justice, freedom of speech and action, and prejudice and discrimination. It introduces pupils to important religious figures such as Martin Luther King and Oscar Romero. As a topic it is easy to update to keep the issues and beliefs relevant to pupils today.

Philosophy and Ethics

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The study of philosophy provides the foundation for developing critical thinking skills. It addresses fundamental questions and helps students work towards answers.  Ethics provides an insight into what guides people in their moral behaviour and choices. All religions have an ethical component that is influenced by key beliefs and directly impacts their practices. 



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Buddhism is one of the six major religions followed by approximately 500 million people worldwide.  This unit is a good contrast to Christianity, Sikhism and Islam as the religion is not based on a monotheistic belief system.


Evil and Suffering

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One of the strongest philosophical arguments against God's existence. This unit continues to build on understanding Buddhism and Philosophy and Ethics.


Peace and Conflict

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Following from the previous unit this builds on the concept of moral evil. War and conflict are current and in the news, this unit helps students to understand the ideas behind the causes of war, how wars are justified; and the real concept of Jihad.