Key Stage 3 Overview
In Key Stage 3 Religious Education students study a varied and enriching syllabus that gives students an understanding of themselves and others within this Catholic community. Students explore a range of key areas that give them a holistic understanding of the Catholic faith and other faiths in our society and wider world. Students in Year 7 focus on community, People of the Church and spirituality. They also explore the key festivals in the Catholic Church and develop understanding of their importance and significance. Students also study World Religions to give them knowledge and understanding of other faiths and practices. In Year 8 this is developed further by exploring Islam in detail before studying the importance of sin, salvation and mission. Students in Year 9 explore the foundations of faith and how monotheism began making key links to Judaism and the development and reformation of Christianity. Year 9 then go on to explore the Beatitudes, how they link to our lives today and how they are portrayed in the media.
- Community - Students will develop understanding of what it means to be part of a Salesian community here at Thornleigh Salesian College. They will explore how the four windows of Salesian spirituality are lived out at Thornleigh. Students will explore the life of Don Bosco and the history of the Salesians and will also be able to explain what it means to be part of a community and why being part of a community is so important. Year 7 students will also get the opportunity to meet the Salesian priests and brothers who live at Thornleigh House.
- People of the Church – Students will explore who the People of the Church are and what their individual roles within the Church are. They will be able to explain how a Pope is elected as well as the role of the Pope. Year 7 students will also have the opportunity to interview a priest to gain an understanding of what the life of a priest is like. Students will complete a project based on a Saint of their choice as homework. They will also explore the life of active and contemplative religious orders. Finally, students will study what Advent is and why this is an important time for Christians.
- Mary and Pilgrimage - In the section students will explore who Mary is and why she is important to Roman Catholic Christians. They will also be able to explain why Mary is honoured and the different ways Christians honour her. Students will also explore different Christian places of pilgrimage, examining why they are each important and evaluating if all Christians should go on a pilgrimage at least once in their lives.
- Holy Week and Easter - Students will explore the events of Easter and Holy week and how they are celebrated in the Church today. They will explore the events of Holy Week and why they are significant to Christians today. From this, students will complete a project based on the events and religious figures that are associated with the events of Holy Week. In this section, students will take part in World Book Day activities, focusing on the book The Chronicles of Narnia and making links between the characters and themes that run through this story and the accounts and parables recorded in the Gospels.
- World Religions - In this unit, students will explore Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism as major world religions. They will explore at key beliefs and practices including the history of the religion and how it is practiced in the 21st Century.
- Islam - Students will explore Islam and the key elements of Islamic faith. This will include an introduction to the Muslim faith and what Muslims believe. Following this, they will develop an understanding of key elements to the Islamic religion by exploring the importance and significance of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Qur’an as their Holy Book and how Muslims pray and worship. In addition, Students will gain key understanding of the Five Pillars of Islam as a way of life and devotion. Finally, students will explore pilgrimage to Mecca and the importance of Ramadan for Muslims.
- Sin - This unit begins by looking at the creation accounts in Genesis to the fall of Adam and Eve. This introduces the idea of moral evil. Students will also focus on Noah’s Ark, this will explore the sin of humanity, natural evil and the qualities of God. From this, students will study the book of Job in detail and the responses to evil and suffering today.
- Salvation – Students will explore how the relationship between God and humanity is repaired through salvation. They will look at both the laws in the Old and New Testament and how they impact our actions today. Students will also focus on the Paschal Mystery and how this brings about Salvation for people today. We will also link into the sacrament of healing and reconciliation. Students will also have the opportunity to focus on Catholic Social Teaching and how by following these teachings we can achieve Salvation.
- Mission – Students will focus on the Church’s mission to bring salvation to everyone. In this topic students will focus on discipleship and how we can be modern day disciples today. This will lead to how we can be stewards of the Earth and our responsibility to follow the example of Jesus and follow Pope Francis’ teachings today.
- Old Testament Patriarchs: Abraham – Students will develop knowledge and understanding of the foundations of faith by exploring Abraham as the father and founder of faith. Students will explore the covenants God made with Abraham and how his descendants developed this faith. They will also explore the sacrifice of Isaac and the conflict between Jacob and Esau.
- Moses – Students will explore the life of Moses including God’s revelation through the burning bush. They will also explore the 10 plagues that led to the Exodus. Students will then go on to explore the Mosaic Covenant and the importance of the Torah, Talmud and Shekhinah for Jewish faith.
- Mark’s Gospel – Students will explore who Mark was and the genre he was writing in. This will give students an insight to hermeneutics and the message the Mark was trying to deliver. Students will also explore the accounts of Jesus’ life according to Mark and what it teaches us about Jesus and his mission.
- Foundations of the Church – In this section students will explore the history of Christianity including the Great Schism and the Reformation. They will also explore different Christian denominations and how Catholics and other Christians practice their faith today.
- Beatitudes in the Media – Students will explore the meaning and importance of the beatitudes in a modern context. Students will explore each beatitude with a piece of media to illustrate the importance and significance of each action and reward of the beatitudes.