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Culture & Religion

A very warm welcome to the Culture & Religion department. As a department, we believe it is increasingly important that as our pupils grow as part of a multi-ethnic and multi-faith society, they learn to understand and respect different religions, beliefs, values and traditions and understand the influence of these on individuals, societies, communities and cultures. We believe this knowledge will prepare them for adult life as tolerant citizens.  

Through their academic study of different cultures and religions at Pontypridd High School, pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of how Christianity, and other major world faiths, offer answers to challenging questions about the nature and origin of the universe, beliefs about God, personal identity and issues of right and wrong.  The department of Culture & Religion at Pontypridd High School does not, however, only focus on learning about others’ beliefs and traditions. We also aim to give pupils the opportunity for personal reflection and to develop their own opinions and beliefs regarding the topics we study.  

The teachers in the Culture & Religion department are very experienced which means that the subject is delivered in a variety of ways. We endeavour to develop the essential skills including analysis, application of knowledge and understanding, empathy, listening, decision-making, reflection, reasoning and judgement – skills which pupils need to be successful learners in Pontypridd High School and afterwards at college and university. The study of different cultures and religions is a rigorous, academic subject, the teaching of which is unbiased. As a result, there is a place for all pupils, of which ever faith or none in this subject.

Staff 

Staff Members Responsibility
   
Ceri-Lynne Jones Head of Faculty Humanities
Vicky Thomas Teacher/Standards Manager Year 8 & Leader of Learning/2nd in Humanities Faculty

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) 

As a school, we follow the Rhondda Cynon Taff Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. The Agreed syllabus states that pupils in Key Stage 3 should be given opportunities to develop their skills, and their knowledge and understanding of Christianity, Hinduism and at least one, but no more than two, other principal religions. Aspects of other religions appropriate to topics and themes may also be included from time to time. These are used to raise and respond to fundamental human and religious questions.

Year 7

In year 7 we look at beliefs about creation, Christian and Hindu worship and ritual, the role of Christian and Hindu leaders and sacred texts as sources of authority and the expression of religious belief through the use of symbolism.

Year 8

In year 8 we look at beliefs about the nature and existence of God, the problem of evil, stewardship and religious rites of passage. Christianity and Hinduism are the focus religions for these topics.

Year 9

In year 9 we look at the ‘five pillars of Islam’, issues relating to religion as a uniting and dividing force and a range of ethical and moral issues such as stealing and the taking of life. The religious concepts of repentance, forgiveness and judgement are explored along with the Hindu belief in karma. We also begin the GCSE short course in the summer term with a unit of work called ‘Religious attitudes to rich and poor in British society’.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) Compulsory 

All pupils in Year 10 follow the WJEC GCSE (Short Course) in Religious Studies. The written examination is taken at the end of Year 10 and there is no coursework component.

In addition to the short course pupils have the option to study the GCSE Full Course.  Currently, the Full Course GCSE consists of an in-depth study of two world faiths: Judaism in year 10 and Sikhism in year 11.

Pupils explore the key teachings, beliefs, practices and ways of life in each religion. They get the opportunity to visit a synagogue and a Gurdwara and take part in a field trip to the Polish town of Krakow.

This course provides pupils with the opportunity to express their personal opinions on important questions such as identity - wearing religious clothing; equal opportunities; prejudice and discrimination; wealth and poverty.

At the end of Year 11 pupils sit two written exams. These account for 100% of their final grade. There is no coursework component or controlled assessment.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) GCSE Option 

Sixth Form Courses