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This week's newsletter out today...


The May Parents’ Pack from is out now -


Vacancy: Exciting short term teaching vacancy required for maternity cover. We are seeking a Religious Education teacher to teach across the age and ability ranges, from 1 September to 22 October 2021. To apply


Take a moment to be mindful and connect with nature, relax in the garden, listen to birdsong or watch the sunset. Taking in your surroundings can help find a sense of calm


Term date reminder: school will be closed to students on Monday 17 May 2021, due to staff INSET.


The books of the week are The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle and The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. Read some of The Bubble Wrap Boy - Watch this video of Frances Hardinge talking about her book, The Lie Tree-


Happy Eid al Fitr Mubarak to all our families celebrating the end of the fast of Ramadan


Year 7 kicked off their Journalism Club today, with enthusiasm in abundance. The Press Pack have been formed, assignments distributed and we cannot wait to see the results


Being positive is not needing to always be happy, being positive can be a simple acceptance


Retweeted From SJL Geography

This week our year 7 geographers used their excellent work from last week to write their 'to what extent' essays.


Govia Thameslink Railway are offering virtual work experience opportunity during half term week (1-4 June), places are limited. Ideal for students to gain an understanding of the industry. To register interest, respond to Roopali Sharma:


Now more things are opening up for us to do indoors, remember to keep up the connections gained with nature during lockdown


Retweeted From Sir John Lawes Music

Yr11 finished their assessments and back to playing music - with conducting debuts from some rising musical stars! 🎶


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📣 starts today. Help us to get the nation talking about nature and mental health. 🌳Join the movement. . Get involved.


Students begin the week with an assembly from Mrs Montgomery-Ward "improve your mental health through your connection with nature" Why not get creative, take a photograph of a landscape or sketch a natural object


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We’re proud to be supporting 's 💙 Discover our full suite of guides this and download our free app for parents & educators 👇 Apple >> Android >>


Thought for the Week: Avoiding blame


Fantastic performance boys!




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An excellent HoD opportunity in our brilliant school. See the link here:


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Getting ECF ready for September. The Alban TSH are looking forward to delivering the Full Induction Programme in conjunction with to schools across our hub region Contact


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

This week, with a little extra help from Mr Dunning and Ms Turner in the our year 9 team planted sweet peas, nasturtium, marigolds and wildflowers! We also covered potatoes again & potted out celeriac seedlings! We are also prepping for


The books of the week are Ingo by Helen Dunmore and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. Read opening of Ingo Watch an interview with Karen Joy Fowler about her novel


Vacancy alert: are you an excellent Media teacher? Looking to join a Media Faculty with fantastic facilities including film studio and Mac suite? SJL seeking Media Teacher for maternity cover


This week's newsletter out today...


To confirm: SJL is open as normal today. The site has water and we have been assured by Affinity Water that it will not be disconnected at any point.


Use what you can control, your attitude


Retweeted From SJL Geography

Year 7 planning their essays by building 'on the one hand' and 'on the other hand' style argument. They did really well collating their information on a Venn diagram and then choosing their arguments for their essay by adding facts to their 'to what extent hands'.


Year 11 reminder: reply slips for accepting Sixth Form places must be in by this Friday 7 May 2021


Mrs Daniels has a collection of unnamed coats and football boots in lost property (some photographed below). Please tell your child to go to First Aid to be reunited with their possessions.


Year 11 reminder: payment for this year's prom is available on ParentPay now. We are delighted to be able to offer this celebration at Luton Hoo Walled Gardens.


Thought for the Week: Being motivated


Congratulations to Year 8 on all achieving Bully Free Form status Thanks to Miss Bonner for rescheduling the assessments for Year 8, who had to miss their assessment during Year 7.


This week's newsletter out today...


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

This week it was the turn ouf our Year 9s in the they did a great job of watering and weeding! The gardennis really starting to come along now. Next week we will sow some wild flowers from


Our thanks to Nommy from for talking to the SJL BLM Youth Forum today. Herts Young Leaders is an emerging charity set up to empower disadvantaged young people.


SJL playing host for today's BLM Youth Forum with and . Students coming together across the county to empower each other on the subject of Black Lives Matter


The books of the week are Lightning Mary by Anthea Simmons , Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve and Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. We have these at the library so come and borrow them!


Stand out, feel good


Year 8 reminder: options forms deadline tomorrow! Thank you to those who have returned their forms, any outstanding forms please email to Copies of the form can be found on the school website

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Religious Studies

About the Faculty

We are fortunate to have an experienced Religious Education team who are able to impart their expertise through a variety of engaging teaching methods. As a result, Religious Education is a popular subject at Sir John Lawes, where students are given the opportunity not only to learn about religions but also to philosophise about the world around them. We are extremely proud of both our GCSE and A Level results and continually strive to improve achievement and progress across all key stages.

Curriculum Intent Statement

In accordance with the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus we aim for ‘pupils develop as tolerant young people with respect and understanding of the views of others, including the beliefs and practices of religions and other world views.’ We intend to develop inquisitive learners who can confidently question religious practice and the world around them. They are able to make justified judgements in moral and ethical scenarios. 

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

At Key Stage 3 the students are taught in their planet groups and receive one lesson per week in Year 7 and two lessons per week in Year 8. We follow the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education which states that pupils should learn about the six major world religions in a greater depth to what they did in Key Stage 1 and 2.

The programme of study is aimed towards contributing to pupils’ knowledge and understanding and provides opportunities for reflection on the six key areas of RE:

  • Beliefs and teachings
  • Religious practices and lifestyles
  • Ways of expressing meaning
  • Human identity, personality and experience
  • Questions of meaning and purpose
  • Values and commitments
  • Syllabus Content

In Years 7 and 8, the RE in a thematic way. Students are given a yearly theme, which continually builds their knowledge throughout the terms.

Year 7: Yearly Theme - Understanding God

In this year, students will explore the nature and concept of God, God in human form, teachings of religious figures and places of worship. Each area will help student to examine how religious people understand God. Students will be introduced to key religious terminology and encouraged to ask questions about beliefs and actions.

Year 8: Yearly Theme – Identity and Suffering

During this year, students will explore religious and personal identity, discrimination and equality in society, how religion helps people in times of need and how suffering impacts on faith and everyday life. This year aims to build on pupils understanding of God in Year 7 to draw philosophical and ethical questions surround God in times of suffering.

Students also have the opportunity to complete a variety of research projects, which allow for independent learning and creativity.

KS3 Curriculum Map

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

In Year 9, students begin in-depth study by beginning the GCSE short course. All students have the opportunity to complete a GCSE in RS that will either be Short Course (half) or Full Course (full) GCSE. If a student opts for the Full Course then they receive 3 lessons a week and if they take the Short Course route, they have one lesson per week.

The GCSE Short Course

Pupils follow Edexcel Religious Studies B (Belief in Action), leading to a Short Course GCSE certificate. The syllabus covers knowledge, understanding and evaluation of issues in relation to Christianity and Islam. Over the two years students will study the following two units.

Religion and Ethics - Christianity

  • Christian Beliefs: This topic explores key elements of Christian belief including the nature of God, Jesus, Life after Death and problems around Evil and Suffering.
  • Marriage and the Family: Through this topic students explore Christian and non-religious attitudes to issues of Marriage, Divorce, Sexual Relationships and Family Life.

Religion, Peace and Conflict - Islam

  • Muslim Beliefs: In this topic students develop an understanding of core Islamic beliefs on the nature of God, Life after Death, Angels and Holy Books.
  • Crime and Punishment: Students have the opportunity to explore Muslim and Non- Religious views to Crime, Punishment, Good and Evil and the Death Penalty.

The GCSE Full Course

The GCSE Full Course studies all of the above, plus the following topics.

Religion and Ethics - Christianity

  • Living the Christian Life: In this topic students study aspects of Christian life including Worship, Pilgrimage and the role and importance of the Church.
  • Matters of Life and Death: Throughout this topic we explore Christian attitudes towards Sanctity of Life, Abortion, Euthanasia and Environmental issues.

Religion, Peace and Conflict – Islam

  • Living the Muslim Life: In this topic students explore the differing Islamic views on how to live a religious life, looking at the Five Pillars, Struggle for the individual and Community and Festivals.
  • Peace and Conflict: Students are able to explore Islamic views on War, Holy War, Peace-making, Pacifism and Weapons of Mass destruction.

KS4 Curriculum Map

Key Stage 5 Curriculum

Board: OCR (H573)

This course is open to people of any religious faith or none.

An enquiring and open mind are essential ingredients when embarking on this course. Good essay writing skills will also be vital to enable you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the issues while sustaining an argument.


General lesson activities will include debates, essay writing, examining current moral issues, student seminars and visiting speakers.

Students will sit 3 papers of equal weighting. Each paper will be 2 hours in length.

Course content

At Advanced level this subject examines religious philosophy and ethical issues.

The course will include units studying:

Philosophy of Religion

  • Ancient philosophical influences
  • The nature of the soul, mind and body Arguments about the existence or non-existence of God
  • The nature and impact of religious experience
  • The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • Ideas about the nature of God
  • Issues in religious language

Religion and Ethics

  • Normative ethical theories
  • The application of ethical theory to Business Ethics and Euthanasia
  • Ethical language and thought
  • Debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
  • Sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs

Development in Religious Thought (Christianity)

  • Religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world
  • Sources of religious wisdom and authority
  • Practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition
  • Significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought
  • Key themes related to the relationship between religion and society

Entry requirements

We would expect you to achieve a grade 6 or above in GCSE RS (Short Course or Full Course) or a grade 6 or above in GCSE English. All students must have an APS of 4.5 or above. The ability to retain an open mind will also be useful.

Core Enrichment RE

Through Core Enrichment lessons, students in Years 12 and 13 have the opportunity to engage with religious, philosophical and ethical issues.

KS5 Curriculum Map

Marking Policy

Extended Curriculum

The school has strong links with different groups in the community, which allows students to ask questions directly to specific religious people, and helps them to see religion outside of the classroom. We try to give our students the opportunity to visit religious places of worship. This includes a trip to the Swarminarayan Mandir (a Hindu temple) in Year 7, London Central Mosque and Harpenden Oval in Year 10. We also, offer a residential as part of our GCSE Full Course. We also have members from STEP who come in to school and deliver lessons to all key stages, providing students with the opportunity to ask questions about faith and Christian worship. STEP also provide a lunch time drop in session for students where they explore the Christian faith in a fun and informal way.

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