Learners and Learning in the Religion Classroom

Year 7 to Year 10

The transition from primary to secondary school coincides with a range of significant physical, cognitive, emotional and social changes that affect students’ attitude to the world, to other people and to themselves. Students often begin to question established conventions, practices and values.
Their interests extend well beyond their own communities and they develop concerns about wider issues. The middle secondary years of schooling mark the beginning of a period of transition to adulthood. Students have a clearer sense of their strengths, interests and goals. They begin to see themselves as active players in community life and are often concerned about major social and environmental issues and the ethical implications of human activity and knowledge.

Although from diverse backgrounds, with differing life experiences and various levels of development,

students share many characteristics. Most students are:
  •  influenced by media and social culture;
  •  developing their worldview;
  •  rejecting as ‘boring’ what they do not see as relevant and purposeful in their lives;
  •  developing an ability to consider and appreciate different points of view and the different ways of interpreting the same set of events;
  •  increasingly able to work with more abstract concepts;
  •  able to bring a variety of participatory skills to their learning;
  •  keen to explore the nature of evidence and the contestability of ideas and to debate alternative answers and interpretations;
  •  questioning values and beliefs;
  •  developing a strong sense of justice;
  •  expressing a need to belong to ‘the group’; and
  •  spiritual but may not identify with traditional religion.
The Religion Curriculum P-12 enables students in Year 7 to Year 10 to learn about various ways in which humans understand and express the mystery of God or ‘the Other’, including insights from the major world religions. Students develop their understanding of the experience of sin throughout human history, some ways in which the Church has responded to the presence of good and evil, and the various sources that guide the Church’s action in the world. They learn about various sources of inspiration, strength and guidance for believers today and ways in which believers live their Christian vocation.