Religious Studies

Welcome to the Religious Studies department website. We are a small but friendly department offering a variety of opportunities and activities so we have provided a snapshot of what we do.

All pupils take Religious Studies in years 7-9 and are taught in form groups. Many Year 10 and 11 pupils opt to study the subject at GCSE.
Religious studies is also a very popular subject at AS and A2.
 

Key Stage 3
 
Year 7
 

We recognise that our pupils arrive in Year 7 with a range of religious backgrounds, and this is reflected in our schemes of work which encourage individuals to consider questions about the mysteries of life.
 

The following issues and topics are discussed and debated:

  • The nature of God

  • The existence of evil

  • Creation

  • Science vs. Religion

  • Stewardship

  • Animal rights

  • The ministry of Jesus

Independent thinking is encouraged and pupils are challenged to consider the effect of religion on human existence.

Head of Department: Ms A Meredith

Year 8
 
In Year 8 we continue our quest for the meaning of life by exploring the basic beliefs and concepts of Judaism and Islam. Girls are encouraged to appreciate how religion affects the life of a believer. We look at the origins of these religions, worship, festivals and ceremonies.

 
Year 9
 
This is the year when we complete our study of the major world religions by focusing on the beliefs and practices of Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.
We explore the fundamental concepts and ideas of these religious visions of life and consider how religious traditions are expressed in social and cultural contexts.

We explore ethical issues such as genetic engineering, cloning, designer babies and organ transplants, and examine the different religious responses to these.
 
Towards the end of Year 9 we bring together all of the work covered in KS3 about world religions to consolidate thinking on what it means to be a follower of a particular religion.

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Key Stage 4
 
Approximately 2/3 of the year group usually opt to continue with Religious Studies for GCSE. We follow the AQA Specification A (Christianity, Buddhism and philosophical and ethical themes).
 
During this course we look at a range of topics from the perspectives of Christianity at least one other world religion.
 
Philosophical and ethical issues is always an extremely popular part of the course and lively discussions often ensure! We also relate the issues raised to contemporary films where relevant in order to reinforce our studies. Issues studied include medical ethics (abortion and euthanasia), families and gender equality, crime and punishment, and arguments for and against the existence of God. Pupils are encouraged to keep abreast of these issues and to take an interest in the world situation.
 

Key Stage 5
 
Religious Studies continues to be very popular choice in Years 12 and 13, and several students who complete the full A Level extend their studies at degree level.  We follow the OCR AS and A Level Religious Studies Course.
 

AS
 
In Year 12 we study Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and Developments in Christian Thought which culminates in three 1hr 15 minute exam papers.
 
Topics studied include:
 

  • Arguments about the existence or non-existence of God

  • The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil

  • Ethical theories

  • The application of ethical theory to euthanasia and business ethics

  • Sources of wisdom and authority in Christianity

  • Christian beliefs, teachings and ideas about human life, the world and ultimate reality

 
A Level
 
In Year 13 we continue with the study Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and Developments in Christian Thought which culminates in three 2 hour written papers. 
Topics studied include:
 

  • The nature of God

  • Religious language

  • Significant ideas concerning the conscience, including a comparison between Aquinas’ theological approach and Freud’s psychological approach

  • The application of ethical theories to sexual ethics

  • Feminist theology

  • Liberation theology and Marxism

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