Religious Studies

Staff Quote

Subject Leader

Jean Bloye
(Associate Assistant Principal)

 

Teachers

Catherine Davis
Carolyn Doughton

 


 

“I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live as if there isn't and to die to find out that there is.”
- Albert Camus

 

“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.”
- Mahatma Gandhi

 

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
- Dalai Lama

 

“You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.”
- Swami Vivekananda

 

“I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.”
- Khalil Gibran


Why Study Religious Studies?

Throughout history religion has held a central place in the lives of virtually all civilizations and cultures. Religion endures, thrives even in existing societies; persistent in the face of technology and science as they present differing views in our changing world; religion is at the centre of global issues, on television, in film and popular music, provoking expression, commitment, reaction and debate.

To understand religion is to understand ourselves and to better understand each other, embracing and engaging with spiritual and nonspiritual partners to breed tolerance and acceptance. Studying religions can help us to understand how our religious histories have shaped our cultures today and determine what is important in our increasingly small global society where agnostic, atheist and theist philosophies exist simultaneously.

 


Aims

Our aims include:

To encourage students to explore the significance and impact of religions and beliefs, teachings, sources, practices, ways of life and forms of expressing meaning whilst reflecting on fundamental questions and engaging with them intellectually, critically and reflectively.

To allow students opportunities to express their personal responses and informed insights on fundamental questions and issues about identity, belonging, meaning, purpose, truth, values, attitudes and commitments.

To enhance student’s personal, social and cultural development, their understanding of different cultures locally, nationally and in the wider world and their contribution to social and community cohesion, plus developing their interest in and enthusiasm for the study of religion and its relationship with the wider world


KS3

Students study Religious studies within a carousel of discrete programmes, alongside Citizenship and Personal Social Health and Economic Education. Focus specifically on the development of students understanding in the areas:

What is Belief?
What does it mean to be human?
Prejudice and Poverty

KS4

Students can select a GCSE programme of study which includes two modules, each is based on a study of Christianity and Islam, with consideration given to Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.

Unit 1 - Religion and Life

Students analyse the relationship between religion and life in the UK.

There are four sections covering believing in God, matters of life and death, marriage and the family, and religion and community cohesion.

Unit 8 - Religion and Society

Students examine the relationship between religion and society, especially in the UK.

There are four sections covering rights and responsibilities, environmental and medical issues, peace and conflict, and crime and punishment.

Assessment of each unit will be through a one-and-a-half-hour examination and each represents 50 per cent of the total GCSE marks available.

KS5

Students have the opportunity to select the GCE Religious Studies course, following the OCR specification.

The programme of study enables students to investigate the key concepts within the chosen area, including religious beliefs, teachings, doctrines, principles, ideas and theories and review how these are expressed in texts, writings and/or practices, specifically considering the contribution of major people, traditions or movements to the area studied; religious language and terminology; major issues and questions arising from the chosen area(s) of study; the relationship between the chosen area(s) of study and other specified aspects of human experience.

During the course of study, students will develop the following skills:

Recall, select and deploy specified knowledge; identify, investigate and analyse questions and issues arising from the course of study; use appropriate language and terminology in context; interpret and evaluate religious concepts, issues and ideas, the relevance of arguments and the views of scholars; communicate, using reasoned arguments substantiated by evidence; develop the skill of making connections between the area(s) of study chosen and other specified aspects of human experience.

AS Religious Ethics

Ethical theories:

Students are supported in the acquisition of knowledge and development of understanding in the following areas and encouraged to critically appraise their value, strengths and weaknesses:

The concepts of absolutist and relativist morality;

What it means to call an ethical theory absolutist and objective; relativist and subjective;

The terms deontological and teleological.

Natural Law

Kantian ethics

Utilitarianism

Religious ethics – a study of the ethics of the religion chosen by the candidate

Applied Ethics:

Students will apply their understanding of natural law; Kantian ethics, utilitarianism and religious ethics to the following topics:

Abortion; the right to a child

Euthanasia

Genetic engineering

War and Peace

 

A2 Religious Ethics

Ethical Topics and Theories:

Students are supported in the acquisition of knowledge and development of understanding in the following areas and encouraged to critically appraise their value, strengths and weaknesses:

Meta-ethics

Free will and determinism

Nature and Role of the Conscience

Virtue Ethics

Applied Ethics

Students will apply their understanding of he ethical theories of natural Law, Kantian ethics, utilitarianism, religious ethics and virtue ethics to the following topics:

Environmental and business ethics

Sexual ethics