Religious Studies

Religious Studies

Departmental Aims

“If one fails to understand the world’s religious beliefs and practices, then one fails to understand the world”

Religious Studies takes us into the world as people really live it. Only theology and religious studies can show us the world as people find it, exciting, provocative, and vital. Only these disciplines show us a world people live and die for, and the God and gods people worship in their lives and deaths.

Religious Studies has a multidisciplinary nature, involving textual study, philosophical thinking, ethics, social understanding and the skills of analysis and reasoning, developing core skills of literacy. We aim to encourage philosophical thought, decision making skills, collaboration and independent working skills in the search for compromise and conflict resolutions that work.  We aim to create opportunities for young people to develop their skills of dialogue, interpretation and analysis in a coherent context as well as engendering critical thinking and rigour in the search for truths in uncertain fields. All these are vital skills in a modern workforce where communication, collaboration and cooperation are core skills.

Facilities

The Department has three full time teachers, all with a broad range of specialist knowledge in the subject.

Our three teaching rooms are well equipped with audio visual equipment in the form of interactive whiteboards and ceiling mounted projectors that enable us to incorporate interactive materials into lessons.

A Level Curriculum

The course aims to promote an enquiring, critical and empathetic approach to the study of belief systems.  It is therefore equally appropriate to those taking predominantly science focussed subjects as those with a Humanities or wider Arts portfolio.

There is a great deal of contiguity and complementarity across the curriculum, particularly in terms of the skills required in other essay based subjects such as English or History.  As a Department we focus on the skills of academic argument and reasoning, which link to and assist in the development of clarity of thought.

We follow the Eduqas course which is comprised of 3 components – The Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and the Study of Islam. It is entirely examined with no coursework.

Year 1

In the Philosophy of Religion students look at 3 themes – the Existence of God, Challenges to Religious belief and Religious Experience.

In Ethics pupils look at Ethical thought, Deontological ethics and Teleological ethics, including the application of theories to contemporary issues.

In Islam pupils look at the key religious figures and texts, the concept of Allah and religious practices that shape identity.

Year 2

In the Philosophy of Religion students build upon their knowledge of challenges to religious belief and religious experience as well as introducing the theme of religious language.

In Ethics pupils build upon religious thought and deontological ethics as well as introducing determinism and free will.

In Islam pupils build upon their knowledge of religious figures and texts alongside religious practices that shape identity as well as introducing Islamic attitudes to politics, the State and the West.

Co-curricular, Enrichment, Extension and Support

  • Sixth Form Sophia Society – A discussion and debate group led and run by the students. Throughout each term there are different ethical and philosophical questions posed and discussed.
  • Twilight and lunchtime support sessions – led by the RS teachers, these are sessions where students can come along to get help with specific areas of the course
  • All students attend two conference days led by Peter Vardy

Religious Studies provides an excellent stepping stone to a wide variety of courses at the top Universities. More generally, Religious Studies A-Level is excellent preparation for a wide range of careers.