The Religious Studies department invites pupils to explore religious beliefs and practices that are both different from, and similar to, their own.
We consider complex ethical, philosophical and religious questions in a structured and intelligent way, promoting the appreciation of alternative and equally valid points of view.
In so doing, we encourage empathy, compassion, understanding and tolerance towards all religious traditions.
In Lower 4, pupils learn the defining characteristics of religions through an examination of the main features of the world’s six principal faiths. They also receive an introduction to the Jewish and Christian faiths, examining the symbolic meanings of their symbols, stories and art.
In Upper 4, pupils learn about contrasting world views and the beliefs of Hindus and Muslims. They also study the extent to which a religious person’s world view impacts upon and shapes his/her daily life.
In Lower 5, pupils explore the concept of God and the coherence of divine attributes while assessing the arguments for the existence of God. They will also begin to define and develop their own, particular world views by comparing the scientific and Christian accounts of the origins of the universe and life on earth, assessing whether these accounts are reconcilable or mutually exclusive.
At GCSE we follow the AQA syllabus:
Component 1: The study of religions - beliefs, teachings and practices in Buddhism and Christianity.
Component 2: Thematic studies - religious, philosophical and ethical studies: relationships and families; religion, peace and conflict; religion, crime and punishment; religion, human rights and social justice.
At A-level we follow the AQA syllabus.
Component 1: Philosophy of religion and ethics: arguments for the existence of God; evil and suffering; religious experience; religious language; miracles, self and life after death; issues of human life and death; issues of animal life and death; an introduction to meta ethics; free will and moral responsibility; conscience, Bentham and Kant.
Component 2: Study of religion (Christianity): sources of wisdom and authority; God/gods/ultimate reality; self, death and the afterlife; good conduct and key moral principles; expression of religious identity; religion, gender and sexuality; religion and science; religion and secularisation; religion and religious pluralism.