Religious education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions and other world views that offer answers to questions such as these. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development.
Religious Education is a core subject which produces outstanding GCSE results, with 83% achieving A*-C and 42% A*-A.
Aims of Religious Education
Religious Education is concerned with the deep meaning that individuals and groups make of their experiences and how this helps them give purpose to their lives.
The purpose of Religious Education is to help pupils to reflect upon the experiences and the mysteries of life and the contribution of religious and spiritual dimensions.
Religious Education should enable pupils to:
- Acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions.
- Develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures;
- Develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues, with reference to the teachings of the principal religions and thereby develop confidence in their own beliefs and values;
- Enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:
- developing awareness of the ultimate questions of life raised by human experiences, and of how religions can relate to them;
- responding to such questions with reference to the teachings and practices of religions and other belief systems, relating them to their own understanding and experience;
- reflecting positively on their own identity, beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their study;
- Develop positive attitudes:
- of respect towards other people who hold views and beliefs different from their own;
- towards living in and contributing to an inclusive and caring community and a society of diverse religions.
Religious Education is taught by Mr Simpson, Head of RE, Mr Williams and Reverend Willoughby.
Key Stage 3
At KS3 students have one RE lesson per week. They will predominantly study Christianity but will also have the opportunity to learn about both Islam and Sikhism. During Y7, students will explore, in depth, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus through an adapted GCSE course on Marks’ Gospel. In Y8 they will be looking at two of the world’s main religions, Islam and Sikhism, considering the key beliefs and practices of both through the ‘Living Faith’ series published by Oxford University Press. During Year 9 students will continue with the ‘Living Faith’ series, learning about the different beliefs and practices of the Christian faith. Students will be monitored by unit assessments which will take place approximately once a half term.
Key Stage 4 - GCSE
During KS4 students will be studying AQA Specification B, Units 2 and 3 (Religion and Life Issues & Religion and Morality). These units will cover a variety of topics relevant in society today such as prejudice, war and the environment, as well as tackling key ethical issues such as abortion, capital punishment and euthanasia. They will utilise and develop their learning from KS3 in order to apply their religious understanding to the topics they study. Students will be given regular weekly homework and will be rigorously assessed using past exam papers.
Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form - A Level
At KS5 students will study the OCR course on Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics. Within this course students will have the opportunity to explore the works of some of history’s greatest philosophers, such as Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas. They will consider important questions about the nature and origins of morality, and the existence and potential of God. They will analyse issues such as the problem of evil and the relationship between religion and science. At the end of both Year 12 & Year 13 students will be assessed by examinations in Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics respectively.
ENRICHMENT & EXTRA-CURRICULAR
Further exploration of philosophy and ethics will be incorporated into the Humanities Society, which takes place on a weekly basis. Students will have the opportunity to attend a conference hosted by Dr Peter Vardy and Charlotte Vardy, authors of books such as ‘Ethics Matters’ and ‘The Puzzle of God’, which will be tailored for students taking A-Level Philosophy and Ethics. Students edit and produce the Telos magazine. Students will also have the opportunity to travel to either Istanbul or Athens to experience some of the world’s most renowned sites of both philosophical and religious heritage.
LIFE AFTER CHRIST'S
According to AGCAS - the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service, Philosophy and Ethics will prepare students for the following careers:
- Financial services
- Legal sector (Law)
- Media sector
- Education sector
- Publishing sector
- Social care sector
- Voluntary sector
- Social & pastoral care
- Community work
LINKS & RESOURCES
You can find useful resources at the Philosophical Investigations website.