Head of Department: Hannah Lewis
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 students’ 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 all students pursue at GCSE level. Students can continue to study religious, philosophical and ethical issues and theories in the Religious Studies A Level.
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 students to reflect upon the experiences and the mysteries of life and the contribution of religious and spiritual dimensions.
Religious Education should enable students 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 Ms Holland, Mr Amarfio, Mr Williams and Ms Petrovics.
Key Stage 3
At KS3 students have one RE lesson per week. To find out more about homework requirements, please visit the Homework section of this website. Students study the following topics:
- Boy 87
- Festivals and celebrations
- Old Testament
- New Testament
- Religions from the Indian Subcontinent
- Christian Philosophy
- Holy Places
- Inspirational People
- Christian Charities
- Science vs Religion
- Birth Ceremonies
- African Religions
- Problem of Evil
- The Soul
- Christian Beliefs (GCSE)
Key Stage 4 - GCSE
Year 9 students receive three lessons per fortnight, and Year 10 and Year 11 students receive four lessons per fortnight in RE. Students begin their GCSE content in Year 9 and continue into Year 10 and Year 11. During KS4 students will be studying AQA Religious Studies A syllabus. The GCSE is assessed by two 1 hour 45 minute exams at the end of Year 11. The course consists of theological and thematic studies from a Christian and Muslim perspective.
The themes that are covered (including religious responses):
- Relationships and Family (family, marriage, divorce, gender)
- Religion and Life (environment, creation, use of animals, abortion, euthanasia, afterlife)
- Religion, war and peace (reasons for war, pacifism, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction)
- Religion, crime and punishment (aims of punishment, death penalty, treatment of criminals, forgiveness)
- Religion and social justice (prejudice, discrimination, human rights)
These themes reflect philosophical, ethical and religious issues from a religious and non religious viewpoint.
Students will also receive an in depth study of Christianity and Islam for the theological aspect of the GCSE course. Practices, beliefs and teachings are studied from both religions as students are taught to use sacred writing to support evaluative arguments in preparation for their GCSE exams.
Nature of God and the Trinity
Afterlife and Resurrection
Life of Jesus
Sin and Original Sin
Worship and Prayer
Pilgrimages; Lourdes and Iona
Festivals; Christmas and Easter
Local and Worldwide Communities
Mission and Evangelism
Sunni and Shi’a Muslims
Nature and Oneness of God
Predestination and Human Freedom
Festivals (Eid and Ashura)
To find out more about KS4 homework requirements, please visit the Homework section of this website.
Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form - A Level
At KS5 students will study the OCR Religious Studies course. This course is split into three units, Philosophy of Religion, Religious Ethics and Developments in Christian Thought. It is examined by three, essay based, exams at the end of Year 13.
Students will study ancient philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, as well as debating issues such as the problem of evil and the existence of God. In the Religious Ethics unit, students will apply ethical theories to situations in order to delve into human morality and motivations for making decisions in ethical dilemmas. The Developments in Christian Thought unit explores theological issues such as how we can know anything about a transcendent God and whether Jesus was the Son of God or merely a teacher of wisdom.
Students are set weekly homework and expected to complete regular essays in order to practice their ability to develop and criticise arguments.
Philosophy of Religion
- Soul, body and mind
- Ontological argument
- Teleological argument
- Cosmological argument
- Religious Experiences
- Problem of Evil
- Natural Law
- Situation Ethics
- Kantian Ethics
- Business Ethics
Developments in Christian Thought
- Augustine and Original Sin
- Knowledge of God
- Jesus Christ
- The Afterlife
- Christian Moral Principles
- Christian Moral Action
Philosophy of Religion
- Nature and attributes of God
- Religious Language
- Sexual ethics
Developments in Christian Thought
- Religious Pluralism and Theology
- Religious Pluralism and Society
- Gender and Society
- Gender and Theology
- The Challenge of Secularism
- Liberation Theology and Marx
ENRICHMENT & EXTRA-CURRICULAR
Students have the ability to develop their understanding of philosophical, religious and ethical issues through a number of extra-curricular activities. Philosophy courses will be offered to pupils, delivered by university lecturers and Year 8 and 9 students have the chance to enter a national competition to develop their own argument on a philosophical question. Year 12 and 13 students attend lectures delivered by Dr Peter and Charlotte Vardy to supplement their A Level studies.
Religious Education provides students with a range of skills which are transferable to a number of different A Levels and degree subjects. The subject encourages students to think critically, analyse texts and develop arguments. These are essential skills within all humanities and social sciences subjects.
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
Exam Board: AQA Religious Studies A
Exam Board: OCR Religious Studies A Level
Textbooks and Revision Resources