Religious Studies

Subject Overview

Religion, Philosophy and Ethics explore the fundamental questions that people have asked since the beginning of time, and confronts new problems arising within contemporary society. These questions are many and varied:

What exists?
What is it to be a human being?
What can we know?
How do I know what is the right thing to do?

Such questions are explored through an examination of various themes and texts. Studying Religion, Philosophy and Ethics develops intellectual rigour, an open and critical mind, and a willingness to understand alternative views.

At the core of Theology is a concern with truth and clarity of understanding, achieved through critical and systematic thinking, careful analysis of arguments and close reading.

Looking ahead to higher education, every course of study at university has its roots in Philosophy and Ethics, so understanding the critical techniques involved will allow you to better understand whichever degree you wish to take.

 

Key Stage 3 (year 9)

The ability to design our own course at Key Stage 3 allows a range of topics to be covered in a flexible atmosphere where the dynamic of the class and their interests can be incorporated. As well as the important content covered there is a focus on the skills needed for future study of the subject.

This dynamic allows us to present the subject in a relevant and appropriate way. In year 9 we study the life of St Ignatius and what it can teach us about being heroic leaders in the world. We also make sure that the pupils are ready to start their GCSE course in the Easter term.

GCSE (Years 10 & 11)

Religious Studies is a Core subject in KS4. The Specification followed at GCSE is AQA Religious Studies (Specification 8063).  

Throughout the GCSE course two main components are studied: 

Component 1 – Catholic Christianity. This involves Catholic beliefs, teachings, practises, sources of authority and forms of expression in relation to the following 6 topics; Creation, Incarnation, The Triune God, Redemption, Church and Eschatology. 

Component 2 – Perspectives on Faith. In this paper we take an in depth study of Judaism and look at two Themes; Relationships and families, and Human Rights and Social Justice.  

Assessment 

Two written exams at the end of the course. Each exam is 1 hour and 45 minutes in length and is worth 50% of the total GCSE. There is no coursework at GCSE level. 

A Level (sixth form)

Philosophy of Religion

  • Arguments about the existence of God
  • The nature of Religious Experience
  • The problem of evil
  • Human nature
  • Analysis of language

Religion and Ethics

  • Ethical theories – how have people said we should make ethical decisions?
  • Application of ethical theories
  • Ethical language
  • Are we free to choose?

Christianity

  • An in-depth study of scriptural passages.
  • Religious concepts such as the Trinity, atonement and the nature of God
  • Historical developments in Christianity such as science and religion and the role of secularism 
  • Social Development: The role of men and women and attitudes towards wealth
  • Religious identity: Diversity, Christian celebrations, and the search for unity.

Assessment
Students will take three 2-hour exams. All papers are
worth 33.3% of the final grade. In the exam you will
be asked to explain and to analyse the material covered during their course.