Religion, philosophy and ethics

Looking at the religions of the world allows us to consider their different answers to some of life’s most difficult questions:  Why do bad things happen?  Is there an afterlife?  How do you know when something is right or wrong?   What do I think about these ideas myself?  It also helps us understand how the different cultures and communities in today’s world have developed in the way that they have.

The RE syllabus involves students learning about religion and from religion.

Key stage 3

Students develop an understanding of the key features of different religious beliefs, and consider how and why followers put these beliefs into practice.  Topics include a study of religious founders such as Jesus, Muhammad and Gotama Buddha, and their key teachings.  Themes such as “festivals” and “places of worship” are also explored.  Issues such as poverty and the environment are also examined from a religious and social perspective, reflecting on how moral values are applied to different aspects of contemporary life and considering what students’ own responses might be.

We aim to enable students to learn in a variety of ways: through research and discussion, through project work, but also through a variety of media such as drama or art.  We celebrate creativity and recognise that independent learning skills can be developed in many ways.

Key stage 4

GCSE religious studies will equip students with a wide range of skills: written and verbal communication, problem solving, critical thinking, philosophical reasoning and more. This course offers something unique – it is not about making students religious, it is about enabling them to think for themselves about religion, philosophy and topical moral issues.

Religious studies will encourage students to develop knowledge, understanding and skills to engage in debate and discussion about life
in the modern society. This includes developing an understanding of non-religious beliefs.

Topic areas covered:

For paper 1, students will study two faiths in depth:
Christianity and Islam.

Paper 2 focuses on four themes: relationships and families,
religion, peace and conflict, religion, crime and punishment
and religion, human rights and social justice.

Students will sit two examinations at the end of year 11.

Paper 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and
practices, worth 50% of the final grade
Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

Paper 2: Thematic studies, worth 50% of the final grade
Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes