Head of Subject: Mrs G Snodin
We would like the students to gain an understanding of the fundamental questions of life such as: Where do we come from? Why are we here? What happens when we die? What is the meaning of life? These questions will be explored through a systematic study of Christianity and Hinduism, looking at beliefs and practices as well as how the religions respond to some key ethical issues such as relationships, war, crime and punishment and life issues such as abortion and euthanasia. Furthermore, Religious Studies is designed to engage the students with current issues that encourage debate and discussion and will appeal to students from any belief system. Students will explore key aspects of each religion and will be able to show their knowledge, understanding and evaluative skills.
Key Stage 3
During Year 7 and 8 students have two 1 hour lessons a fortnight. As well as studying major world religions students have opportunities to explore ethical issues and aspects of PSHE.
Year 7 areas of study
- Why do we have religions?
- Where did it all begin?
- What are the key beliefs of Sikhism?
- How does belief affect the lives of its followers today?
- What is Islam and what does it mean to be a Muslim today?
Year 8 areas of study
- What are the key beliefs in Christianity and Hinduism?
- How does belief affect the lives of believers today?
- How is belief put into practise?
Students will also take part in the National Spirited Arts Competition.
Key Stage 4
At the end of KS4 the students will sit two exams, one on each of the units ‘Study of Religions’ and ‘Thematic Studies’, with a view to achieving a full GCSE. The lessons will give the students the opportunity to debate and discuss. 50% of the examination requires students to know and understand religion and belief systems and a further 50% allows the students to analyse and evaluate aspects of religious belief.
The unit ‘Study of Religions’ looks at the following topics:
- Christianity – beliefs and practices
- Hinduism – beliefs and practices
The unit ‘Thematic Studies’ looks at the following topics:
- Relationships and Families e.g. marriage, sexuality, contraception, the role of families and gender identity
- Peace and Conflict e.g. peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, just war, terrorism, pacifism, weapons of mass destruction, religious responses to war
- Crime and Punishment e.g. good and evil, reasons for crime, types of crime, aims of punishment, treatment of criminals, suffering, the death penalty
- Religion and Life e.g creation, the Big Bang, evolution, religious attitudes to the environment, animal rights, abortion and euthanasia
Exam board information
Exam board- AQA specification A. Full details of the course content, specification and assessment can be found here.
Key Stage 5
Head of Subject – Mrs G Snodin
“The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates
A Level Course Outline
Do you enjoy discussion and debate?
Do you like to think about questions such as:
- Are any civilians truly innocent in war?
- Is there any purpose to suffering?
- What do we really mean when we say something is ‘good’?
- Can we be sure about anything?
Would you like to learn about some of the greatest thinkers that have ever existed and their ideas?
Would you like to challenge yourself intellectually?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then Religious Studies is for you!
The A Level in Religious Studies encourages learners to:
- develop their interest in a rigorous study of religion and belief and relate it to the wider world
- develop knowledge and understanding appropriate to a specialist study of religion
- develop an understanding and appreciation of religious thought and its contribution to individuals, communities and societies
- adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion
- reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in the light of their study.
Higher Education and Career Opportunities
Philosophy is one of the fastest growing degree courses. It gives you a good grounding in logic and argument and is relevant to the deep study of almost every other subject.
Why would employers in business, management, public administration, and such professions as Journalism, the Health Service, Criminal Justice and Law value philosophy? The answer is that such professions increasingly have a need for candidates who are able to look at issues from a variety of viewpoints and who have the ability to think questions through, on the basis of sound reasoning and solid evidence.
What grades will I need for Religious Studies?
- B grade in GCSE Religious Studies if studied.
- If not studied at GCSE you will need a B grade in either History or Geography, and B grade in English Language.
Exam Board Information
Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found here
Exam board - Eduqas
A Level (7192)
This new specification for first examinations in 2016 makes this a linear course. Content covered in Year 1 will be developed and examined in Year 2 exams. Therefore 100% of the qualification will be from marks achieved in the Year 2 exams, with each paper having a weighting of 33.3%.
Component 1: A study of religion (Christianity)
There will be four themes within each option: religious figures and sacred texts;
religious concepts and religious life; significant social and historical developments
in religious thought; religious practices and religious identity.
Component 2: Philosophy of religion
There will be four themes within this component: arguments for the existence of
God; challenges to religious belief; religious experience; religious language.
Component 3: Religion and ethics
There will be four themes within this component: ethical thought; deontological
ethics; teleological ethics; determinism; free will.