Religious Studies

It is important to understand what it is like to be religious and how beliefs affect a person’s lifestyle. Religious ideas underpin and influence the lives of at least 75% of people in the world today, through culture and politics. Faith and belief in a whole range of religious and non-religious ideas underlie everyone’s life and it is important that our students understand this. By the end of the course we aim to allow all our students to take control of their own spiritual and moral development.

Years 7 and 8

The aim of our course is to understand some of the key facts about major world religions through listening, reading, watching, imagining, interacting, discussing, selecting, sorting and making.  Students are given the chance to think critically and express their own views, developing more self-understanding. 

The aims of our Religious Studies in Years 7-8 are:

  • To learn more about mono-theistic and poly-theistic religions
  • To better understand our own religious/non-religious views
  • To learn how to find out more about religions
  • To learn from religion by finding out more about your own views and ideas expressing oneself clearly and effectively

Course summary

Year 7

Introduction to religion

Beliefs and practices of Judaism

Beliefs and practices of Sikhism

Traditions around the world expressed through jewellery, costume, musical instruments, body decoration and masks

The Spirited Arts Competition

Year 8

Worship including visit to Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist temples

The Jewish Kindertransport and Holocaust experience

Prejudice with a focus on the lives of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

GCSE years

All students in Years 9 and 10 study the GCSE short course on Religion and Life offered by Edexcel with the option of continuing onto the full course in Year 11 through studying the Edexcel Religion and Society course.  Throughout the course students explore Christianity and Islamic views on a range of philosophical, ethical, political and social issues.  They develop skills of analysis and evaluation, as well, as learning specialist vocabulary.  They learn to develop their own opinions about a range of important issues.

Religion and Life (Years 9 and 10)

  • Belief in God (belief and non-belief in God, a religious upbringing, religious experience, explanations for the origins of the universe, evil and suffering, unanswered prayer and religious belief and the media)
  • Matters of life and death (Christian and Muslim beliefs in the afterlife, non-religious belief in the afterlife, non-religious arguments against belief in the afterlife, abortion, euthanasia, matters of life and death in the media)
  • Marriage and family life (the reasons underlying changing attitudes towards marriage and family life, Christian and Muslim attitudes to sex outside of marriage, Christian and Muslim teachings on family life, Christian and Muslim attitudes to divorce, contraception and homosexual relationships)
  • Religion and community cohesion (changing attitudes to gender roles in the UK, Christian and Muslim attitudes to equal rights for women, the UK as a multi-ethnic society, government action to promote community cohesion, why Christians and Muslims should promote racial harmony, the UK as a multi-faith society and issued raised by living in one, ways in which religions work to promote community cohesion, issues of religion and community cohesion in the media)

Religion and Society (Years 10 and 11)

  • Rights and responsibilities (Christians and the Bible, authority of the Church, conscience, and Situation Ethics, Human rights in the UK and why they are important to Christians, why it is important to take part in democratic and electoral processes, Christian teachings on moral duties and responsibilities, the nature of genetic engineering and Christian attitudes to this issue)
  • Environmental and medical issues (Global warming, pollution, natural resources, Christian and Muslim teachings on stewardship, medical treatment for infertility, Christian and Muslim attitudes to medical treatment for infertility, transplant surgery and Christian and Muslim attitudes to transplant surgery.
  • Peace and conflict (why do wars occur?, the United Nations and world peace, religious organisations and peace, just war theory and Christian and Muslim attitudes to war, Christian and Muslim attitudes to bullying, religious conflict within families, Christian teaching on forgiveness and reconciliation)
  • Crime and punishment (the need for law and justice, theories of punishment, Christians and Muslims and justice, non-religious arguments for capital punishment, Christian and Muslim attitudes to capital punishment, drugs and alcohol laws, social and health problems caused by drugs and alcohol, Christian and Muslim attitudes to drugs and alcohol

A level years

The course is for those who want their studies to bring personal and well as academic benefits.  It provides them with a stimulating, critical dialogue with religion that will improve the student’s self-awareness and well as being able to analyse and evaluate a range of issues.

The course explores ethics and what it means to live and good and moral life.  The philosophical part of the course investigates the cosmological argument for God’s existence, religious experience, psychology and religion and atheism and postmodernism.

AS Religious Studies (AQA)

Religion and ethics

  • Utilitarianism
  • Situation ethics
  • Religious teaching on the nature and value of human life
  • Abortion and euthanasia

Philosophy of religion

  • Cosmological argument
  • Religious experience
  • Psychology of religion
  • Atheism and postmodernism

A2 Religious Studies

Philosophy of Religion

  • Ontological Argument
  • Religious Language
  • Body and Soul
  • Problem of Evil

Understanding Ultimate Reality

Studying religious and secular definitions of God and how believers learn about Him through language and experience.