Teachers: Mrs A Cresswell, Miss L Erro-Castillo.
Students undertake an exploration of a study of religions and spirituality in the world today, recognising the influence of religious belief and practice in the past, present and future. Meaningful questions encourage an exploration of different concepts and perspectives, contributing to their own personal development. We aim to help prepare our students for the world around them and to enable them to discern what is of value within and outside religious traditions.
The focus in Key Stage 3 is to engage students in developing a broader understanding of beliefs and the impact of religion on people’s lives and on society. Students are able to express their own responses to the religious, philosophical and ethical issues raised. Deep thinking, debate and experiential activities contribute to the innovative learning environment valued by the R.S. Department.
In Year 7 students will undertake a study of the main world religions and non-religious perspectives using a thematic approach. They will explore how belief and practice is applied in everyday life and the impact on society. Students will gain an understanding of the similarities and differences in religious beliefs and values.
In Year 8 students explore different responses to philosophical questions such as ‘Why is there suffering?’ or ‘Is there a good way to live?’ Students will develop their understanding of these complex questions and be able to express their own ideas and beliefs.
In Year 9 students focus on the role of religion in modern politics, the place of religion in society today and what society can learn from spiritual leaders and belief to inform the future. Students will engage in a variety of challenging and thought-provoking topics, providing an introduction to further study of Religion, Philosophy & Ethics.
GCSE Religious Studies – Edexcel B
Students opting for GCSE explore the significance and impact of religious beliefs, teachings and practices of two religions; Christianity and Islam. Students develop knowledge and critical thinking; reflecting on fundamental questions to enhance their personal and social development. They will develop and articulate their own opinions on a range of topics and gain an understanding of religious perspectives.
Belief in God (Trinity, Salvation, Eschatology)
Matters of Life and Death (Abortion, Euthanasia, Environmental Ethics)
Marriage and the Family (Marriage, Divorce, Relationships)
Living the Christian Life (Prayer, Pilgrimage, Mission)
Belief in Allah (Nature of God, Holy Books, Prophets)
Crime and Punishment (Capital Punishment, Justice, Forgiveness)
Peace and Conflict (Just and Holy Wars, Pacifism, Extremism)
Living the Muslim Life (Prayer, Pilgrimage, Charity)
Statutory Religious Studies
All students in Year 10 undertake one hour a week of statutory Religious Studies. The focus is on philosophical and ethical thinking, developing an enquiring mind and be able to articulate difficult concepts and apply them.
A Level Philosophy & Ethics - AQA
Students are able to develop their interest in religion, philosophy & ethics, pursuing a rigorous study of religion and how it relates to the wider world. It is a highly regarded academic subject, demanding an enquiring, critical and reflective approach. Students will have the opportunity to reflect upon and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes.
Philosophy: A study of Philosophical Arguments About the Existence of God (Design, Ontological and Cosmological Arguments,) Religious Experience, Problems of Evil and Suffering, Miracles, Life After Death and Religious Language.
Ethics: A study of Ethical Theories (Natural Moral Law Situation Ethics, Virtue Ethics, Utilitarianism) applied to selected Problems in Ethics (Abortion, Capital Punishment, Animal Ethics, Euthanasia).
Theology: Christian thinking of the afterlife, God, religious identity, Christianity and Science, secularisation, Christianity, Sexuality and Gender issues, migration and sources of wisdom and authority.
Students are encouraged to attend lectures, for example, at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Sixth Form Philosophy & Ethics conferences. Speakers are invited into School to enrich students’ knowledge and connection with different perspectives. Trips to local places of worship are organised and festivals from different faith communities are celebrated and commemorated.