In Key Stage 3, Religious Studies is taught as a discrete subject to all students.
The aim of the course is to provide the boys with a sound background to the six major world religions. Much of the course involves discussion and students are encouraged to express their considered views with tolerance and respect.
The course we follow uses the texts, "Framework RE" and "Themes to Inspire" along with other resources to complement the teaching. In the three years of Key Stage 3, boys are encouraged to examine what it means "to be religious?" and what impact religion has on the world. The relationship between science and faith is just one of the areas covered. Examples are drawn from the six major world religions.
In the first year at the school, the introductory unit looks at religion in general – what does it mean to be religious? To do this students examine how and why people are religious, where the world religions originated and how they are linked, look at ideas about morality, and finally, the attitudes resulting from "being religious."
Year 8 builds on those foundations. It looks at the idea of truth, of "knowing" as opposed to "believing" – asking whether religion can be "true", and how it can be true. The course moves on to look at the evidence on which religion is based, what is meant by "authority" – both with religious leaders and with religious texts.
In the final year of Key Stage 3, the course moves to: Examine the impact of religion on individuals or the world. See how the impact differs between and within religions. Ask why good and evil should exist? Finally, big issues are examined, as for example, the relationship between religions and the use of money and other resources, and the problem of beliefs leading to conflict in the world.
In Key Stage 4 - Religious Studies - GCSE & Non-exam
There is a group who study for the Edexcel GCSE exam in Religious Studies in Years 10 and 11. The course followed is in two sections – Religion and Life from the viewpoint of Christianity and one other religion - studied in Year 10, and in Year 11, one further section from St Mark's Gospel or a further religion.
All students in Years 10 and 11 follow a course of Personal Development which contains elements of Religious Studies but does not lead to a public examination. The RS content is based on a Short Course GCSE, but without the exam pressure, so that there is opportunity to discuss current issues as they arise. This course also covers much of the statutory requirement for Citizenship.
Religious Studies at GCE AS & A2 Level
The Edexcel A level Religious Studies course is followed. Year 12 and Year 13 students study units in Philosophy and Ethics.
For all those in Years 12 & 13, there is also a statutory requirement for Religious Studies to be taught, and the General Studies course has modules in both years that deal with matters of Faith and Ethics.
In addition, a Religious Studies Seminar Series takes place in the Summer Term for Year 12 after they have completed their AS examinations. Themes have included "Make Poverty History", "Our Environment", "Attitudes to The Disadvantaged" and "Justice in an Unjust World". Guest speakers from various faith communities are invited to lead some of these sessions.
Head of Religious Studies