Religion & Philosophy

The department aims to stimulate interest in, and enthusiasm for, the study of religion and philosophy. In today’s world it is vital that students have an opportunity to consider spiritual and moral issues. They will be encouraged to explore the fundamental questions of faith and life and to develop an understanding and appreciation of religious and cultural diversity.

Our aim is that students should be able:
• To enjoy the study of religion in an atmosphere of mutual trust and tolerance.
• To be fully involved in a variety of activities based on up-to-date resources.
• To consider how religious beliefs can influence the behaviour of both the individual and society, with special reference to the influence of Christianity on British history and culture.
• To develop their sense of identity and belonging, preparing them for adult life as citizens in a multi-cultural society.
• To consider the nature of human existence in an open-minded manner.
• To recognise that religion gives meaning to life for some individuals and communities.
• To examine and evaluate their own beliefs, values and experiences, whilst remaining sensitive to the views of others.

Religious Studies

GCSE

In today’s world it is vital that pupils have an opportunity to consider spiritual and moral issues. They will be encouraged to explore the fundamental questions of faith and life and to develop an understanding and appreciation of religious and cultural diversity.

All pupils choose to take either the GCSE Religious Studies short course at the end of their LV year or the full course at the end of their UV year. We will be studying the Edexcel Beliefs in Action specification from September 2016.

The Short Course
The short course covers a range of issues and beliefs studied from a Christian and Muslim perspective. Students study the key teachings of Christianity and Islam and how these beliefs influence actions. Students will discuss and debate contemporary issues such as sex and relationships and peace and conflict (including terrorism and extremism) and the role of religion in society.

The Full Course
Those students who wish to study the full course will continue go onto to study a number of contemporary philosophical and ethical issues including medical ethics (abortion and euthanasia), crime and punishment, sex and relationships, and war and peace. These issues will be studied from a Christian perspective as well as the perspective of one other religion. Students will have the opportunity to continue their study of Islam from the IV form or to study a religion of their choice (either Buddhism or Judaism). Non-religious views are also considered.

This is a great opportunity to further your study of religion, philosophy and ethics. The course allows students to explore issues in much greater depth and to engage with contemporary ethical dilemmas. It also gives students the flexibility to study a religion of their choice. 

Students wanting to study the full course should choose Religious Studies as one of their GCSE options. The full course and short course are taught separately.

Religion and Philosophy A Level

In the Sixth Form students have the option to take Religion and Philosophy at A Level. This is a fascinating course combining an in-depth look at some key philosophical, ethical and religious issues of our time.

Many people ask what Religion and Philosophy can lead to. Well, the reality is, just about anything. All the major universities consider the subject as a rigorous academic A Level that requires excellent analytical skills, ability to communicate ideas and an openness and willingness to discuss important issues. A degree in Philosophy, Religious Studies or Theology will equip students for fast-track management training programmes with major companies as well as any number of employment opportunities including business, politics, accounting and finance, teaching and lecturing, social work, the armed forces, the police and medicine. The course suits anyone with an enquiring mind and openness about the world around them. There will be lots of opportunities to discuss and debate challenging issues.

Students will ideally have a GCSE in Religious Studies, either full or short course.

From September 2016 we will be studying for the OCR Religious Studies course. There are 3 areas of study in the new A Level:

  1. Philosophy of Religion
    • Key ancient philosophical ideas that have influenced our understanding of the world around us, including Plato and Aristotle.
    • Arguments about the nature and existence of God.
    • The nature of soul, body and mind.
    • The problem of evil and suffering; if there is a God why is there so much evil and suffering?
  2. Religion and Ethics
  • Key ethical theories that have influenced our understanding of right and wrong, including Natural Law, Situation Ethics, Kant and Utilitarianism.
  • Highly relevant, contemporary ethical issues, including sex & sexuality, euthanasia and business.
  • The nature of religious and ethical language: why do we use the language we do? Does it have any meaning?
  1. Religious Thought
  • Key Christian beliefs, values and teachings and how these vary historically and in the contemporary world.
  • Arguments about the nature and existence of life after death.
  • Practices that shape and express religious identity and how these vary in different traditions.
  • The relationship between religion and society, including issues such as feminism, liberation theology and extremism.
  • Each area will be assessed by a 2 hour exam at the end of the 2 year course.