Religious Studies is taught to all students within Key Stage 3 as a subject within the school timetable. The Key Stage 3 students therefore study Religious Education for one hour each week throughout term-time. The programme of study in Year 7 covers the topics ‘Christian Beliefs’, ‘Biblical Literacy’ and ‘Buddhist Beliefs and Practices’. In Year 8 the students cover ‘Islamic beliefs and Practices’, ‘Philosophy and Ethics’ and ‘Hindu Beliefs and Practices’. As the students move into Year 9 they further cover and develop their understanding of the topics, ‘Philosophy and Ethics’ and ‘Biblical Literacy’, and they also cover the topic, ‘Religion and Art’.
In Key Stage 4 Religious Studies is taught to all students in fifteen minute weekly sessions. Throughout the course of the year within Year 10 the students cover the following areas of study, ‘What do different religions believe in?’, ‘What is so radical about Jesus?’, ‘What is it like to be a religious teenager in Britain today?’, ‘Are religion and science compatible?’, ‘In order to believe do we need proof?’, and ‘Why is there suffering in the world?’. As the students move into Year 11 they then cover the following areas of study, ‘What role can religion make in ethical decisions?’, ‘Are we using or abusing our environment?’, ‘Should people be punished for their crimes?’, ‘Is war ever right?’, ‘What role does gender and sexuality play in the modern world?’ and ‘Why do human rights vary?’.
Our departmental philosophy in Religious Studies is to teach students about all of the main religions in the world; their key teachings, key historical figures and how religion positively contributes to our society. Our aim is therefore for our students to learn both about the main religions and from the main religions. The programmes of study that we have put in place also enable our students to develop their thinking skills as they explore key philosophical questions relating to the meaning and purpose of life. We aim to encourage our students to be able to think critically, and for them to be able to articulate and express their views about the place, value and contribution of religion in the world in the twenty-first century, in a respectful way and with the ability to listen to others and to value the insights that other students can offer in relation to the topics and themes that are covered.
Students that graduate with degrees in Theology (Religious Studies) go on to have successful careers in a wide variety of different fields of work. The ability to think critically and philosophically about other religions, lifestyles and cultures, that is cultivated in Religious Studies, as well as the ability to study and analyse texts and literally works in depth, enables graduates in theology to pursue successful careers in areas such as education, law, civil services, journalism, film and the media, leading and supporting charities, as well as a variety of religious ministries.