Trinity College, Cambridge, identifies Religious Studies A-level as generally suitable preparation for any arts degree. The University of Oxford reports that 20% of successful Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) applicants have studied A-level Religious Studies. Consequently, The Telegraph writes, “Religious Studies is regarded as an academic discipline par excellence,” and the Russell Group ranks it alongside Economics and History as suitable preparation for university entry.

Religious Studies is academically rigorous and intellectually challenging. However, it is also an enjoyable and exciting subject to study, because it encompasses remarkably diverse subject matter.

Between Year 7 and Upper Sixth, pupils can expect to study ethics, philosophy, the New Testament, contemporary religious issues, and all six world religions. The aim of the Department is to capture the spirit of the subject, and inspire students to think about themselves and the world around them.

Religious Studies does not advocate or promote any religion. The approach of the Department is to encourage students to engage with the ethical, philosophical and theological dimensions of different religions. We want pupils to consider the effects religion has on society, both locally and globally.

We create an environment in which students can reflect openly on different religions and religious issues, and their social, moral, spiritual and cultural impact.

Year 7.

Pupils are introduced to the three world religions that developed in the eastern hemisphere, in the chronological order in which they originated:

  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • Sikhism

Pupils also study three religious themes:

  • Religious festivals
  • Pilgrimage
  • Religious food and drink

The religious themes all have synoptic connections with the world religions studied.

Year 8.

In Year 8, pupils are introduced to the three world religions that developed in the western hemisphere, in the chronological order in which they originated:

  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Islam

Pupils also study three religious themes:

  • Holy books
  • Religious leaders
  • Places of worship

The religious themes all have synoptic connections with the world religions studied.

 

In Year 9, pupils are introduced to the philosophy of religion. They study the historical conflict between religion and science, and the different ways in which religions communicate about God, and with God.

Toward the end of Year 9 pupils choose whether to pursue Religious Education on to GCSE level. Those who choose not to take a GCSE in the subject will still engage with the subject as part of a compulsory carousel of subjects called Fit4Life. This provides a rotation of  10-week courses covering:

  • Religious Education
  • Physical Education
  • Personal and Social Development

For an overview of what will be covered in Years 10 and 11, please click below.

GCSE.

Pupils follow the AQA GCSE Religious Studies A paper in Years 10 and 11. In the first year, pupils will study Christianity, specifically its beliefs, teaching and practices.

Pupils also study two thematic studies:

  • religion peace and conflict
  • religion, crime and punishment

In the second year of Religious Studies GCSE, pupils study Judaism, specifically its beliefs and teachings, and its practices. Pupils also study two thematic studies: religion and life, and the existence of God and revelation.

Pupils prepare for their GCSE examinations in the Summer term.

Fit4Life.

Those not taking Religious Studies GCSE will continue to engage with the subject as part of the compulsory Fit4Life carousel. This provides three blocks of ten-weeks, in which pupils are given lessons in:

  • Religious Education
  • Physical Education
  • Personal, Social Development

For the Year 10 religious studies component, pupils will study relationships and families. In Year 11, they focus on religion, human rights and social justice.

Religious Studies is a very popular A-level that complements most other choices.

The department is fortunate enough to be staffed entirely by experienced subject specialists, all of whom hold degrees in Theology from institutions belonging variously to Oxbridge, the Russell Group and the 1994 Group.

The department focuses on instilling clarity of thought, coherence of argument, and academic rigour in students, in order to ensure examination success in Religious Studies and other disciplines that require these transferable skills.

The A-level course focuses on the following topics:

Philosophy of Religion

  • Philosophical issues
  • The nature and influence of religious experience
  • The problem of evil and suffering
  • Language
  • Philosophers
  • Influences and developments

Religion and Ethics

  • Significant concepts of issues and debates
  • Utilitarianism, situation ethics, and natural moral law
  • War and peace and sexual ethics
  • Ethical language
  • Ethical theory
  • Medical ethics

New Testament Studies

  • The context of the New Testament
  • Texts and interpretation of the New Testament
  • Interpreting the text and the purpose and authorship of the Fourth Gospel
  • Ways of interpreting scripture
  • Texts and interpretation
  • Scientific and historical challenges in faith and history