Religious Studies is not about making a person ‘religious’, it is about enabling one to think for oneself. It is about people, their lives and the issues they will face when they leave school and go into the multi-ethnic, multi-faith society which is the UK.
Religious Studies involves learning about philosophical issues, people’s beliefs, the nature of the society we live in and the ‘big questions’ in life which generate debate. It enables one to gain an understanding of what causes prejudice, hatred and violence in our world. It also affords students the opportunity to explore philosophical, religious and moral beliefs in a safe and questioning environment.
Religious Studies encourages freedom of thought, but not without rigour and discipline; the questioning of assumptions, and a respect for the ideas of great thinkers. After being taught how to cope with philosophical concepts, you should approach all of your future studies, in this subject and others, with confidence and understanding. As well as providing you with a much sought-after qualification, it will challenge you in ways that no other subject can. The religious studies course has three components: Philosophy of Religion, Ethics, and Study of a Religion (Christianity).
You need not have taken the GCSE in RS in order to do the A Level course. Some of our strongest pupils of recent years only realised their interest in the subject while doing other GCSEs, and joined us only in Year 12, but still went on to do well.
In studying Christianity, there are four themes: religious figures and sacred texts, religious concepts and religious life, significant social and historical developments in religious thought, religious practices and religious identity. In Philosophy of Religion, there are four themes: arguments for the existence of God, challenges to religious belief, religious experience, and religious language. In Religion and Ethics there are four themes: ethical thought, deontological ethics, teleological ethics, determinism and free will.