In Year 7, pupils follow an RE course as one element of their Humanities course, along with History and Geography. An introduction to world religions and a study of holy books, buildings and beliefs forms the core of this course.
In Year 8, all pupils will study 6 main topics: Islam, Christmas, Charity, Moses, Rites of Passage and the Environment.
In Year 9, all pupils study 5 main topics: Hinduism, Qualities, The Ten Commandments, Prejudice and Discrimination and Religion and the Media.
All lessons in Key Stage 3 make use of a wide range of learning experiences, including classroom debates, internet aided learning, peer and self evaluations, role play and presentations. Pupils will learn about, and from, religions from across the world, especially those that are represented in Wales and the rest of the UK.
As from September 2010, all pupils at KS4 will follow the short course GCSE qualification in Religious Studies from WJEC. The details for the course are outlined in Option A below).
Those that opt for the GCSE full course will study four ‘top up’ topics from Option B in addition to the Option A topics.
Option A – Religion and Life Issues
- Relationships – love, sex and marriage
- Is It Fair? – issues of justice and equality
- Looking for Meaning – Beliefs about God, life and death
- Our World – exploring creation and our responsibilities to the world
Option B – Religion and Human Experience
- Religion and Conflict – war, violence and peace
- Religion and Medicine – the sanctity of life and medical ethics
- Religious Expression – expressing a faith
- Authority – law and order in religion and society
During the course pupils will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of religion by exploring the significance and impact of beliefs, teachings, sources, practices, ways of life and forms of expressing meaning and will be able to express personal responses and have informed insights on fundamental questions and issues about identity, belonging, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments.
The department also has an annual visit to places of worship which is often combined with the opportunity to try out some excellent traditional eastern cuisine as part of the visit.
Religious Studies at A levels one of the fastest growing subjects in the UK at the moment. On offer for our year 12 students is the choice of two out of the following three modules:
- Introduction to Religion in Contemporary Society
This will include animal rights, euthanasia, religion and soap operas, religion in ‘The Simpsons’, fundamentalism and religious cults, and the psychology of religion based on Freud and Jung
- Introduction to Philosophy of Religion
This will include arguments for and against the existence of God, the problems that evil causes for religious believers and an investigation into religious mysticism
- Introduction to Buddhism
This will include a study of the Life of the Buddha; central Buddhist beliefs, lifestyles and practices, including meditation.
In Y13 students follow two units: One module related to Y12 study as well as the Religion and Human Experience research module.
In terms of progression from A level study, courses that involve medicine, law and journalism have actively encouraged students to have A level RS as one of their subjects as it gives a broad base of skills that complement the traditional subjects taken by students who wish to aspire to these Higher Education courses. Students who have taken this courses in the last ten years have gone on to study medicine, law, sports sciences, journalism, art, teaching, social work, engineering, psychology, sociology, theology and even Religious Studies.