It’s important to learn about the people around you. Religious Studies teaches you how to respect the beliefs of others. The subject is not all about religion; we also learn about philosophy as well. It’s really interesting, and I enjoy having class debates over real life issues.
Religious studies is not just for the religious. The aim of religious studies is to give everyone a good understanding of the world’s major religions, and how religion impacts on the world. Pupils also learn a little philosophy, a little ethics, and are encouraged to constantly question everything.
A GCSE in Religious Studies gives pupils important knowledge of the social and political impact of religion in modern society. It also helps develop skills in text interpretation, analysis, evaluation and debating skills.
Despite a common belief that careers in Religious Studies are limited to those of a spiritual or pastoral nature (e.g. Priest, Imam, Chaplain etc), a qualification in RS can provide a solid basis for a vast variety of different occupations. Knowledge of other cultures and world religious beliefs can be useful in many jobs where you are working with the public or communities.
- Introduction to RS – an introduction to the subject of Religious Studies is, how it is studied, and a brief overview of the major world religions
- Christianity – An investigation of core Christian beliefs
- Making a difference – An understanding of how religion can inspire people to change the world through charity and selfless acts
- Giving life meaning – Learn about the ways in which religion can give depth and meaning to life
- Questions about God – A religious and philosophical exploration of God’s existence
- Islam – An investigation of core Muslim beliefs
- Religion, Identity and Society – An understanding of how religion can shape our identity, and how belief can conflict with society
- Ethics – A religious and philosophical exploration of how humans make moral choices
Year 9: In Year 9, the pupils start the GCSE RS course. Should they then decide to choose it for a GCSE subject in Year 10, they will have covered about a quarter of the content already.
- Religion and relationships – Investigating how religious belief can impact the decisions that people make with love, sex and marriage
- Life and Death– Understanding religious beliefs regarding death, the afterlife and the creation of the universe
- Good and Evil – Examine the role that religion can play in crime and punishment, suffering and forgiveness
- Human Rights – The influence of religious belief on discrimination, prejudice and the fight for equal rights.
- A continuation of the four topics studied in Year 9 (Religion and Relationships, Life and Death, Good and Evil and Human Rights
- An in depth study of the teachings, beliefs and practices of Christianity
- Continuing the in depth study of the teachings, beliefs and practices of Christianity as well as learning about the beliefs and practices of Islam.
How is it assessed: Three exams at the end of Year 11
- Component 1: Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Issues in the modern world. 2 Hours long, worth 50% of final mark
- Component 2: Christianity. 1 hour long, worth 25% of final mark
- Component 3: Islam. 1 hour long, worth 25% of final mark
During KS3 and KS4, pupils will visit some local places of worship. These may include (but are not limited to):
- A Protestant and/or Catholic Church (Christianity)
- A Mosque (Islam)
- A Gurdwara (Sikhism)
- A Mandir (Hinduism)
Visiting active places of worship is vital to enhance the pupil’s understanding of religion as a lived faith. It allows pupils to see how the religions they have learned about in class are actually practiced by worshipers in contemporary society.
Not only does this mean that pupils will develop a deeper understanding of the religions that they learn about, it also encourages them to engage with the subject on a more hands on level. It also encourages tolerance and respect for religions that may be very different from their own.