Religious Education (RE)
Why is Religious Education Important?
Developing an understanding of the variety of beliefs, cultures and moral viewpoints in our changing world is essential for young people as they go through school. In RE all students are encouraged to reflect on a variety of beliefs and moral issues, to develop their own points of view and understand why someone might think differently to them. Such skills of empathy and understanding are vital for anyone hoping to work with people. RE is a subject which students of all faiths and none should find both fascinating and accessible.
There are three members of the RE Department: Mr Burdon (Curriculum Leader), Mr Connolly and Mrs Tait.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 students are taught RE for one hour per week. They cover a wide variety of topics including; an introduction to philosophy, moral issues such as human rights and the ethics of punishment, as well as specific studies of a number of world religions.
Key Stage 4
From September 2014, students at Key Stage 4 will have the option of taking GCSE Religious Studies (Edexcel exam board). This is a moral issues based course, dealing with a range of questions that are highly relevant in today’s world. These include abortion, euthanasia, prejudice and discrimination, peace and conflict, capital punishment, environmental and medical ethics. Students learn to develop their own opinions on these issues, as well as gaining an understanding of two different religious perspectives on them. The GCSE is assessed by two ninety minute exams at the end of year eleven. RE will be still be provided for those students who do not opt of for the GCSE, but it a less formal way (this provision is currently under review).
Key Stage 5
From September 2014 we shall be offering A level philosophy (AQA exam board). A demanding academic subject, philosophy provides students with an excellent progression route to university courses. Philosophy combines very well with subjects such as history, English literature or law. It develops skills of analysis and argument, and allows students to wrestle with some of the biggest questions ever to face humanity. Questions concerning the nature of reality, how we should live our lives, how society should be governed, and whether we have free will are all considered as part of this exciting and challenging course. Assessment comes in the form of two written exams at the end of Year 12, and two at the end of Year 13.