‘Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.’ St Thomas Aquinas
Religious Studies is a rigorous subject, yet it has to deal with personal, spiritual and moral questions that face all human beings. Religious Studies at St Mary’s seeks to engender mutual tolerance, understanding, openness and an appreciation of diversity. It deals with the 'deeper' issues of life and helps pupils become more reflective, sensitive and critically aware individuals.
Summary of Religious Studies in each year group
Key Stage 3
The following topics are studied:
◾LIV Form - Judaism, Sikhism and Hinduism
◾MIV Form - Christianity and Buddhism
◾UIV Form - Islam, Philosophical Investigations and Introduction to Judaism
LV and UV Form
The GCSE Religious Studies Short Course follows the AQA A specification. Girls study the beliefs and teachings of two religions – Christianity and Judaism, and two philosophical and ethical themes – Religion, Peace and Conflict and Marriage, Family and Relationships. They sit one examination at the end of the two-year course of one hour and three quarters. There is no coursework or controlled assessment.
The AQA Religious Studies Full Course is for those who opt out of the Short Course. In addition to the topics taught on the Short Course, these pupils study the topic of Religion and Life, and explore arguments for the existence of God as well as various practices within Christianity and Judaism.
Study at GCSE is not only concerned with mastering knowledge and gaining understanding but also with developing critical evaluation skills as half the marks are awarded on evaluative essays.
Our students pursue the Eduqas (WJEC) Religious Studies A Level. There are three strands, each taught by a separate teacher: A study of religion (Christianity) which includes exploring theological concepts and movements; Philosophy of religion, which includes the critical investigation of traditional arguments for the existence of God and evaluates the challenges to religious belief that arise from psychology, new atheism and the problem of evil; Religious ethics in which the ethical theories of Bentham, Mill, Aristotle and Aquinas, amongst others, are critically examined and applied to various ethical issues. There are three exams sat at the end of the two-year course which require four essays to be written in each one.
Rev Marc Thomas (Head of Department)