introduction to religious studies
Religious Studies at Sedbergh School is all about big thinking. We support our students in discovering different ways of looking at things and help to facilitate them in their exploration into their own perspectives and ideas about big questions. We are a diverse, vibrant and passionate department who pride ourselves in going the extra mile for our pupils.
Our aims include:
- To stimulate interest and ignite enthusiasm for a study of religion, philosophy and ethics.
- To develop knowledge and understanding of at least one living religion and be encouraged to critically analyse and evaluate differing views within religions.
- To identify and promote exploration of, and reflection upon, questions about the meaning and purpose of life.
- To consider religious and, where appropriate, other responses to moral issues.
- To develop skills relevant to the study of religion, philosophy and ethics.
- To offer sound preparation for end of 1st and 3rd term examinations in Years 9 & 10, GCSE Religious Studies, and A Level Religious Studies.
All students study RS in Year 9. We look at topics in Philosophy, Ethics and Christianity. Philosophy and Ethics includes topics such as the Cosmological and Design Arguments and Ethics is explored through a unit on Religion, Crime and Punishment. Alongside this, our Chaplain leads an introduction to Christianity through community and belief- this allows pupils to explore the role of religion in the School community, local area and across the world.
In Year 10-11, RS is an option subject and we follow AQA Specification A (full course)- Christianity and Judaism and Themes. Paper one explores beliefs, teachings and practices of these faiths. For the Thematic units, we study Themes A- Relationships and Families, B- Religion and Life, D- Religion, Peace and Conflict and Theme E- Religion, Crime and Punishment. The Thematic units encourage pupils to consider a range of religious views in response to pertinent ethical and moral issues.
We offer A Level RS in VI Form following the AQA Religious Studies specification- Philosophy, Ethics and Christianity and Dialogues. This is a popular choice for a range of candidates and we often have pupils pursuing RS at Degree Level through Philosophy and PPE. As with GCSE, there is no requirement for pupils to have studied RS or to have any religious belief.
Paper 1- Section A: Philosophy of religion
- Arguments for the existence of God
- Evil and suffering
- Religious experience
- Religious language
- Self and life after death.
Section B: Ethics and religion
- Ethical theories
- Issues of human life and death
- Issues of animal life and death
- Introduction to meta ethics
- Free will and moral responsibility
- Bentham and Kant.
Paper 2- Section A: Study of religion – Christianity:
- Sources of wisdom and authority
- God/gods/ultimate reality
- Self, death and the afterlife
- Good conduct and key moral principles
- Expression of religious identity
- Religion, gender and sexuality
- Religion and science
- Religion and secularisation
- Religion and religious pluralism.
Section B: The dialogue between philosophy of religion and religion.
- How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on philosophy of religion in relation to the issues studied.
Section C: The dialogue between ethical studies and religion.
- How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on ethical studies in relation to the issues studied