The Religious Studies department in the Boys’ Division is small, but enthusiastic. It is well equipped with resources including many religious artefacts. Currently Years 7 & 8 are taught one period per week, and Year 9 has one lesson per two-week cycle.
The aim of the Religious Studies department is to enable pupils to learn both about religions and also from religions. Pupils study the basic beliefs and practices of six world faiths and how these affect the individuals and communities who follow them. It is hoped to foster pupils’ interest in the study of religion and issues arising from it; such as values, morality and ethics, and the ultimate questions concerning the purpose and nature of human life. It is also expected that, in understanding other faiths, pupils may develop greater sensitivity towards those of a different background to themselves.
The Year 7 course covers aspects of four world religions. We begin with a general topic entitled ‘Looking for God’ in which we consider arguments for the existence of God. We move on to an ‘Introduction to Buddhism’, followed by ‘Advent and Christmas’. In the spring term we have a six week ‘Introduction to Hinduism’ including a visit to a local Hindu temple, and an ‘Introduction to the Bible’. After Easter we look at ‘Justice’ from a Christian perspective, and finally, the topic of ‘Patriarchs’ as an introduction to the Judaism.
In Year 8, pupils examine four major world faiths: ‘Islam’, ‘Judaism’, ‘Sikhism’ and ‘Christianity’. Each faith has eight weeks to look at the themes of Salvation, Prayer and worship, Holy books and Festivals.
In Year 9, there are four topics. ‘Making a commitment’, looks at commitment ceremonies from four world faith. This is followed by ‘Sects and Cults’. After Christmas we do five lessons on ‘Buddhism’, which has included a visit to the Buddhist centre in Manchester. In the summer term we consider five ‘Moral and Ethical issues’.
Boys are not taught RS in Years 10 and 11 unless they choose it as one of their GCSE options. The syllabus at GCSE is that of the OCR examination board, specification: Philosophy and Applied Ethics. Pupils have the option to answer the questions from the perspective of their own faith if they wish.
Currently we do not offer AS or A level RS in the Boys’ Division, but those who wish to study beyond GCSE are able to do so in the Girls’ Division.
Head of Department
Mrs C E Fox, BA