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"Through their work in the creative arts and RS, pupils develop an appreciation of different faiths, and associated cultures and traditions."

ISI Report 2011

Religious Studies

The aims of the religious studies department:

  • To establish interest in and enjoyment of the subject through a variety of classroom learning and educational visits
  • To create an atmosphere in which pupils wish to learn and will work to their full potential
  • To familiarise pupils with a body of knowledge, principles and understanding of world religions
  • To prepare pupils effectively for relevant examination levels

Religious Studies is important because it gives pupils a historical perspective of Christianity and other major religions, and encourages them to consider themselves in relation to the world at large.

It provides the opportunity for pupils to reflect on and discuss important issues, allowing them to examine their commonly held beliefs and justify their opinions.

Contemporary issues are relevant to pupils lives and wide ranging discussion will help pupils to develop sound moral, ethical, social and cultural values thus preparing them for adult life.

Cross-Curricular Links arise during the teaching of RS as there is considerable overlap with other subjects:

PSHE

There is a strong correlation between the two subjects, and Religious Studies teaching seeks to support the PSHE teaching, allowing further time for discussion and personal exploration.

Art and Music

Art and Music are important in the teaching of Religious Studies both as a means for children to express their own views and feelings of a topic and as a way to see more concretely the perceptions of other people (eg. famous artists), and how religious beliefs can be expressed in different ways.

History

This is especially relevant in the study of comparative religions where Judaism, Islam and Christianity are set in their historical context, and related to one another and other world events, for example, the Roman Empire, the Crusades and the Reformation.

Geography

Atlases can be used to illustrate such stories as Abraham's journey, the Exodus and St Paul's missionary journeys.

Common Entrance Syllabus

The religious studies CE syllabus is based around a sound knowledge and understanding of Christianity, but also requires an understanding of the key aspects of other world religions.  All groundwork for the CE syllabus is done from Junior House up through the Middle School, where the programme of study is an amalgamation of the CE preparation work guidelines as well as the National Curriculum.

The main CE syllabus begins in the summer term of Block 3, when students are introduced to a range of contemporary religious leaders.  In Blocks 1 and 2 pupils study the Old and New Testament and learn to form opinions about a range of moral, contemporary issues which arise from the teachings of the Bible.

Judaism is the main world religion other than Christianity studied in Block 2 although more able students are also able to draw on their knowledge of Sikhism (studied in Block 3) whilst preparing for their CE examinations.

The syllabus requires knowledge and understanding is therefore very challenging, but also extremely interesting and exciting both to teach and learn.