The aims of the RE Department
- To enable pupils to understand the origins of religious and non-religious beliefs
- To enable pupils to understand the similarities and differences between a range of religious beliefs
- To encourage pupils to think critically about the ultimate questions of life
- To enable pupils to form their own opinions and express these confidently in oral and written tasks
- To enable pupils to acknowledge and evaluate the opinions of others in response to religious beliefs and ethical issues
- To foster pupils in their ability to relate beliefs, values and practices to a range of issues in the world around us
- To ensure that students can demonstrate independent and cross-curricular learning skills
Why study RE?
Religion is about exploring and understanding the world around us. Religion has always been with us. Throughout history, it has expressed the deepest questions human beings can ask, and it has taken a central place in the lives of virtually all civilizations and cultures. RE allows students to explore ultimate questions such as: Why are we here? Where does evil come from? What happens when we die?
In modern times religion may not be so obviously prominent in the lives of many, yet the claims of religion continue to persist even as scientific and non-religious perspectives have become ever advancing. We still find religion everywhere, on television, in film, in popular music, in our community. We discover religion at the centre of global issues and cultural conflict. We see religion in the lives of the people we know and love, and in ourselves, as we grow and discover the person that we are.
Overall, religion is a powerful and persistent part of humanity. It provokes intense debate and critical questions, after all each and every one of us wants to know more about the world around us and ultimately what our the meaning and purpose is amongst it all.
Through the study of RE you will be able to make direct observations about the world around you, you will learn how to think critically and form philosophical questions, you will gain a cross-cultural understanding of the beliefs and practices that are ever increasing in modern society.
KS3 – Agreed Syllabus for London Borough of Redbridge
In Year 7 students will begin by exploring a range of sacred texts and will learn how different religions use their sacred texts to inform how they should live their lives, we then move on to study the rituals and routines followed and celebrated by a range of religions including birth and marriage, before finally moving on to explore religious beliefs about life after death.
In Year 8 students will begin by studying the ethical subject of discrimination and prejudice, learning how religious and non-religious people respond to the issue. We then move on to explore the religious concept of miracles focusing on the question surrounding the existence of miracles and the meaning they have for religious people. Finally we move on to look at religious attitudes to the environment and the ethical debate about our responsibility as humans towards planet Earth.
In Year 9 students will begin by exploring a range of religious and non-religious arguments for and against God’s existence, we then move on to study the relationship between science and religion to find out if science can ever answer the questions that religion makes a claim for. Finally we will look at the religious belief in the sanctity of life through studying the ethical issue of abortion, where students will have the opportunity to study a range of arguments for and against a woman’s right to decide what happens to her body.
KS4 – OCR: Religious Studies B
Philosophy and Applied Ethics (Christianity and Secular)
The GCSE course focuses on the disciplines of Philosophy and Applied Ethics in relation to Christian and secular viewpoints. Philosophy is the academic study of basic concepts such as truth, existence, reality, causality and freedom. Through philosophy students will have the opportunity to study a range of beliefs with regards to the ultimate questions of life. Ethics is the study of moral standards and how they affect our conduct, within this course students will look at a range of ideas about how people should behave and why they should behave in a certain way.
- Applied Ethics explores the Christian and secular attitudes regarding: human relationships; medical ethics; poverty and wealth; peace and justice; equality; the media.
- Philosophy explores the Christian and secular attitudes regarding: beliefs about deity; religious and spiritual experience; the end of life; good and evil; reason and revelation; the advancement of science.
KS5 – OCR: Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy of Ethics
The A-Level course focuses on the disciplines of The Philosophy of Religion and The Philosophy of Ethics. Students will learn how to critically analyse a range of philosophical and ethical theories about the ultimate questions of life and the moral implications of human conduct.
- AS Religion: The ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, The Judaeo-Christian concept of God, the traditional theological arguments for the existence of God, challenges to religion from science and the problem of evil
- A2 Religion: Religious experience and miracles, religious language, life death and the soul, the attributes of God
- AS Ethics: Ethical issues of abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, war and peace. Followed by the application of the ethical theories of utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, natural law and religious ethic
- A2 Ethics: Meta-ethics, free Will and determinism, the nature and role of human conscience, sexual ethics, business ethics, virtue ethics
Students who have studied A-Level Religious Education have gone on to careers in politics, the civil service, law, the police, medicine, education and many more.