‘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 and Hinduism
◾MIV Form - Christianity and Buddhism
◾UIV Form - Islam, Philosophical Investigations and Introduction to Judaism
LV and UV Form – the girls embarked on our new GCSE Short Course in September 2016, following the AQA specification. Girls study two religions – Christianity and Judaism, and two philosophical and ethical themes – Religion, Peace and Conflict and Marriage, Family and Relationships. They will sit one examination at the end of the two-year course of one hour and three quarters. There is no coursework or controlled assessment in GCSE Religious Studies.
From September 2018 those pupils who wish to follow our AQA Full Course will opt out of the Short Course. These pupils study the topics of Religion and Life, and explore arguments for the existence of God in addition to the topics covered by the Short Course.
In September 2016, our students embarked on our new Religious Studies A Level, following the Eduqas examination board specification. There are three strands, taught by three separate teachers: A study of religion (Christianity) which includes exploring theological concepts and movements; Philosophy of religion, which critically investigates traditional arguments for the existence of God and challenges to religious belief that come from psychology, new atheism and the problem of evil; Religious ethics in which the ethical theories of Bentham, Mill, Aristotle and Aquinas are critically examined and applied to various ethical issues. There will be three exams sat at the end of the two-year course; there is no longer an AS exam at the end of year one.
Rev Marc Thomas (Head of Department)