Mr J Clarke
Miss C Jackson
“There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.” George Bernard Shaw
Aims of the Department
The Religious Education Department aims to enable pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world’s major religions, reflect on some key philosophical questions and study issues relating to contemporary moral issues with a personal, social and global dimension.
Examination Title : GCSE Religious Studies A (World Religion(s)) J620 - Full Course
Unit B569 – Buddhism 1
Unit B570 – Buddhism 2
Unit B584 – Christian Scriptures 2 (Luke)
Unit B603 – Ethics
Examination board : OCR
The GCSE is composed of four units – two on Buddhism as a world religion and two on Christianity, one focusing on a study of Luke’s Gospel and the other on Christian perspectives on a range of moral issues related to human relationships, poverty and wealth and medical ethics.
Christian scriptures 2 (Luke)
Outcasts – the man with leprosy; the parable of the Good Samaritan; Zacchaeus the tax collector; the crippled woman healed on the Sabbath; Suffering – the rich man and Lazarus
These ethical issues will be studied in relation to Christian perspectives.
Each unit is assessed by a one hour examination which is worth 25% of the total marks.
The full syllabus specification may be found on the OCR website at :
In the Fourth and Fifth Year, the statutory religious education course deals with a wide variety of religious, ethical and philosophical issues. These include the following topic areas : -
In studying these issues, students will look at a variety of religious and non-religious perspectives and where relevant, the historical, legal and medical background to the topics. Students will approach the issues in a variety of ways, including small group and whole class discussions, student presentations, drama and role play, film, outside speakers and formal debates. Students will be encouraged to develop their own thoughtful and reflective perspectives on these important contemporary ethical issues.
There is no specific requirement for students to have taken a GCSE in the subject in order to study it at AS/A level but it should prove an advantage, especially if courses in Buddhism and Christian Perspectives have been taken.
This consists of two units : -
Each unit is worth 50% of the AS level (and 25% of an A level) and is assessed by an examination lasting 1 hour 15 minutes. Unit 1 is taken in January and Unit 2 in June.
Students who continue the subject to A2 level will study a further two units : -
Students take one examination on each of the two modules – each examination lasts for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Two essay questions out of a choice of four must be answered. Each unit is worth 50% of the AS level (and 25% of an A level). Unit 1 is taken in January and Unit 2 in June.
Students take one examination on each of two modules – each examination lasts for one hour and 30 minutes. The examination on Buddhism two essay questions out of a choice of four must be answered. The examination on Religion & Human Experience involves answering one extended essay question out of a choice of two. Each unit is worth 25% of the A level and both units are examined in June.
Religious studies is about exploring the philosophy, religion, ethics and culture. As such it involves thinking deeply, analysing and evaluating thought systems, religions, values and concepts and developing your own worldview. Key skills developed are clear and coherent communication, the ability to understand and represent other people’s points of view, the ability to present persuasive arguments and being able to read, analyse and synthesise information, ideas and different types of literature.
Students who opt for the course will be given an opportunity to visit various Buddhist communities, and go on two residential visits to Manchester (March 2010) and New York (March 2011).
The subject can be combined with any other AS/A2 level and is a useful qualification for a wide variety of university degree subjects, including economics, English, geography, history, law, philosophy, politics, psychology, sociology and theology.
The skills involved in Religious Studies are relevant in any career which requires clear thinking, careful analysis, balanced evaluation, effective communication and good presentation of ideas, eg: law, journalism, radio and television, police, social services, politics and public administration, teaching, the health service, working with children, tourism and advertising.
“I enjoy RE because it gives me the opportunity to think about some of the really big issues in life. It certainly stretches your mind.”
“RE gives you the chance to study some great thinkers and to discuss their ideas.”
“RE helps you to think and critically evaluate your own beliefs and those of others. It makes you think for yourself and not just accept what other people tell you.”
“It’s interesting, challenging and different from my other subjects.”
“RE has helped me to become a more confident and broad minded person.”