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Courses

Key Stage 3

 
Each pupil receives one hour per week of Religion and Philosophy in the lower school. These are the topics covered:
· Year 7: 
1. What is religion?  What is philosophy? 
2.   The Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (extended focus on Christianity)
3.    Moral Philosophy: natural law and utilitarianism
· Year 8: 
1. The rise of atheism and humanism 
2. The Dharmic traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism (extended focus on Hinduism)
3. Plato’s Cave 
4. Concepts the self and afterlife
· Year 9: 
1. Religion and the modern world (fundamentalisms, competing rights, Israel/Palestine) 
2. Textual studies (Life of Pi, The Truman Show) 
3. Applied ethics: abortion, capital punishment, just war, animal rights.
 

Key Stage 4

 
In the upper school pupils can choose to study Religion and Philosophy at full GCSE level (AQA Religious Studies, specification A). The course is comprised of:
1. Religion - We study Christianity and Hinduism in depth. There is one exam for this component which is 1 hour 45 minutes long. It is 50% of the GCSE.
2. Philosophy ‘themes’ - We study ‘Relationships and Families’, ‘Peace and Conflict’, ‘Crime and Punishment’ and the ‘Existence of God and Revelation’. There is one exam for this component which is 1 hour 45 minutes long. It is 50% of the GCSE.
 

Key Stage 5

 
Our popular Religion and Philosophy A level course is all about asking the “big questions” – How and why did the universe come about? Is there a God? What is truth? Why are we here? What is right and wrong? What is evil and why does it exist? How should we live our lives? Is language adequate as a means of communication? Is there anything after death? Do we really have control over our actions? The list goes on! As well as considering these questions from a philosophical angle, the course also considers how religion, specifically Christianity, tackles them.
 
At the end of the second year students will sit two exams:
 
Component 1: Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. Here, students will be examined on a range of topics including arguments for the existence of God, evil and suffering, religious experience, religious language, miracles, life after death, ethical theories, free will, conscience and specific ethical issues such as embryo research and animal welfare. There is one exam for this component which is 3 hours long. It is 50% of the A level.
 
Component 2: Study of Religion (Christianity) and Dialogues between Religion, Philosophy and Ethics. Section A of the exam will ask questions specifically on Christianity. The topics covered include the nature of the Bible, the authority of Jesus and the church, Christian concepts of God, death, the afterlife, ritual, and how Christianity contends with gender, sexuality, science, secularism and pluralism. In section B of this exam students will be asked questions that encompass the key strands of the course - philosophy, ethics and religion. There is one exam for this component which is 3 hours long. It is 50% of the A level.