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Religious Studies at Key Stage 4

From September 2017, students will have the opportunity to study a full GCSE in Religious Studies, following AQA Specification A. Students will consider why people think and act the way they do, looking at Christian, Muslim and non-religious perspectives. Religious Studies gives students the opportunity to explore a range of intriguing present-day dilemmas, including the necessity of war, the use of animals in experimentation, gender equality, and the ethics surrounding the death penalty, to name a few. Students will be encouraged to develop their own opinion through class discussion, debates and written work.


Component 1: The study of religions

Students look at the beliefs, teachings and practices of:

o   Christianity

o   Islam

Component 2: Philosophy and Ethics

Relationships and families: including the role of the family, contraception, marriage, divorce, remarriage and gender equality.

Religion and life: including abortion, euthanasia, suicide and animal welfare.

Religion, peace and conflict: including war, pacifism, justice, terrorism, holy war and forgiveness.

Religion, crime and punishment: including reasons for crime, unjust law, aims of punishment, corporal punishment, the death penalty and the role of prisons. 

Students are assessed through two 1hr 45 minute exams. Each paper includes a range of short answer questions and two extended answers; these involve students evaluating a statement and concluding with their own opinion.

This GCSE course prepares students very well for the A Level in Religious Studies: Philosophy and Ethics. As an essay based subject RS also helps students to develop their writing skills in other subjects.


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