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Lealands High School

Lealands High School

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Religious Studies

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‚ÄčWhy study GCSE Religious Studies?

GCSE Religious Studies is made up of two elements: The study of religion, and themes. The study of religion involves an in-depth study of two religious traditions: Christianity and Islam.  We then go on to study themes which are made up of philosophical and moral concepts such as abortion and the death penalty. Whilst studying these themes we consider beliefs within Christianity, Islam and the UK.

Religious Studies is all about people, religion, culture, morality (what is right and wrong) and philosophy (asking big questions). As well as learning facts and gaining knowledge about religious beliefs and practices, this course encourages students to develop skills of empathy, critical thinking and debate.

To be successful in this GCSE, you will need to be able to discuss and evaluate key issues, including contemporary moral issues such as the death penalty.

Religious Studies is a literacy based subject. Therefore, students also need to be competent in extended writing and be keen to learn new subject-specific terminology.

Course content

We follow the AQA exam board specification A. During the course the focus will be on both the practical and ethical application of religious teaching in the modern world.

During the course of your GCSE your will study:

Paper One - The study of religions: Christianity and Islam
Students will learn that Christianity and Islam are diverse religious traditions and beliefs in Great Britain today and that the main religious tradition in Great Britain is Christianity. This knowledge may be applied throughout the assessment of the specified content. Students will study the beliefs, teachings and practices of both religions and their basis in sources of wisdom and authority. They will also be able to refer to scripture and/or sacred texts where appropriate. Students will study the influence of the beliefs, teachings and practices studied on individuals, communities and societies.

Paper Two - The study of Themes:

Theme A: Relationships and the Family
Students should study religious teachings, and religious, philosophical and ethical arguments, relating to issues such as; marriage, divorce, types of family and gender equality,  and their impact and influence in the modern world. They should be aware of contrasting perspectives in contemporary British society on all of these issues.
They must be able to explain contrasting beliefs on the following three issues with reference to the main religious tradition in Britain (Christianity) and one or more other religious traditions:

  • Contraception.
  • Sexual relationships before marriage.
  • Homosexual relationships.

Theme B: Religion and life
Students should study religious teachings, and religious, philosophical and ethical arguments, relating to issues such as; the origins and value of both the universe and life, and their impact and influence in the modern world. They should be aware of contrasting perspectives in contemporary British society on all of these issues.
They must be able to explain contrasting beliefs on the following three issues with reference to the main religious tradition in Britain (Christianity) and one or more other religious traditions:

  • Abortion.
  • Euthanasia.
  • Animal experimentation.

Theme E: Crime and Punishment
Students will study religious teachings, and religious, philosophical and ethical arguments, relating to issues such as; good, evil, crime and punishment, and their impact and influence in the modern world. They should be aware of contrasting perspectives in contemporary British society on all of these issues.
They must be able to explain contrasting beliefs on the following three issues with reference to the main religious tradition in Britain (Christianity) and one or more other religious traditions:

  • Corporal punishment.
  • Death penalty.
  • Forgiveness.

Theme D: Peace and Conflict
Students should study religious teachings, and religious, philosophical and ethical arguments, relating to issues such as; violence, terrorism, war and peace,  and their impact and influence in the modern world. They should be aware of contrasting perspectives in contemporary British society on all of these issues.
They must be able to explain contrasting beliefs on the following three issues with reference to the main religious tradition in Britain (Christianity) and one or more other religious traditions:

  • Violence.
  • Weapons of mass destruction.
  • Pacifism.

What can I do after GCSE Sociology?

Religious Studies GCSE is a valuable qualification for anyone wishing to work in sectors of the employment market where communication skills are important. Jobs in the caring professions such as nursing, nursery work, social work or teaching, require skills of empathy and tolerance that Religious Studies fosters in its students. People who study Religious Studies also go on to careers in politics, the civil service, journalism, the media and the charity sector.As an academic subject, Religious Studies complements other Humanities subjects such as History, as well as social science subjects like Sociology and Psychology.

If you have any questions, come and speak to Mr White, Director of Humanities