Pupils have strong evaluative and reasoning skills, which are particularly evident in their ability to write discursive essays in religious studies.

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Religious Studies

Why Religious Studies?

RS gives the opportunity to explore a major and distinctive dimension of what it means to be a person. It offers pupils the chance to raise and reflect on the big questions about life and in doing this it draws on the rich history of the major religious traditions in Britain, in particular, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Islam with an especial emphasis on Christianity to reflect the fact the religious traditions in Britain are in the main Christian. Thus there are two main educational purposes to RS. Firstly, so that pupils can learn more about themselves and their place in the world from their study of religion. Secondly, and to enable them to achieve the first purpose, pupils learn about religions which have influenced the lives of millions of people and heavily influenced the development of different human cultures. These two approaches can be summarised as learning from religion and learning about religion. RS does not seek to urge religious beliefs upon pupils, nor compromise their own beliefs. Instead it is a rigorously academic exploration of values and beliefs which is applicable to all pupils. The key skills and thinking skills which are developed in this subject have many benefits in other subject areas, as well as being valuable in their own right. In conclusion, all pupils, irrespective of their intellectual ability or personal faith, are able to engage with this subject and derive meaning and enjoyment from it.

How is it taught?

In Pre-Prep and Lower School (Years 3 and 4) RS is normally taught by the form teachers.

In the Middle and Upper Schools (Year 5 onwards) RS is taught by the Head of Department (a subject specialist.) The syllabus is constantly being reviewed but the main units of study are:

Year 5:

  • Hinduism
  • Christianity
  • Islam

Year 6:

  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Religion in Action

Years 7 and 8

Years 7 & 8 follow the Prep School Baccalaureate which, to a certain extent, mirrors the Common Entrance Syllabus for Religious Studies. This involves close textual Biblical study and its application of principles to contemporary issues.

Tom Nicholls
Head of Religious Studies