RS is a fascinating course which allows you to study some of the ultimate questions about the nature and meaning of human existence. In the first year, students develop an in-depth understanding of Christianity and Buddhism, exploring how these belief systems shape the worldview of their followers and influence the lives of individuals, communities and societies. In the second year, students look more closely at some of the ‘big’ questions of philosophy and ethics, such as ‘Does God exist?’ and ‘Can war be justified?’. Students learn about the diversity of Christian attitudes and beliefs prompted by such questions, as well as the views and approaches of secular groups, such as humanists.
The course will encourage you to reflect on and develop your own values, beliefs and attitudes. You will learn how to use your knowledge and understanding to analyse questions about religious beliefs, as well as how to construct and articulate your own balanced and well-informed arguments. The communication and critical thinking skills you learn will be of value in any area of future study or career path.
In Year 7, we begin our study of world religions by studying Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism. This involves looking at how each religion started, its main teachings, its holy writings, its main places of worship, its festivals and rites of passage. We want to know what their followers believe, how those beliefs affect their lives and why they are important to them.
In Year 8, we begin by studying Christianity, looking at the ‘big story’ of Christianity, the life and teaching of Jesus, as well as examining how Christian beliefs affect the lives of Christian believers. We then study Islam, with a particular focus on how the Five Pillars shape the beliefs and practices of Muslims. In the final term, we study Philosophy by exploring thought experiments, such as the ship of Theseus and the veil of ignorance.
In Year 9, we begin by looking at the philosophical issues involved in the relationship between religion and science before considering key arguments for and against the existence of God. We then study Buddhism, considering the life of the Buddha, his key teachings and what Buddhis has to say about ethical issues, such as punishment. Finally, we study philosophical questions about the nature of humans and what makes certain actions right or wrong.