All students of King Edward’s follow the same path from the First Year to the Fourth Year. This allows pupils to appreciate cultural influences and to understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. Fundamental British values promoting mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs (and indeed for those without faith) are central to the curriculum in the Religious Studies Department.
In the First Year pupils are taught the context that a religious world view is one of many perspectives or lenses through which we view the world. This idea is then explored through a study of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. This approach is designed to enable them to appreciate that everyone has a worldview and that a peaceful and harmonious community should be possible through knowledge, understanding and tolerance.
In the Second Year pupils extend their learning about worldviews by exploring how stories, as told by religious communities, are a way in to understanding peoples' beliefs. This is done through reading Jewish Faith History in Genesis and Exodus and the story of Jesus in the Gospel followed by a brief look at the beginnings of Islam. This help to embed the understanding that studying religion is not about being 'taught a truth or truths' ( as many pupils perceive from Primary School); it is about looking through your own lens at other people's lives and understanding what is important to them and how belief might impact on daily life.
In the Third and Fourth Year all our students pursue the AQA Short Course A specification in Religious Studies as part of the core curriculum. In addition to this students may also opt to take a Full Course in Religious Studies and study for the HPQ.
Christian beliefs and beliefs within Islam are studied at GCSE level, with the themes of relationships and war, peace and conflict. In the full course, the themes of religion and life, alongside crime and punishment are studied alongside Christian practices and Muslim practices.
Students who particularly enjoy thinking and pondering the meaning of existence - will enjoy the study of A Level Philosophy. Here they can explore what we actually mean by 'knowledge' - what is it and are there different ways of knowing? They can exercise their minds by learning the ethical theories of great philosophers - thereby recognising the application of utilitarianism to ethical decisions about covid 19 management. They can delve into well-rehearsed arguments which seek to prove the existence of an intelligent, creator - a necessary being which cannot not be and they can become very exercised by the question of what constitutes 'mind' and is it separate from 'body'?
New A Level- Philosophy AQA new from September 2019