The Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy offers dynamic and successful courses in all year groups. SMSC is clearly a key part of our curriculum, both implicitly and explicitly. We explore beliefs and experiences; promote respect for faiths and values and aim for pupils to enjoy learning about themselves, others and the surrounding world. Schemes of work and teaching styles enable pupils to use their imagination and creativity and to reflect upon their their experiences. Throughout the courses on offer, we provide opportunities for pupils to recognise right and wrong; to discuss the law and obedience to it, whilst understanding the consequences of our actions. We introduce pupils to the idea of investigating moral and ethical issues in the Lower School and develop this further in our GCSE courses and at A Level.The ability to think of and develop reasoned views is key to the skill of evaluation.
All students of King Edward’s follow the same path from the First Year to the Fourth Year. In the First Year pupils examine the purpose of studying religion and then follow this up with a study of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. This helps our students appreciate the advantage of living in a culture where different religious traditions flourish. In the Second Year pupils study the topic of Beginnings and examine biblical and modern examples of obedience and faith. This then leads into an introductory examination of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, not only does this help prepare our pupils for GCSE but also encourages pupils to learn to appreciate and respect for their own and other cultures, thus promoting tolerance and harmony.
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 this 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.
Aspects of Religious Studies are also included within Extended Studies in the First Year and Open Forum in the Sixth Form.
Those students who appreciate the GCSE programme will be able to pursue theological and philosophical studies in the Sixth Form where dedicated specialists can lead them through A Level Religious Studies: Philosophy and Ethics (OCR).
Our approach is always one of reasoned debate and careful exploration – very much in keeping with the spirit of King Edward’s.