Welcome to the RS Department

Departmental Aims

The aim of Religious Studies is that it should encourage learners to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, satisfying and worthwhile course of study that challenges pupils and equips them to lead constructive lives in the modern world.  

RS should enable learners to:

Adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion.

Explore religions and beliefs, reflect on fundamental questions, engage with them intellectually and respond personally.

Enhance their spiritual and moral development, and contribute to their health and wellbeing.  

Enhance their personal, social and cultural development, their understanding of different cultures locally, nationally and in the wider world, and to contribute to social and community cohesion.

Develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the study of religion, and relate it to the wider world.

Reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in light of their learning.

RS provides learners with the opportunity to:

Develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of religion by exploring the significance and impact of beliefs, teachings, sources, practices, ways of life and forms of expressing meaning.

Express their personal responses and informed insights on fundamental questions and issues about identity, belonging, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments. 

The skills and knowledge which are developed at Key Stage 3 have led to continuing success at both GCSE and A level. In the most recent A level results 100%   of pupils gained an A level, 79% gaining grades A*-C and 43% gaining an A*/A.

A brief description of KS3 course

Pupils study the religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism through the following topics (from the Rhondda Cynon Taff - Locally Agreed Syllabus):

  • Leaders and Texts
  • Judaism
  • Islam
  • Looking For God
  • Worship and Ritual
  • Journey of Life
  • Pupils begin studying Short Course GCSE in the spring term of Y9. The topic of study: ‘Is it Fair?’

A brief description of KS4 course

KS4 – Short Course GCSE/ Full Course GCSE

All pupils follow the WJEC Specification B, Option A (non-coursework) option for Short Course GCSE. WJEC Specification B, Option B (non-coursework) is also followed by pupils studying for Full Course GCSE. Pupils sit a 1 hour 45 minute examination in year eleven for Short Course GCSE. Pupils who are studying Full Course GCSE will sit a further 1 hour 45 minute examination. There is no coursework in Religious Studies.

Course Title: ‘Religion and Life Issues’ (Short Course/ Full Course – Part 1)

Course Content:

Topic 1 - Relationships
Issues of love, marriage and divorce.
Christianity & Judaism

Topic 2 – Is it Fair?

Issues of justice and equality.

Christianity & Judaism

Topic 3 – Looking For Meaning
Issues about God, life and death.
Christianity & Judaism

Topic 4 – Our World

Exploring creation and our place in the world.
Christianity & Hinduism

Please visit the WJEC homepage for full specification content. wjec.co.uk

KS4 – Full Course GCSE

Course Title: ‘Religion and Human Experience’ (Full Course – Part 2)

The two WJEC ‘Short Course’ GCSE options are studied together to make the one ‘Full Course’ GCSE.

Course Content:

Topic 1 – Religion and Conflict

Exploring conflict, peace, forgiveness and attitudes towards war.

Christianity & Islam
 

Topic 2 – Religion and Medicine

Exploring how medical ethics has impacted on personal choice.

Christianity & Islam
 

Topic 3 – Religious Expression

Exploring the ways that people express their faith.

Christianity & Islam
 

Topic 4 – Authority: Religion and State

Exploring the impact of authority on religion and state.

Christianity & Islam

Please visit the WJEC homepage for the full specification content. wjec.co.uk

A brief description of KS5 course

KS5 – AS Level

Pupils follow the WJEC AS Level Syllabus.

The options for study followed are: ‘An Introduction to Religion and Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion’ and ‘An Introduction to the Study of Religion – Christianity’.

Pupils will sit two written examinations at the end of Y12.                                  Christianity – 1 hour 15 minutes. Ethics & Philosophy – 1 hour 45 minutes.

There is no coursework in Religious Studies.

The AS ‘Christianity’ examination paper counts as 15% of the final A2 grade.

The AS ‘Ethics & Philosophy’ examination counts as 25% of the final A2 grade.

‘An Introduction to Religion and Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion’ course content:

Ethics:

  • Theme 1 – Ethical Thought
  • Theme 2 – Aquinas’ Natural Law – a religious approach to ethics
  • Theme 3 – Situation Ethics – a religious approach to ethics
  • Theme 4 – Utilitarianism – a non-religious approach to ethics

Philosophy:

  • Theme 1 – Arguments for the existence of God - inductive
  • Theme 2 – Arguments for the existence of God - deductive
  • Theme 3 – Challenges to religious belief (part 1) – the problem of evil and suffering
  • Theme 4 – Religious experience (part 1)

‘An Introduction to the Study of Religion – Christianity’ course content:

  • Theme 1 – Religious figures and sacred texts (part 1)
  • Theme 2 – Religious concepts
  • Theme 3 – Religious life
  • Theme 4 – Religious practices that shape religious identity (part 1)

Please visit the WJEC homepage for a detailed course content. wjec.co.uk

KS5 – A2 Level

Pupils follow the WJEC A2 Level Syllabus.

The options for study followed are RS 3: Philosophy of Religion and RS 4 HE:  Human Experience (Life, Death and Life after Death).

Pupils will sit two written examinations at the end of Y13.                                  Philosophy – 1 hour 45 minutes. Human Experience – 1 hour 45 minutes.

There is no coursework in Religious Studies.

Pupils have to answer two questions out of a choice of four in the Philosophy examination. This counts as 25% of the final A2 grade.

Philosophy of Religion course content:

  • Is religious faith rational?
  • Is religious language meaningful?
  • Is religious faith compatible with scientific evidence?
  • Are we free beings?

Human Experience course content:

Pupils have to answer one, two part question on ‘Life, Death and Life after Death’ in the examination.

All pupils answer this essay based upon the ‘set question’ ratified by the examination board in the January of that examination year.

The pupils have to produce one essay based on the question in preparation for the examination. The answer is produced from the perspectives of: Christianity, Philosophy and Buddhism.

The examination counts for 25% of the final A2 grade.

Please visit the WJEC homepage for a detailed course content. wjec.co.uk