Religious Studies at Lady Margaret School empowers students to reflect upon and explore belief and not simply learn about religion. Students are equipped with the skills to express, discuss, question, debate, analyse, enquire and assess views about religious belief as part of an inclusive community. It is a core subject, followed by every student in the school to GCSE with students achieving the highest results in Religious Studies GCSE. It remains part of the core curriculum in the Sixth Form through seminars on beliefs and values, which continue to extend their skills of reflection, analysis and discussion.
Key Stage 3
The Year 7 Religious Education course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to develop an understanding of what religious faith is and why it is important. Students are given an introduction to the heroes and heroines in different faiths, and then study Sikhism, Judaism and Hinduism in more depth. The course provides a foundation for the Year 8 syllabus, which studies how religion affects people’s lives.
The Year 8 Religious Studies course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to develop an understanding of how religious faith affects the lives of individuals and their communities in different ways. Students study Islam the person of Jesus. They then explore the rites of passage in a variety of faiths. The course provides a foundation for the Year 9 syllabus, which studies the responses of religions to issues in the modern world.
The aim of the Year 9 Religious Studies course is to provide students with the opportunity to consider the validity of religious and non-religious responses to fundamental questions about life. Students investigate a variety of theories and beliefs about the existence of God, the different ways in which believers put their faith into action, and how people respond to the issues surrounding suffering. Students are encouraged to develop their understanding of the relationship between religion and life in the modern world, and how they view religious and ethical questions. The course provides a foundation for the Edexcel B GCSE syllabus.
Key Stage 4
All students in Years 10 and 11 follow the Religious Studies GCSE course as part of their core curriculum. The GCSE allows students to study two religions, integrated with the key philosophical and ethical issues facing the local, national and international community. The syllabus followed is that set by Edexcel B. This specification allows beliefs, teachings and practices of two religions to be brought to life as well as exploring different viewpoints within religions. We cover Religion, Philosophy and Social Justice through Christianity and Religion and Ethics through Islam.
Key Stage 5 – Years 12/13
What will I Study?
Students will have the opportunity to study key aspects of the development of human thought from Plato to the present day. Part of the course considers how ethical theories can affect decisions about modern moral issues such as medical ethics and embryo research. It also provides the opportunity to develop a range of skills, in particular, analysis and critical evaluation.
How will I be assessed?
100% examination; OCR Syllabus Philosophy of Religion, Religious Ethics and Development of Christian Thought.
Religious Studies is an excellent choice not only for those who wish to read Philosophy, Psychology or Theology at university, but also helps those thinking of a career in journalism, medicine or law. This subject is very well regarded by any profession requiring skills of analysis, critical evaluation, clear communication of ideas and an ability to understand and empathise with a range of viewpoints.
What are the entry requirements?
As well as the standard for entry to Lady Margaret’s Sixth Form, it is necessary for students to have achieved a 6 grade in English Language and at least a 6 in Religious Studies. In addition, an enquiring, analytical mind is highly desirable. The course requires no particular religious commitment, but the subject requires an ability to examine texts, to discuss important issues with an open mind, to weigh up arguments and reach reasoned conclusions. Students must also be fully committed to reading around the subject in their own time and attending Philosophy and/or debating clubs.
It combines well with History of Art, Psychology, English, History, Sociology, Art, Physics, Biology, and Politics; the skills required in this subject are an excellent foundation for all academic study.
Beliefs and Values
What will I Study?
All students entering the Sixth Form are required to attend Beliefs and Values lessons. These form a central part of the Christian ethos of the school and provide the students with an understanding of different religious and non-religious perspectives and the reasons behind these views. Lessons are fortnightly in which students are encouraged to discuss and debate topics relevant to religion and morality, often based on current affairs. Tasks include class discussions, use of media, group work, research and presentations, all of which aim to examine and celebrate the religious and ethnic diversity of the school, and the local global communities to which we belong.
At the end of Year 13 students vote for topics they think would be valuable and relevant for the following cohort to explore, in the past this has included topics such as: global citizenship; homelessness; inter-faith dialogue and LGBTQ+.
How will I be assessed?
Beliefs and Values will not be formally assessed; however, students will be able to achieve a school-based qualification for passing the course. Students will be provided with reading to complete for each session, and they will reflect ton the discussions they have taken part in. Higher awards are available for those who have completed additional reading or who make outstanding contributions to sessions. Awards can be referenced on UCAS applications to demonstrate that a student has an in-depth understanding of different communities, and that they have developed a range of relevant skills. Beliefs and Values are compulsory to all students in the Sixth Form and should be treated in the same way as any other subject.
Beliefs and Values lessons offer an excellent addition to any student’s current curriculum choices; this is a way that students can make their applications for jobs and university stand out amongst others. It is also great preparation for the style and discipline of university lectures and seminars. It gives students a voice and allows them to formulate arguments and opinions about current affairs. It allows students to develop confidence in their presentation and debating skills which will also improve their ability to deliver convincing arguments with clarity.
‘You get so wrapped up in your own life but Beliefs and Values really opens your eyes’.
Year 13 comment in the 2011 Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools