Our Religious Studies
The Religious Studies department aims to develop our student’s abilities to understand their community, their society and world, their own viewpoints and the views of others. This subject is about the student; as an individual with their own views, as part of a family with beliefs, as part of a community with traditions. It is an important subject because each of us is important, and the people around us are important. Anything that helps us to understand each other and to live together peacefully is important.
This subject is about the student; as an individual with their own views, as part of a family with beliefs, as part of a community with traditions.
In doing so we aim to demonstrate the key values of Methodism; including openness, tolerance and understanding whilst helping students to prepare for the challenges and opportunities they will meet in life. These are real life values which we aim to develop through exploring real life issues, helping students to confront a range of challenging issues and to investigate different beliefs and views. These issues range from what people believe about God to dealing with bullying, from evil and suffering to drugs education, from putting faith into practice to exploring issues of prejudice and discrimination.
Christianity is studied as the core religion through all key stages, as befitting a Church foundation school. At the same time we study a selection from the other five ‘world religions’ of Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism as well as non-believing responses to the meaning of life. Our teaching and learning must give students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and to develop a respect for facts and opinions, different viewpoints, the ‘truth’, beliefs and religions so as they can be enabled to understand their own values and the world they live in.
Religious Studies is largely taught in the new purpose built teaching block. The Department is well resourced and uses interactive whiteboard technology, DVD, CDs and a wide range of textbook and other resources.
In the Classroom
Students develop their understanding and knowledge through a range of learning activities appropriate to the student. Ethical and moral issues are debated formally and informally, students are encouraged to explore beliefs through activities such as ‘value lines’. Students are also helped to investigate beliefs and values through learning how to clearly express their views in writing.
Beyond the Classroom
There is a range of trips for students to help them understand the role of religion in their lives and in society. These include visits by Form 1 to Buckfast Abbey and Form 2 to the Cathedral, synagogue and mosque in Exeter. The 6th Form students participate in conferences led by renowned contemporary philosophers and theologians which explore philosophical and ethical issues such as miracles, death and free-will.
Religious philosophy and ethics is recognised as a valuable qualification for careers as diverse as law, business, medicine and journalism. Success in religious studies gives access to a range of careers and higher education opportunities. The transferable skills it provides such constructing logical and well founded arguments, interpretation of data, evaluation and communication are in great demand and are recognised by employers and universities. They lead to careers in law, health, management, business, the media, social work, education and politics. Religious studies combines well with English, history, sociology and psychology amongst others and is also a useful complement to science subjects.