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Religious Studies

Overview

The Religious Studies Department has been awarded the GOLD RE Quality Mark.  The Department is committed to an objective, educational approach to the teaching of Religious Studies which fosters in pupils an interest in the religious dimension of life as well as enjoyment of the subject, and also aims to develop in them tolerance, respect and understanding of the variety of religious responses to be found in the modern world.

Staffed by four specialists, Religious Studies is a popular and academic discipline within the school. We work as a team and all contribute to the development of the Religious Studies curriculum.  All pupils in the school participate in Religious Studies lessons, following the guidelines laid down by the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus of  RE, taught thematically with emphasis on Christianity, whilst also covering the major world faiths.  The Department employs a variety of teaching and learning styles and its members are proficient in the use of thinking skills, in particular Edward de Bono's CoRT and Hat tools. We are committed to providing all pupils with the ability to think for themselves and to become lifelong learners. We also provide opportunities for extended learning through various trips and visiting speakers.

The subject is well supported by the emphasis on the spiritual and moral development of pupils specified in our School Aims which contribute to the ethos of Watford Grammar School for Girls.  The KS3 achievement, GCSE and A Level exam results are well above the national average.

KS3 (Years 7 – 9)

What’s studied

Our vibrant Department aims to promote the study and enjoyment of Religious issues through a varied and exciting curriculum, weekly teaching three lessons in Year 7 and two lessons in Years 8 and 9.  Topics covered include how believers discover the Nature of God, Worship, Initiation, Pilgrimage; year 8 looks at the work and legacy of the Buddha, an in-depth exploration of the work and identity of Jesus, different views of Life after Death and attitudes towards creation and stewardship of our world. Year 9 provides opportunities for research into the effects of Prejudice and Discrimination, religious, racial and cultural; evaluation of Responses to Injustices.  The Sanctity of Life is explored in religious and moral dimensions, and the Ultimate Question is posed of how a Good God could allow suffering in the world.

 

KS4 (Years 10 – 11)

What’s studied      

Religious Studies is a well-established and flourishing subject taught throughout the school. In Years 10 and 11, all pupils enjoy a weekly Core Religious Studies lesson exploring the religious and ethical dimensions of bereavement, the Holocaust, human responsibilities towards each other and towards animals, sins and laws, forgiveness, medical dilemmas. We also have the flexibility to respond to relevant issues as they arise in the world around us.  This multi-faith emphasis is in line with the general ethos of the school.

In addition we have thriving GCSE groups - approximately one half of the year group opt for this subject: during 2016 -17 year 11 following the Edexcel Syllabus (a study in-depth of Christianity, Islam and Judaism) whilst in September 2016 year 10 will begin AQA Specification A.

 

KS5 (Years 12 and 13)

The A ‘Level Religious Studies course, comprising of in-depth study of Ethics, Hinduism and Philosophy of Religion, is popular and challenging, giving pupils the opportunity to consider major questions while developing sound essay and evaluative skills. Each year this A ‘Level attracts between 30 - 40 students, many of whom choose to further their knowledge of this subject at university and the course helps to provide them with the skills necessary to become independent learners.

Learning outside the classroom includes visiting educational Hindu centres and attending national A ‘Level Philosophy of Religion Conferences.