Mr D Holmes BSc, PhD(Hist) Head of Department
Miss N Hopkins M.A., B.A.
We aim to provide our students with a good knowledge and understanding of world religions, beliefs, practices and values.
These are related to students’ immediate environment; the media, culture, society, family and morality.
We aim to help our students develop the skills and attitudes which will allow them to be sympathetic and open minded to people and ideas available in the world community both on an intellectual level and on a spiritual level.
The RE Department also seeks to prepare students for a future in which they will make personal choices about meaning, value and religious direction in a multicultural society. Students will be challenged to examine their own beliefs and values in the light of the knowledge and understanding they have developed about religious traditions.
Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism. They will learn about the beliefs, communities, traditions, values, scriptures and rituals of these religions in some detail.
Students will learn to make comparisons between the different religions and identify similarities and differences. In the process they will be able to reflect on their own beliefs and values.
Students also study an ‘Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics’ in which they study and apply different ethical and religious systems and how they may be applied to contemporary moral issues, such as eating meat and issues of sanctity of life.
Students may opt to study GCSE Religious Studies (AQA B). Topics include: Religious Attitudes to Matters of Life (Medical Ethics), Religious Attitudes to Crime and Punishment and Religion and Art.
All students in Key Stage 4 attend a series of conferences and events spread throughout the academic year. These aim to engage students in contemporary moral and religious issues and develop the skills required for independent minded
citizens of the 21st Century.
Philosophy A Level (AQA). Students gain a thorough grounding in key philosophical concepts, themes, texts and techniques. Students will develop a range of transferable skills which can be applied far beyond the study of Philosophy.
At AS, the specification covers the following modules: Reason and Experience, The Idea of God, Tolerance and God and the World.
At A2, students will specialise further, studying Political Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion in greater depth and focusing on philosophical problems through the study of a key text such as J S Mill’s ‘On Liberty’ or Descartes’ ‘Meditations’.
We lead a wide range of trips and visits to extend our students’ learning. These include trips to London to meet religious groups and leaders as well as studying Religion and Art during our visits to galleries.The highlight of our programme is our biennial India trip where we visit Delhi, Amritsar and trek in the Himalayas. The trekking route follows a Hindu pilgrimage route over a pass in the Pir Pinjal range. This JCG expedition first started in 2004.
On our last visit in 2011, the group were able to stay in a local village for Divali celebrations after they had completed their trek. In Amritsar we visited the Golden Temple and in Delhi we visited historic Jain Temples and historic mosques. The
next JCG expedition to India will take place in 2015. The Religion, Ethics and Philosophy department will be leading a visit to Nepal in December 2013 and China in April 2014. Further details of the extra curricular visits are available here.
Key Stage 5 and Oxbridge Reading list
Philosophy: The Classics by Nigel Warburton
A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton
Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy by Simon Blackburn
Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics by Simon Blackburn
What Do We Really Know?: The Big Questions in Philosophy by Simon Blackburn
Political Philosophy by Adam Swift
What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael Sandel
Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? by Michael Sandel