Religious Studies

Religious Studies at Leicester Grammar provides an intellectually grounded, philosophically and theologically astute exploration of ultimate questions of meaning, purpose and truth that have direct relevance to British society. We live in a world where politics, culture and religion are often fused together, and even those societies that separate church and state often have God embedded in their cultural politics; thus it is important to have knowledge and understanding of humanities beliefs.

Our aim is to cultivate religious literacy, so that our students can address the problems, challenges and opportunities they encounter in the world in an attentive, reasonable and responsible manner.

As society finds itself increasingly anxious about the ‘Big Questions’ regarding the wellbeing of society, the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, and the truth or falsehood of conflicting religious and secular beliefs, so we take Socrates’ words to heart, ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’.

Lower School

Year 6

All pupils in Year 6 have two periods of Religious Studies per week. The main focus in year 6 is to make RS exciting and interesting and to give the students a greater sense of wonder by actually creating, in an open and engaging environment, their own community with their own values and practices.

The activities are based on Sue Phillips Theatre of Learning - The Island; a community brought together through a cruise ship sinking and the survivors coming together on an island.

During their time on the island the survivors participate in many events, including celebrating the birth of their first child, creating their own laws and considering a resting place for their written diaries of their experiences. This is tied in with discovering more about rites of passage in Christianity and world religions.

Year 7

All pupils in Year 7 have two periods of Religious Studies per week. Students start the year by working on a presentation called, ‘My life in pieces’. This gives them the opportunity to provide a snapshot of who and what is important to them in their lives including the beliefs they hold. Students then go on to do an in depth study of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The focus is on considering the challenges of following these religions today. To enhance their learning, all Year 7 visit a Mosque and a Synagogue during the course of the year. They also have Muslim and Christian visitors in to talk about their faith.

All lessons from Years 7-13 are taught using a variety of challenging learning and teaching strategies including use of a community of enquiry approach, multimediastudents are encouraged to think for themslves, to analyse critically and to take responsibility for their own learning.

Year 8

All pupils in year 8 have two periods of Religious Studies per week. Students begin the year by considering the development of the early church. This is followed by considering the question as to whether religion in the world is a force for peace or the cause of conflict.  Year 8 students then study the religions of Hinduism and Sikhism. Part of their learning includes a visit to a place of worship.

Year 9

All pupils in year 9 have two periods of Religious Studies per week.

Students begin the year by exploring what it means to be a Buddhist before applying Buddhist belief and practice to modern ethical dilemmas. They go on to study the topic, ‘Does it make sense to believe in God.’ It seeks to enable them to deal with questions about the nature of God and how the question of suffering might be tackled in light of God’s nature. As part of this unit, the students will visit the Beth Shalom Holocaust memorial centre in collaboration with the History Department.

GCSE

GCSE Religious Studies is a popular option with approximately 50% of Year 10 and 11 students opting for it.

Students study the AQA GCSE Religious Studies. The course is assessed at the end of two years through two examination papers, each of 1 and 3/4 hours in duration.

On the first paper, students will answer questions on the beliefs and teachings and practices of Christianity and Buddhism.

On the second paper, Religious, philosophical and ethical studies in the modern world, students will consider different religious, philosophical and ethical arguments and their impact and influence in the modern world.

As a part of the two-year course students visit a church and a Buddhist Vihara. Every other year there is also the opportunity for them to attend a conference at school. In June 2016 this was organised with the Chemistry Department and was called, ‘God and the Big Bang’.

More details of this course can be found here

A level

A Level Religious Studies is a popular option chosen by many Sixth Form students.

Students study the new OCR linear A level. This is assessed by three two hour examinations at the end of the two years. The course provides our students with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of western philosophy, ethics and Christian theology. We expect the course to inspire our students to engage in ethical, philosophical and theological issues and acquire knowledge and a critical understanding of major issues that are relevant to learners in the twenty first century.

Students have the opportunity to attend a revision conference at either Oxford or Cambridge where several renowned Philosophers are present.  Lectures cover subject specific topics, relevant to the A level syllabus.

More details of this course can be found here

Extra-curricular

  • ‘Beyond belief’ is a lunchtime club meeting half-termly for years 9-13. It aims to explore the place and nature of faith in today’s world and discuss a range of philosophical and ethical issues. The Beyond Belief programme includes quite varied speakers and presentations: university lecturers, faith visitors, teachers, and LGS students, as well as occasional film showings, debates, etc. Some of the topics covered last year included; The case against Abortion, World Poverty, Genetic Engineering, FGM, Euthanasia, Capital Punishment, The Holocaust, the Migrant Crisis, Religious experiences and whether the bible is a reliable document.
  • ‘Fusion’ is the name given to Leicester Grammar School C.U. It meets weekly in one of the RS department rooms and is accommodated by the RS department.
  • A fortnightly ‘Film Club’ runs for younger students in years 7-9 and offers the opportunity to watch and discuss a variety of films with a philosophical and ethical theme.
  • One of the department is also a representative on the Leicester SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education). This enables us to regularly have visitors from a variety of faith groups into the school to talk to our students.