Religious Studies

Overview

Religious Studies is very relevant for the world in which we live. Religion and beliefs inform our values and are reflected in what we say and how we behave. A study of religion provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.

Since Eltham College was founded as a school for the sons of missionaries, the Religious Studies Department aims to embody something of that tradition; creating a thriving department where RS is taught as a rigorous academic discipline. The underlying philosophy of our approach is two-fold, firstly that every human being has a belief system of one kind or another, and secondly that we can draw on the resources and experiences of our students who come from a variety of faith communities and backgrounds.

Throughout the Senior School at Eltham College, Religious Studies is taught in dedicated lessons by subject specialists. The principle of ‘spiral learning’ is in operation so that students are learning skills and being introduced to knowledge and concepts that will be developed throughout their studies at Eltham College.

The department aims:

  • To provide teaching of the highest quality to stimulate an enthusiasm for the study of religion.
  • Develop the religious literacy of students which goes beyond merely factual understanding to include empathetic understanding of the multi-faceted phenomena that religion is.
  • Build upon the natural curiosity of students about ultimate questions and to help them be able to think constructively about such questions.

We do this by delivering lessons which are designed so that students learn in a variety of ways through group work, paired work or individual study as appropriate; building skills of reciprocity, resilience, resourcefulness and reflectiveness. We also encourage our students to ask questions and to reach their own informed conclusions.

Curriculum

Years 7 and 8

In Years 7 and 8, students have two lessons per week of Religious Studies and one piece of homework will be set. Students will study a variety of topics including:

Year 7Year 8
Religious BeliefPhilosophy
Religious PracticeEthics
Festivals and CelebrationsFreedom and Conscience
Faith Influencing Lives ProjectInspirational Acts of Conscience Project

We provide students with a selection of digital resources and handouts.

Year 9

In Year 9, students have 2 lessons per week of Religious Studies and 1 piece of homework will be set. Students will study a variety of topics including:

  • Good and Evil
  • Medical Ethics
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Human Rights

We provide students with a selection of digital resources and handouts.

GCSE

Religious Studies is an option subject at GCSE. Students follow the WJEC Eduqas GCSE ‘Route A’.

At GCSE, students have four lessons per week of Religious Studies and two pieces of homework will be set. Full details can be found in the specification but topics include:

Year 10Year 11
Christian Beliefs and PracticesIssues of Life and Death
Muslim Beliefs and PracticesIssues of Good and Evil
Issues of RelationshipsIssues of Human Rights

The course is examined by three exams at the end of Year 11; (One 2 hour paper and two 1 hour papers).

Trips, activities and clubs

In addition to our teaching there are a range of opportunities to support the development of Religious Studies’ knowledge, including:

  • Christianity Revealed
  • Philosophy Society
  • Lunchtime drop-in exam surgeries

Staff

  • Miss E Haste BA (Head of Religious Studies)
  • Mrs S Stileman MA
  • Mr G Marshall MA MSc