Mr M Nesbitt (Head of Department)
Mrs S Crawford
Miss R Murphy
Non-specialist Teaching Staff: Mrs C Buchanan, Mr G Greer, Mr D Holley, Mrs S Sterrett
Religious Studies covers a wide range of topics all of which help to improve understanding of people and the religious influences on their lives. The subject helps students develop important skills and abilities:
- analytical thinking
- research skills
- critical judgement
- an ability to 'understand both sides‘
- problem-solving skills
- leadership skills
- understanding conflicting views
- Understanding human diversity
The Religious Studies department has 2 fully equipped general purpose classrooms with a resource room. The staff within the department make use of a wide range of materials and teaching strategies to present the curriculum in an engaging way.
The Religious Studies department continues to produce excellent examination results at both GCSE and at A level. In the Summer A2-level examinations between 2013 and 2016, 100% of our pupils achieved A*-C grades compared with the NI average of 87% over the same time period. This figure dropped in 2017 to 85% but our pupils were still performing well when compared with their target grades for the subject and the NI average figures for boys.
At GCSE Full Course level between 2013 and 2015, 100% of our pupils achieved A*-C grades and 93% achieved A*-C grades in 2016. In 2017 61% of pupils studying Full Course Religious Studies achieved an A*-A grade which was over 20% above the NI figures for boys in grammar schools. At A*-C grade our pupils also continue to perform better that their peers in grammar schools where the overall figure for boys in NI grammar schools achieving an A*-C grade was 87% compared to 94.5% in Bangor Grammar. On average pupils studying Full Course Religious Studies in Bangor Grammar continue to outperform their peers in other schools in NI.
Key Stage 3
This is based on the requirements described in the Revised Curriculum for Northern Ireland and covers topics such as:
- Personal identity and value
- A study of books or themes from the Bible such as the origins of the Bible, the story of Daniel and the Easter story.
- Ethical debate – pupils discuss differing viewpoints on a variety of ethical issues.
- Arguments for the existence of God.
- The impact of the lives of significant figures from history, for example, William Wilberforce, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and C.S. Lewis.
- A study of different World Religions – Judaism, Islam and Buddhism.
Pupils can opt to study for either CCEA Full Course or Short Course options in Religious Studies. The modules taught include studies of the Gospel of Matthew and a study of Christian Ethics. Students who select the Full Course option with study both of the modules listed above while those who select the Short Course option will only study the Ethics module. The specification for the GCSE course can be found at the following link: CCEA GCSE Religious Studies.
AS and A2
At AS and A2 pupils will study different religious and secular beliefs, teachings, ideas and theories and how these are expressed in a range of written texts and their application in life. Pupils will also consider the contribution of significant people or traditions relating to the areas studied. An important area of the course is the study of ‘other aspects of human experience’. This focuses on the relevance and practical application of the course content to modern living.
The two areas of study covered in the course are:
AS 8: Philosophy of Religion
AS 7: Religious Ethics with Special Reference to Medical Ethics
A2 8: Philosophy of Religion
A2 7: Ethics and Society
The specification for the AS/A2 course can be found at the following link: CCEA GCE Religious Studies.
The skills learned in Religious Studies mean that it has value and relevance to a number of different career paths. These include: Accountancy, Business Studies, History of Art, Law, Management Studies, Media Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology. Indeed, past A Level Religious Studies students from the school have pursued a variety of careers in the areas mentioned above.