Bangor Grammar School

 

Religious Education

Staff

Mr M Nesbitt

Mrs S Crawford

A number of non-specialist teachers assist with teaching in KS3.

Subject Overview

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

Accommodation

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.

Achievements

The Religious Studies department continues to produce excellent examination results at both GCSE and at A level.

Our pupils continue to perform well when compared with their target grades for the subject and also when compared with the examination performance of their peers in other NI Grammar schools.  On average pupils studying GCSE and A’Level 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.

GCSE

Pupils can opt to study for the CCEA Full Course.  The modules taught include ‘An Introduction to Christian Ethics’ and ‘An Introduction to Philosophy of Religion’.  Students who select the Full Course option with study both of the modules listed above and will sit an examination in each module at the end of Y12.  There is no controlled assessment in GCSE Religious Studies.  The specification for the GCSE course can be found at the following link: CCEA GCSE Religious Studies.

Those pupils who do not select Religious Studies as one of their GCSE choices will be entered into a non-certificated RE class.  These classes will follow similar topics to those studied in the GCSE course but in reduced teaching time.  There is no external qualification associated with this option.

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.

Career Opportunities

The Ethics (Moral Philosophy) and Philosophy modules studied at both GCSE and A Level equip pupils with valuable skills for today’s world. Harvard university says on its website that “a philosophy degree is a path to poverty. But in fact the skills you acquire studying philosophy are highly marketable, especially in a volatile and rapidly changing economic climate. Many specialized skills eventually become obsolete, and in any case most people end up changing careers several times over the course of their lives. The skills that philosophy teaches you will always be in high demand: the ability to think and write clearly, the ability to bring to light unnoticed presuppositions, to explain complex ideas clearly, to tease out connections and implications, to see things in a broader context, to challenge orthodoxy. In short, philosophy gives you skills that you can apply to any line of work.” As such 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.