Southgate School’s RE department wants students to develop a love of exploring and questioning the world they live in by thinking about big questions such as ‘What is our purpose?’ or ‘Is there anything after death?’. By exploring a range of theistic, atheistic and agnostic views, students develop empathy to understand and respect the views of others. In doing this, students learn to express and justify their own opinions and beliefs from philosophical, ethical and moral perspectives.
At Key Stage 3, our students are ready for challenge: we ask and discuss questions such as, What is philosophy and ethics? What is the impact of faith in life? How did we get here? This develops thinking skills transferable across a wide range of subjects.
There is a clear focus on knowledge and understanding in Years 7 and 8.
In Year 9, students are introduced to topics that complement prior learning with a focus on the skills of analysis and evaluation. Using these skills, they learn about the challenges of belief and the validity of those views. As in previous years, these are explored through independent reflection, discussion and home learning, enabling them to develop their confidence in exploring, challenging and evaluating. By the end of Year 9, students will have developed the resilience required to take them through to the next stage of their education.
At Key Stage 4, Religious Studies students study Christianity and Islam in these contexts:
- Relationships and families: sexuality, contraception, marriage, divorce and nature/purpose of families
- Religion and life: different views of the origins of the earth, the environment, abortion, euthanasia and life after death.
- God and revelation: the Design and Causation arguments, general and special revelation
- Peace and Conflict: the different reasons for war, terrorism, WMDs, holy wars, pacifism and victims of war
The skills developed progressively from Y7 - 9 are revisited and applied in more challenging contexts.
At Key Stage 5, through the study of Philosophy and Ethics, such as ancient philosophical thinkers Plato and Socrates, issues such as evil and suffering; death and the afterlife; business and sexual ethics; utilitarianism; natural law; religious language and the work of Kant, our students develop lifelong analytical skills. As a result, students leave as positive, respectful, confident and independent thinkers.