There are three units of assessment:
Religious Ethics: Situation Ethics, Natural Law Theory, Kantian ethics, Utilitarianism, euthanasia, business ethics, and the ethics of one religious tradition, meta-ethics, conscience, sexual ethics
Philosophy of Religion: The theories of knowledge of Plato and Aristotle, soul, mind and body, arguments for/against the existence of God, religious experience, the problem of evil, religious language (verification/falsification principles, Wittgenstein, analogy, symbolism, via negativa), the nature or attributes of God.
Developments in Christian Thought: Augustine's teaching on human nature, death and the afterlife, knowledge of God's existence: natural, revealed, religious pluralism in society and theology, gender in society and theology, secularism, Liberation Theology and Marxism
- Time in class to raise questions about the topics, to help with understanding
- One-to-one opportunities with staff - going through essays, talking through whatever the student is struggling with, usually outside class time
- Time built into lessons to explain/discuss the application of the marking criteria for essay writing.
- Self and peer assessment opportunities – e.g. marking of former students essays using the markscheme to ensure clear understanding of the criteria
- Use of past students actual exam essays (bought from the exam boards each year) – marking them, identifying how the essay could be improved or why it was such a good (A* for A2) essay
- Help with specific skills e.g. writing the first paragraph of an essay – good examples shown, discussed in class and subsequent help with those still struggling afterwards (usually in frees or at lunchtime)
- Progressive teacher feedback building up over time
- Rewriting essays where necessary eg a lower than expected grade
- Available staff – who are usually willing and able to help between lessons, and students are encouraged to communicate and 'drop-in' for help and advice, especially in the build-up to mocks/actual exams
- Plenty of access to past questions and markschemes
- Attendance at a conference per year
- Additional lessons if necessary (e.g. for pupils retaking AS exams in Yr13 sitting in with Yr 12 lessons)
The most important skill which is nurtured throughout the course is the ability to construct a relevant, coherent and cogent argument using appropriate pieces of evidence to support the ideas. This is done mainly through presentations, discussion and essay writing. Other skills include literary and textual analysis, analysis of belief systems and concepts, as well as the practical aspects of good learning e.g. note-making, background reading and essay technique.
All the key skills are covered (except for application of number) up to level 3.
Two teachers will be teaching the courses. One will teach Ethics and some of the DCT course, the other Philosophy with the rest of the DCT course.
You do not need a GCSE in RE in order to take these courses as long as you achieve a good GCSE grade in at least one ‘humanity’ subject.
3 exams at the end of the two years
- Philosophy of Religion
- Religious Ethics
- Developments in Christian Thought
Although there are no careers or further education courses for which GCSE or AS/A-level pass in Religion is specifically required, there are many for which it is a distinct advantage or a preferred qualification. There are no careers or further education courses for which it is not an acceptable qualification. A pass at any level in the subject has exactly the same value as a pass in any other academic subject at the same level.
At all levels it is considered a particularly suitable qualification for all kinds of caring work, especially social work, teaching, nursing, other work with children or the elderly or handicapped, and work for religious institutions e.g. church youth work.
This is because it shows that the person who has it, has thought about important questions of the meaning of life and death and about moral values and has learned to understand and respect the beliefs and ways of life of other people. AS/A-level courses in the subject, because of the careful study and exact thought and expression they require, and also because of the wide area they cover, are particularly welcome in candidates for university degrees in such subjects as: ENGLISH, PHILOSOPHY, ANTHROPOLOGY, SOCIAL STUDIES, LAW as well as, of course THEOLOGY, RELIGIOUS STUDIES, BIBLICAL STUDIES. It is also a useful complementary subject for those hoping to study Medicine.
An A-level (or degree) course in religion includes the study of ideas, literature, language and history and so it is a broad education in itself. For this reason an A-level in it is also particularly suitable as a preparation for degrees in HISTORY, ARCHAEOLOGY, CLASSICS, ENGLISH, OTHER LITERATURES, and various broad courses, such as EUROPEAN / AMERICAN /AFRICAN / ASIAN STUDIES, CULTURAL STUDIES. There are also degree courses in which the study of religion can be combined with the study of another subject, either equally or as a major / minor partner.
By no means all those studying religion at degree level intend to be ministers of religion or teachers of it. They go into all kinds of careers, for the chief value of a degree in any subject is as evidence of a trained mind. But, quite apart from all this, and more important, the study of religion at any level is interesting and enjoyable for itself, and has an important contribution to make to anyone’s personal development.
Former Religious Studies A-level students at Latymer have gone on to study the following courses at university:
American Studies, Anatomy & Physiology, Anthropology & Market Research, Anthropology & Creative Arts, Art, Computing & Maths, Dance & Drama, Drama, English, Geography, History, Law, Maths & Philosophy, Media Studies & Economics, Medicine, Music, Philosophy, Philosophy & Physics, Physiotherapy, Politics, Politics and Italian, Psychology, Religious Studies, Religious Studies with Environmental Policy, Social Psychology, Sociology, Teacher Training, Theology, Theology & Philosophy combined.
Some students, not going on to higher education have entered the following professions: Police, Library Service, Secretarial work, the NHS.
As you can see, taking this subject at A level helps to keep your options open and is a good general education.