Department Background

Religious education is a process which begins long before formal schooling and continues long after it. The process does not end with examinations at 16 or 18 and our teaching can only help to develop the process. Throughout our teaching, and implicit in the syllabus, are the two attainment targets of the Enfield Agreed Syllabus:

AT1 - learning about religions AT2 - learning from religions

We aim to give knowledge about religions: to help the pupils to understand the ideas involved in religious phenomena; the feelings reflected in religious phenomena and the actions through which religious phenomena are externalised. We believe that it is important to nurture respect towards religious positions and tolerance of the ideas of others. We are keen to promote a critical and analytical approach whilst also encouraging students to make a thoughtful, personal response in the sphere of beliefs, values and morality.

We aim to offer a broad and balanced curriculum that is relevant to our students. We have a number of faiths represented in the school, so we spend time studying a range of religions, although due to the special place it has in this country, there is a special emphasis on Christianity. There is continuity within the courses and progression both within and between courses. In Year 8 we build on the groundwork laid down in Year 7, and then in Year 9 the students are introduced to more difficult religious ideas of a philosophical nature. The key focus in the study of moral and social issues in Years 10 and 11 is critical evaluation. The question of what is true and how to live is finally left to the individual student to decide in response to the knowledge and understanding they will have acquired.

The approach adopted is one of explicit and effective neutrality, which is based upon the insistence that the beliefs and values of each tradition or individual are presented (by the teacher) as truth-claims and not as truths per se. Simply stated, this means that those statements which are regarded as 'truths' by an adherent are dealt with as 'beliefs' in the classroom.

Year 7 - 9

During the first three years we introduce them to basic themes found in many world religions, consider the varieties of religious faith by looking at monotheistic faiths, (Judaism and Christianity Year 8, Islam Year 9), a panentheistic faith, (Hinduism Year 7) and an atheistic religion (Buddhism Year 9). We also encourage them to explore questions and concepts of a more philosophical nature (Symbolic language Year 7, Ethics Year 8, Philosophy Year 9).

  • Year 7 - Introduction to the six major world religions; symbolic pictures, actions, stories, and language; significant people in religion; Hinduism; festivals
  • Year 8 - Judaism, Introduction to Ethics, Christianity
  • Year 9 - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (including Issues in Science and Religion); Use of Art in Worship; Islam; Buddhism

Year 10 - 11

In Years 10 and 11 we consider religious and non-religious responses to a variety of moral and social and philosophical issues.

  • Non-examination: Religious and non-religious responses to a range of moral, philosophical, personal and social issues.

GCSE: AQA Syllabus B - Two Units

  • Unit 2: Religion and Life Issues (animal rights, the environment, prejudice, early life and abortion, war and peace, religion and young people).
  • Unit 3: Religion and Morality (medical ethics, care of the elderly, drug abuse, crime and punishment, rich and poor in Britain, world poverty)

Please find a copy of the Year 11 to 12 Bridging Task here

Year 12 - 13

There is no compulsory Religious Studies in Key Stage 5. Students are able to choose to study Religious Studies at AS or A level if they would like to. See a brief outline of the specifications below. Currently the plan is that the AS will ordinarily be taken at the end of Yr 12 and the A Level will be taken at the end of Yr 13. The two levels are taught concurrently in Yr 12.

Curriculum Enrichment options

If it is possible we offer a course in Medical Ethics for those Yr 13 students wishing to study medicine/medical related course at university. These sessions usually take place after school for an hour a week. In the Summer Term we run a Year 12 Ethics Conference morning for the majority of the year group. This helps our Year 12 students to engage with relevant contemporary ethical issues in a range of subjects. For the last 4 years our guest speaker has been Dr Peter Vardy.

AS and A2 Specifications

Both specifications consist of three units: Philosophy of Religion, Religion and Ethics, and Theology (Developments in Christian Thought). The AS syllabus is numbers 1-3 in each section below and the A Level syllabus is 1 – 6 in each section.

OCR Religious Studies AS and A Level: From September 2016 Philosophy, Ethics and Theology (Developments in Christian Thought) Philosophy of Religion

  1. Philosophical Language and Thought
    • Ancient philosophical influences: Plato (Forms), Aristotle (Causes) Soul, mind and body
  2. The Existence of God
    • Arguments based on observation: Teleological argument, Cosmological argument, and challenges
    • Arguments based on reason: Ontological argument and challenges
  3. God and the World
    • Religious experience
    • The problem of evil
  4. Theological and Philosophical Developments
    • The nature or attributes of God
  5. Religious Language: Negative, Analogical or Symbolic
    • Via negative, via positive, symbol
  6. Religious Language: Twentieth Century Perspectives
    • Logical positivism, Wittgenstein, falsification, the cognitive/non-cognitive debate

Religion and Ethics

  1. Normative Ethical Theories: Religious Approaches
    • Natural Law (Aquinas), Situation Ethics (Fletcher)
  2. Normative Ethical Theories
    • Kantian Ethics, Utilitarianism (Bentham, Mill, Singer)
  3. Applied Ethics
    • Euthanasia, Business Ethics
  4. Ethical Language: Meta-ethics
    • Naturalism, intuitionism, emotivism
  5. Significant Ideas
    • Conscience
  6. Developments in Ethical Thought
    • Sexual Ethics

Theology: Developments In Christian Thought

  1. Insight
    • Augustine’s teaching on human nature, death and the afterlife
  2. Foundations
    • Knowledge of God’s existence: natural, revealed
    • The person of Jesus Christ
  3. Living
    • Christian moral principles: sources of authority
    • Christian moral action: Bonhoeffer
  4. Development
    • Religious pluralism and theology
    • Religious pluralism and society
  5. Society
    • Gender and society
    • Gender and Theology
  6. Challenges
    • Secularism
    • Liberation Theology and Marx

Activities and Recent Highlights

  • Attendance at Sixth Form conferences with excellent speakers on relevant and interesting topics.
  • Year 7 class trips to Latymer All Saints Church hosted by Father Stuart Owen
  • 25th June 2015 - Year 12 Ethics Conference - Speaker Dr Peter Vardy - venue Great Hall, Latymer School
  • A wonderful KS5 trip to Morocco, 26th – 30th October 2015 – 24 students and 4 staff.

Meeting the British Ambassador (Karen Betts) in Rabat

Inside Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

Outside the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca which has the tallest minaret in the world.

Stain glass window inside Cathedral Saint Pierre, Rabat

Camel riding

Entering the medieval necropolis, Chellah, Rabat

Walking through the souks of the medina in Marrakech

Entrance to the synagogue in Marrakech