“I truly believe the only way we can create global peace is through not only educating our minds, but our hearts and our souls.” Malala Yousafzai
Head of Department: Mr D Phillips
Teachers: Miss L Cook, Mrs N Griffiths
Religious Education (RE) is an exciting and dynamic subject and we hope that the students will enjoy, be inspired and be challenged by their RE Lessons. We want students to develop their intellectual curiosity with lively enquiring minds and are encouraged to think, reflect, question and discuss ideas about meaning and purpose.
We also encourage students to develop their depth of knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and non-religious views that they will encounter in life, to consider the eclectic nature of the study of religion and to help them develop skills of analysis and evaluation to arrive at a thoughtful, personal response about the many issues of faith, ethics and philosophy that we study. In addition, we want to encourage an appreciation of the nature of revealed texts and the variety of ways that these texts can be, and are, interpreted in everyday life in society.
We also hope that students will become more aware of spiritual, ethical and philosophical issues beyond the classroom, in wider society to help them to become participating members in their society.
RE Curriculum at the Latymer School
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 concerned 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. 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 in Year 8, Islam in Year 9), a panentheistic faith, (Hinduism, Year 7) and a religion that is widely regarded as atheistic (Buddhism, Year 9). We also encourage them to explore questions and concepts of a more philosophical nature (Symbolic language Year 7, Philosophy Year 9). In Years 10 and 11 we consider religious and non-religious responses to a variety of moral and social and philosophical issues.
We have a number of faiths represented in the school, so we spend time studying a range of religions, although due to the 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.
KEY STAGE 3
- Year 7: Introduction to the six major world religions; symbolism, including pictures, colour, actions, stories, and language; significant people in religion; Hinduism.
- Year 8: Judaism, Introduction to Ethics, Christianity
- Year 9: Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (including Issues in Science and Religion); Islam; Buddhism.
KEY STAGE 4
All students follow a non-examination RE course, but they can also choose to take the GCSE examination in Religious Studies as one of their options.
Religious and non-religious responses to a range of moral, philosophical, personal and social issues e.g. abortion, euthanasia, law and punishment, racism and equality, medical ethics.
GCSE Religious Studies
We follow the AQA Religious Studies Specification, Syllabus A.
- Paper 1: Beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity and Hinduism.
- Paper 2: Thematic studies: Relationships and families; life issues; existence of God and revelation; religion, peace and conflict; religion, crime and punishment; religion, human rights and social justice.
KEY STAGE 5
In Year 12 all students attend an Ethics Conference in School organised by the RE Department – recently the speaker has been Dr Peter Vardy, a renowned leader in the fields of Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics and Values Education.
Students can choose to take the AS or A Level in Religious Studies. The AS is the first year of the A Level syllabus.
We follow the OCR Religious Studies specification. There are three papers:
- Philosophy of religion
- Religious ethics
- Developments in Christian thought (aka Theology)
- A Level students attend relevant conferences.
- A few A Level students have entered national Philosophy/Theology essay writing competitions.
- RE-related student-led societies frequently run at lunchtimes, e.g. Theology Society, Philosophy Society, Christian Union, Islamic Society and Jewish Society.
- Annual Year 10 GCSE trip to Bhaktivedanta Manor.
- Where possible trips abroad e.g. Morocco (2015).
Religious Studies is a popular A Level at Latymer, and a number of the students each year go on to study Philosophy, Theology or related degrees at university. Between 2017 and 2020, 27 students have taken such courses.
Religious Studies A Level is a highly respected qualification and is regarded in the same light as other academic A Levels, and as such former students have been accepted onto a whole range of courses offered at universities, with Religious Studies being an accepted qualification.