Religious Studies

 

Everyone expects Religious Studies to help children in their spiritual and moral development, and to give them some knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, values and practices. The R.S. Department at St. Andrew's certainly aims to do that, recognising it as an important aspect of education. However, our course has an even wider remit. Parents are often surprised by the challenges their children face in this subject in examinations, but their offspring have by then become used to the idea that R.S. is the place where the big questions are asked and discussed. Is there a God? What evidence is there of design in the universe? Can all religions lead to God, despite their different beliefs? Why should people be unselfish? Do miracles happen? Should murderers face a death penalty? Can there ever be a just war? Questions like these ensure our teaching and learning is connected to our lives in today's world. So our aims are to help children to:

  • develop their knowledge and understanding of the foundational biblical texts, and the Jewish and Christian teaching and practices which stem from them;
  • explore and reflect on contemporary personal, social and moral issues within or arising from this study, and religious and other responses to them;
  • consider questions of meaning and purpose in life, and the part which religious faith could play in it;
  • learn to listen to, understand and respect the beliefs, values and traditions of others, preparing them for life as citizens in a plural society;
  • reflect on, analyse and evaluate their own beliefs, values and practices, and communicate their responses.

We study Judaism and Islam in some depth, and approach the Bible from a Christian perspective. There are visits to churches, a mosque and a synagogue. Believers from outside school come in to talk about how their faith impacts their life. The work of the department is further extended through Chapel, J Team and various charitable activities.

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