“Even if a unity of faith is not possible, a unity of love is.”
To provide students with opportunities to explore, question and appreciate their own faith, in order that they can develop spiritually, in conjunction with the pursuit of academic excellence.
To develop a knowledge and understanding of a variety of faith and belief systems in order that pupils can live and work in a culture of mutual respect within our increasingly diverse community in school, city and nation.
To create an environment where individuals are valued, and their dignity respected. It is of utmost importance that each young person’s view is equally valued. This development of respect for self, environment and others is a high priority in the teaching of religious studies at Foyle College.
At Key Stage Three all pupils study Religious Studies for 2 periods per fortnight. During this time, pupils are introduced to a wide range of topics. Booklets provide the background while use of information and communication technology helps to encourage research skills. In Year 8, we teach ‘Sacred Writings and Symbols’ (which includes an introduction to Islam and Judaism) and ‘Faith in Action’ (includes Martin Luther King, Lord Shaftesbury and Elizabeth Fry). In Year 9, we teach ‘Judaism’, ‘Moses’ and ‘The Slave Trade’. In Year 10, we teach ‘Jesus and Relationship with People’ (includes parables and miracles related to Jesus’ treatment of the marginalised) and ‘Islam’.
At GCSE, we teach the CCEA Religious Studies specification.
In Year 11, we teach Unit 4: Christianity through a Study of the Gospel of Matthew.
This includes: The Identity of Jesus; Jesus the Miracle Worker; Parables of the Kingdom of God; The Death and Resurrection of Jesus; The Role and Nature of Christian Discipleship.
In Year 12, we teach Unit 6: An introduction to Christian Ethics.
This includes: Personal and Family Issues; Matters of Life and Death;
Developments in Bioethics; Contemporary issues in Christianity; Modern Warfare.
At AS Level, we teach two modules.
Unit 1: An Introduction to the Gospel of Luke. This unit explores the content of the Gospel of Luke including: the background to Luke’s Gospel including the religious and political situation in Palestine; the beliefs and practices of religious groups; key events in the ministry of Jesus; the Kingdom of God in the parables and miracles; discipleship and Salvation History within the context of contemporary scholarship.
Unit 7: Foundations of Ethics with Special Reference to Issues in Medical Ethics. This unit explores the themes and principles that are foundational to religious ethics: The Decalogue; Sermon on the Mount; Natural Law; Utilitarianism; Situation Ethics. Students then apply these ethical approaches to key issues in Bioethics and Life and Death Issues (abortion/euthanasia).
At A2 Level, we teach two modules.
Unit 1: Themes in the Synoptic Gospels. This unit builds on the study of Luke’s Gospel completed at AS Level. The unit explores: the synoptic problem including the Gospels of Matthew and Mark; the person of Jesus and his ethical teaching presenting a challenge to the attitudes of His day; the Passion and Resurrection Narratives; religious texts, authority and interpretation including the differing approaches of fundamentalism and liberalism and the role of leadership.
Unit 7: Global Ethics. This unit explores moral theory. This includes: the origins and development of virtue ethics; ethical relativism; free will and determinism; conscience. The moral theory underpins the study of global ethics focusing on the topics of human and animal rights, sexual identity, justice and punishment and problems of contemporary warfare.
Where to next?
Most pupils use A-Level Religious Studies to make up the required points for entry to 3rd Level Education. In previous years pupils who studied Religious Studies at A Level have gained entry to the following university courses: Law (including study at Cambridge University), History with Politics, Teaching, Nursing, Social Work, Journalism, Psychology, Marketing, Business Economics and many more.
Visiting speakers are an important part of pupil experience in Religious Studies. In Key Stage 3, Exodus deliver lessons that support topics covered by subject teachers in class. In Key Stage 5, The Mother’s Union delivers a lesson on gender -based violence.