Link to OFSTED Report
Religious Studies GCSE
Specification: OCR (J625)

All pupils have three one hour lessons in Religious Studies per fortnight. The GCSE syllabus has been deliberately chosen to prepare pupils to play an active role in the world in which they live. It covers three areas: (1) Christianity (2) Islam and (3) Christian Perspectives on Philosophical and Ethical Issues.

In the Christianity module, we examine the beliefs and practices of the Christian faith. Christianity has around 2.2 billion followers, representing between a quarter and a third of the earth’s population. It is the world’s largest religion and is the state religion of several countries – Greece, Finland, Denmark and Sweden. Culturally, Christianity is important for understanding the world around us, but it is also indispensable for understanding much of European history, art and literature.

In the Islam module, we examine the beliefs and practices of the Muslim faith. Since September 11, there has been a growing awareness of Islam in the Western media. We aim to enable our pupils to evaluate media coverage and to consider the significance of the Islamic faith. As the world’s fastest growing religion, with some 700 million Muslims worldwide, knowledge of Islam is essential for anyone who wants to understand the modern world.

In the Christian Perspectives on Philosophical and Ethical Issues module, we examine such diverse subjects as war and peace, marriage and divorce, the family, atheism, philosophical arguments for God’s existence. Christianity is used as a starting point for a consideration of these issues. Pupils are not expected to agree with its perspectives, and all views are respected. A variety of perspectives are thoughtfully considered, as appropriate – perspectives such as Humanism, Individualism and occasionally, other religious traditions. By ranging across a wide variety of moral topics and considering them from a wide variety of angles, pupils are encouraged to develop their analytical skills and broach a number of issues that will undoubtedly continue to pose a dilemma for society throughout their lives.

The Religious Studies department has produced a tailor-made textbook ‘Religious Studies at TWGGS’, containing all, and only, the information the pupils need to get an A* at GCSE. Pupils are encouraged to use it in lessons. The skills developed by the course include debating, empathising, evaluating and the production of extended writing. All pupils studying at TWGGS will be entered for the GCSE exam.

Also see related pages: Curriculum and Prospectus