Religion and Philosophy
A religious education is a compulsory element of learning for all pupils in England and Wales and has been for nearly 80 years.
However, the subject has experienced dramatic changes throughout its history, from one of religious instruction in Christianity, to what we currently offer here at Christ’s College.
Here, the subject is now known as Religion & Philosophy and reflects the broader curriculum, thinking and scope of this modern subject.
We still offer a study of Christianity; its beliefs, teachings and divergencies, but also of the other major religions present in the UK; Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. These religions are examined critically, using scripture and traditions as sources of teaching, analysing how they are understood and interpreted differently according to context and tradition.
The philosophical nature of this subject examines the very nature of existence. Pupils consider thought-provoking questions about what makes a human, what is justice, from where do we derive our morality and how we should act and behave in contemporary Britain.
Our programme of study is based on the Barnet Locally Agreed Syllabus.
Please contact the Head of Department for more information. A full teaching staff list can be found under 'About Us' 'Staff and Governance'.
Head of Department: Mr J Mycroft Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What your child will be learning (curriculum mapping)
To view the modules studied each term, please click here.
Aims and enrichment
As well as understanding the history and traditions of the major world religions, this subject allows pupils to study fundamental questions of life and being.
Pupils will be encouraged to think critically about controversial subjects and the ‘norms’ of our society and traditions. It offers a chance to explore morality and develop important skills such as empathy for, and understanding of, others.
Due to the critical nature of study, this subject is particularly useful in careers such as law and management. It also compliments the sciences well due to the study of logic, cause & effect and human ethics.
All pupils in Year 8 will be taken on a trip to St Paul’s Cathedral to see the history and influence of Christianity on London as part of their study of the religion.
As part of the GCSE units of study, Year 10 pupils will visit a local synagogue to view a Jewish place of worship and discuss their learning with the rabbi.
In Year 11, the GCSE pupils will visit Neasden Temple as part of their study of Hinduism.
Key stage 3
Multi-cultural society – its benefits and challenges
Expression – how language can be limited when we try to express ourselves and our beliefs
What makes a Human – how we define the term ‘human’ and whether we are different to other animals. We will also examine Human Rights & Responsibilities as a result of these perceived differences.
Wealth & Poverty – what causes both and how religions respond to them
War & Peace – is war ever acceptable or even necessary? Is pacifism a positive aim? What do religious teachings say about both concepts?
Christianity – a fundamental study of this 2,000 year old religion and its impact on the UK and European History
Truth – what is truth? We will look at the objectivity or subjectivity of this term, how people understand it and how people look for it
Science & Religion – in this unit we will examine how both Science & Religion present their truth claims and whether one has to choose between the two – are they mutually exclusive or do they offer different perspectives on reality?
Freedom – are we free? Is everything pre-determined or do we have complete ‘free will’ over our actions? How does this impact the way we live? How does this impact society and the way it functions?
Key stage 4
This GCSE is optional and made up of two exams of 1 hour 45 minutes each. The exam board is AQA.
The modules studied are:
Judaism – its beliefs & practices and the impact of them today
Arguments for God’s Existence – an examination of the classical arguments for God’s existence and whether they can stand up to critiques.
Religion, Peace and Conflict – is violence and war justified? Is pacifism beneficial? What do religions and philosophies say about this?
Religion, Crime and Punishment – what is right and wrong? Who gets to judge? What legal codes do religions propose? Are they good? What’s the purpose of punishment?
Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice – what makes a human? What rights do humans have? Are political beliefs such as feminism, gay rights, Black Lives Matter, Socialism etc, a challenge to religion or in support of them?
Hinduism – its beliefs & practices and the impact of them today