The Religious Studies Department at Beaconsfield High School is a thriving and successful Department, with outstanding examination results at both GCSE and A Level. The subject is taught by experienced specialist teachers who aim to provide opportunities for young people to engage with relevant contemporary and challenging questions that impact on all of our lives; questions about spirtuality, meaning and purpose, equality and diversity, morality, authority, global citizenship and sustainability. Religious Studies helps young people to be more informed about the traditions, practices and values of religious adherents in our society and in cultures across the globe; thus encouraging better understanding and greater community cohesion. We follow the Buckinghamshire Agreed Syllabus 2011-16 entitled 'Challenging RE'.
Key Stage 3
Students follow an introductory unit about why we study religion. Students then explore the development of Christianity from its original roots in Roman Palestine to its current role as the World's largest religion and the fact that religious traditions in this country are in the main Christians. Students then move on to study Sikhism, from its historical roots through to the challenges of applying its core belief in equality in modern Britain today.
The students follow a unit that explores the perceived conflicts between Science and Religion and refers to Global issues concerning religious responses to the environment. They then move onto an introduction to Buddhism, involving a study of its core beliefs and practices and Buddhists responses to some ultimate questions. The students then return to Christianity, exploring both the key teachings of Jesus and the central beliefs of Christians about the significance of his death and resurrection.
The students have an introduction to Judaism, its origins, core beliefs and practices, and in particular its responses to suffering throught the study of the Holocaust. The unit continues by covering other examples of prejudice and discrimination which includes an examination of the roles of people with faith such as William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. This unit finishes with an examination of the continuing slave trade in the twenty first century.
Key Stage 4
At the end of Year 9, students can opt to do our full course GCSE and it is usual to have two GCSE sets in Year 10. Those who do take the GCSE course currently study Judaism and Christianity Ethics but from September 2012, this will change to Philosophy of Religion and Christian Ethics. Currently we take AQA Religious Studies Specification A.
All Year 10 and 11 students, including those who take the GCSE course have one compulsory period every other week, timetabled against Enrichment (our PSHE & Citizenship course). In Year 10, we explore the development of Islam and its current role as a Global Religion and then consider issues of identity in a Media driven and celebrity obsessed world. In Year 11, we explore a variety of moral issues which currently dominate the headlines, specifically the ethical debates surrounding current Laws and practices of Abortion and Euthanasia/Assisted Suide.
Key Stage 5
We have a thriving AS/A2 level. We take the OCR syllabus and study Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics. Please see Sixth Form for AS/A2 subject information.