The unexamined life is not worth living – Socrates
The Ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, considered the investigation of life’s ultimate questions as a pastime worth dying for. As a teacher he was a maverick: he never asked his students to write a word but he did expect them to think deeply and question everything. His commitment to moving beyond superficial understanding, led to his pupils becoming the rebels of their day. Their refusal to accept laws without question meant their mentor Socrates was considered a rabble-rouser. He was eventually charged with corruption and rebellion. Socrates ultimately considered the study of religion, philosophy and ethics worth dying for. He refused to compromise his belief in questions and as such, opted for a lethal hemlock poison, rather than imprisonment.
The study of RS at Camp Hill Boys is designed to encourage students to live the examined life. Students study a wide range of religious, scientific, and non-religious perspectives on some of life’s most fundamental questions. In RS classrooms, students will develop the questioning habit, as they explore such topics as the meaning of life, the nature of the soul and the origin of the world. Whilst the RS department does not expect the same level of dedication as Socrates, it will expect students to open their minds to a range of views! It is only through the examination of a wide range of perspectives, that students will begin to be sure of their own views.
How will I study?
Camp Hill Boys approach Religious Studies with enthusiasm and an enquiring mind. They are encouraged to develop evaluative and analytical skills, empathy, reflection and spiritual awareness.
During their studies of different themes and faiths, they learn the importance of respect and acceptance of those who adhere to different faiths or none. The department is known by the students for encouraging deep thinking and critical analysis. They see RS as a chance to think outside of the box, develop their own views and respectfully challenge and be challenged by others.
Religious Studies is a statutory requirement of your son’s education. At Camp Hill we aim to make that educational experience relevant and engaging through thematic study of topics. RS develops a range of skills and gives the boys the ability to give detailed explanations as well as critically analyse and evaluate different ideas. Lessons use a wide range of activities and encourage independent learning skills. The department is committed to the use of ICT and makes active use of interactive whiteboards and the Google Suite.
Where can RS take me?
Boys who choose to study RS have a wide range of opportunities available to them. RS can give breadth to students who are pursuing medicine or science based subjects. RS naturally complements other essay based subjects developing critical thinking skills. Students who study RS can go into Law, social work, teaching, research, journalism as well as further study.
All students will study RS until Year 9, with many opting for further GCSE and A Level study.
From Years 7-9, students follow a varied thematic curriculum which covers the basics of the 6 major world religions, as well as non religious beliefs including those of Humanism.
- In Year 7 we consider questions around how religions describe God, the role of leaders in religion, and compare rituals and rites of passage between different communities.
- In Year 8, students study different ideas about the beginning and end of the world, attitudes to violence, and engage with ancient and modern ethical theories as different approaches to real life issues.
- In Year 9, we give students even more of a taste of GCSE study with topics on the existence of God, life after death, and crime and punishment.
GCSE Religious Studies is optional, but very popular, at Camp Hill Boys. We follow the AQA A Specification, studying Christianity and Hinduism as our chosen religions, and four units of Thematic Studies on topics ranging from Relationships to War and Peace. More detail can be found here: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/gcse/religious-studies-a-8062
Our A Level offer reflects the strengths and the interests of our students, with a large proportion of their study being focused on Philosophy or Religion and Ethics. They also study Buddhism in depth, and in dialogue with the approaches of philosophers and ethicists. This course is good preparation for the study of the humanities at university, but also contains real world elements regarding ethical issues and the nature and value of human life which students find helpful in applications to study the more vocational subjects. For more information: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/as-and-a-level/religious-studies-7062