The Religious Studies Department aims at:
- Promoting the recognition of different types of Religions in order to understand why people are religious and what their beliefs are.
- Developing access to the world of learning where all student have access to the curriculum so that they may fulfil their social and academic potential along with their cultural perspective.
- Cultivating critical thinking skills in order to encourage links between academic education, the world of work and adult life. Alongside this we try to encourage independent learning with a variety of activities to encourage this.
The methodology used in the Department reflects the mission statement.
Throughout the school students experience RS through Drop Down Days that are spread throughout the year. Students spend an entire day exploring specific themes such as Festivals, Pilgrimage, Justice, Genetic Engineering and Religion and Art. In RS we encourage students to be able to understand not only the world around them, but also to be aware of two major world religions studied in the GCSE course.
In RS students are encouraged to display their English and Literacy skills by becoming more familiar with a range of skills which include being able to critically evaluate and demonstrate religious knowledge. As effective RS students the aim is that they will be able to look at any modern world topic and realise the impact that religion may have on it.
Curriculum Leader: Mr J Webb
"After studying Philosophy at undergraduate level, I went to Birmingham University to study my PGCE in Religious Studies and Philosophy. After graduating, I moved back to London to teach in Watford where I quickly became head of academic studies in the sixth form and head of Religious Studies. After 4 years in Watford, I later moved on to AVA to lead the Religious Studies team. My teaching pedagogy is one where students can learn about religion and use their own experiences to draw lessons conclusions. In essence, become life long learners. Away from teaching I have a passion for cooking, travel and water sports."
Teacher of Religious Studies: Mr S Mumford
Details to follow.
Key Stage 4
Students will be following the AQA Religious Studies A course. Students will investigate two religions: Christianity and Islam and will explore beliefs, teachings and practises as well as philosophy and ethics components.
- Nature of God
- Incarnation, resurrection, salvation and ascension of Jesus.
- Death and the afterlife
- Types of worship including prayer and Holy Communion
- The importance of the worldwide church and the role of the church in the local community.
- Nature of God
- Key beliefs in Sunni and Shi’a traditions
- Life after death
- Importance of the prophets including the life of Muhammad
- Holy Books
- The five Pillars – which include prayer, charity and pilgrimage
Philosophy and Ethics components:
- Religion and Life
- The existence of God and Revelation
- Religion, Peace and Conflict
- Religion, crime and Punishment
- Religion, human rights and social justice.
The aim of the course is to:
- develop students’ knowledge and understanding of religions and non-religious beliefs
- develop students ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject
- reflect on and develop students own values, belief, meaning, purpose, truth and their influence on human life
- reflect on and develop students own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they have learnt and contribute to their preparation for adult life in a pluralistic society and global community.
Students will be assessed on a regular basis within the topic to monitor student progress – usually practise exam questions so that students can practise their technique and time management skills. At the end of Year 11 students will sit two external exams: one paper covers beliefs and practices for Christianity and Islam and paper 2 will be covering the philosophy and ethics components. Each exam will last 1 hour and 45 minutes.
When students are at home it is essential that they engage in conversation with family and friends about the ideas they have been presented with; this way students are able to gain new insights and alternative views which can be brought back into the classroom and discussed or can be used in any homework they have been set.