Religious Studies has an important role in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and life-long learning. It helps develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faith and beliefs are different from their own.
Religious Studies provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self, the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
Religious Studies enhances pupils’ awareness of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.
At Strathean, the subject is delivered by 3 enthusiastic specialists, who teach with a focus on active learning in modern classrooms, equipped with interactive whiteboards. The well-stocked departmental resource base is supported by the school Library.
The department has achieved consistently high examination results but more importantly, has fostered in its students an enduring love of the subject.
Mr Jellie (Head of Department)
The Department aims to
- create and contribute to an ethos of mutual understanding and respect
- promote knowledge and understanding of, and sensitivity towards, diversity in religious belief, practice and culture in our own community and in the wider world
- establish an environment of academic excellence
Overview of work
At key stage 3, pupils study a range of topics including the origins and contents of the Bible in English, characters from the Old Testament, including Moses. They study the early life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. Students also gain an understanding of Hinduism and Judaism with a focus on key beliefs and festivals.
At GCSE, our students follow CCEA’s GCSE full or short course in Religious Studies. All pupils study an ‘Introduction to Christian Ethics’, which addresses relationships, marriage and divorce, Christian teaching on abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment and bioethics. Those taking the full course study a further module, ‘An introduction to the Philosophy of Religion’, where they learn about the arguments for and against the existence of God and religious teaching about life after death.
At A-level, girls follow two modules from the CCEA specification. The Synoptic Gospels module includes the study of the Passion and Resurrection narratives, the theological significance of the teaching and actions of Jesus – his parables and his miracles. They also study The Early Christian Church, which includes looking at the persecution of the Christian Church, early Church writers like Ignatius, Cyprian and Tertullian and heretical movements.
Pupils benefit from trips Belfast’s Synagogue and various Christian denominations’ places of worship. There is also an opportunity to participate in a trip to Italy in third form, where pupils take in various places of religious and cultural significance.
Students of Religious Studies go on to work in a diverse range of fields including the Law, social work, medicine, teaching, youth work and theology.