In the Religious Studies department at Gresham’s Prep our main aims are as follows:
- to broaden pupils’ understanding of the history, beliefs and culture of the major world religions;
- to develop pupils’ understanding of religious influence in modern day society;
- to stimulate pupils interest in religion, ethics and philosophy as an academic subject;
- to encourage pupils to form, justify and express their opinions both orally and on paper and also
- to help pupils find and exploit the links between Religious Studies and other subjects which they study in order to broaden their general understanding of the world as a whole.
To achieve this we approach topics from multiple standpoints. At the same time as building pupils’ knowledge of the facts, ideas and issues behind the religions we also enable them to explore how religion can inspire people to behave in certain ways by looking at people of faith who have, in some way, changed the world; for example, Martin Luther King, Aung San Suu Kyi, Ghandi and others. A close eye is kept on current events where there is an ethical or religious issue unfolding and pupils are encouraged to follow these up independently. In Years 7 and 8, biblical texts are unpicked and analysed both in the context in which they were written and in terms of their modern relevance and meaning.
Pupils are encouraged to question and debate as much as possible in their lessons as a means of developing their basic analytical and expressive skills. The broad nature of the topics covered (especially in respect of contemporary issues) means that all pupils, regardless of their ability or knowledge are able to enter into these debates. As their confidence grows, pupils are also encouraged to research and present both orally and in essay form on issues which have arisen in class.