Salesian School

Enlightening minds, uplifting hearts

Religious Education

Head of Department: Mr David Legrand

As a Catholic school we continue to place a high value on the place of faith and worship in our Sixth Form. All students are required to engage in at least one hour of RE-based study. We address this through the Extended Project Qualification. Students who wish to deepen their studies can take the RE A Level (Philosophy and Ethics) instead.

Philosophy and Ethics A Level

IMG_3818_380.jpgIt is difficult to separate religion from culture and society; some of the greatest art, architecture, literature, theatre, sculpture and philosophy has been rooted in religion.​ Rigorous study in this field opens many opportunities for personal growth and professional development.

The study of philosophy and ethics at A level includes:

  • The key concepts of Philosophy & Ethics
  • The contribution of significant people, movements and traditions
  • Major issues arising from the study of Philosophy & Ethics
  • Interpreting and evaluating concepts, issues, ideas , the relevance of arguments and the views of scholars
  • Learning to construct reasoned arguments substantiated by evidence

We follow the OCR specification. Teaching combines the study of established philosophers and ethicists, and debate within classes as we seek to apply their teachings to contemporary problems. During the delivery of Philosophy and Ethics, teachers draw on a variety of resources and teaching techniques including literature, art, music, role plays, newspaper articles, classroom discussions, allowing students to develop transferable skills, religious literacy and greater global awareness. Assessment is entirely through examination.

Extra-curricular opportunities include: Philosophy and Ethics conferences, House of Commons visits, visiting lecturers, Justice and Peace league and prayer opportunities.

For more information, including admission criteria, see the Sixth Form Options booklet.

The Extended Project Qualification

All Catholic Schools and Sixth Forms offer the provision for Sixth Form Religious Education. We are an unashamedly Catholic Sixth Form and consequently all Sixth Formers who have not chosen to study Philosophy and Ethics come together once a week for Sixth Form RE. We are fortunate to be able to offer The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) to all of our sixth form students. This qualification is equal to an AS-Level in UCAS points and hence not only does it have value in its own right but it also counts as a university-accredited course.

Students taking the EPQ research and write an extended essay (5000 words) exploring a topic of a religious, spiritual, moral or ethical nature. Supported by teaching staff, students develop their own topic of inquiry and follow it through to conclusion. Examples of highly successful essays written for the EPQ include:

  • Do we exist?
  • ​Are American fundamentalist religious beliefs partly responsible for global warming?
  • Is it ethical to genetically engineer babies for designer purposes?
  • Do violent computer games contribute to anti-social behaviour?​

Students begin studying for the EPQ in September of Year 12, completing the project by the Christmas of Year 13. We follow the Edexcel specification. Assessment is entirely through submission of a fully researched and footnoted essay, with supporting materials.

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