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Religious Studies

At King William’s College students pursue an interesting and challenging curriculum in Religious Studies throughout the Fourth Form and during their Lower Fifth and Middle Fifth years with a view to encouraging students to reflect on the world in which they live. Religion plays a significant role in everyday life both through our interactions with others and with society as a whole, hence we aim to give students an awareness of major beliefs and practices along with encouraging them to critically engage with these teachings.

Lower Fourth:

In the L4 year students begin their journey through the religious landscape with an exploration of the three Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). During this year they will investigate the foundations of these religions while learning about the major beliefs, worship, rituals and festivals associated with each one, all the while considering the links between the three.

Upper Fourth:

Building on the work completed in L4, the U4 students delve into Christianity in greater detail, familiarising themselves with key Christian teachings before applying this to the modern world. Through doing so, we explore the continuing relevance of religion in today’s world while also encouraging greater social awareness. By investigating modern issues and notable figures we encourage students to draw parallels between contemporary issues and religious teachings.

Lower Fifth and Middle Fifth (GCSE Religious Studies):

In the Fifth Form all students embark upon the two year GCSE Religious Studies course, sitting the final exams at the end of the M5 year. The course is split into two major components which are examined separately:

Component 1 - The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices:
Christianity: Beliefs, Teachings and Practices.
Islam: Beliefs, Teachings and Practices.

Component 2 - Religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes:
Theme A: Relationships and families.
Theme B: Religion and life.
Theme C: The existence of God and revelation.
Theme D: Religion, peace and conflict.

Throughout the course students explore the ‘big questions’ of life and belief, tackling a wide range of contentious and thought provoking philosophical and ethical questions such as:

“Is there evidence for God’s existence?”
“Why does God allow suffering?”
“Can religion and science both be right?”
“Can war ever be justified?”
“Should euthanasia be legalised?”
“Is marriage still relevant in the twenty-first century?”

While the GCSE specifically requires students to develop a detailed understanding of Christianity and Islam, students are widely encouraged to critically engage with teachings, interrogating a wide variety of opinions held both by those with religious beliefs and those without. We aim to reflect a wide variety of views and encourage intellectual and impassioned debate within the classroom.

Regardless of which stage students are at, Religious Studies gives a unique insight into social, moral and cultural issues and in doing so provides students with a range of critical thinking and writing skills that transcend the Religious Studies classroom:

I think RS is good because it’s different to all the other subjects we do as we talk and think about things that we don’t do in other lessons. - Isabelle Barber

RS makes you think about different points of view on topics and makes you understand what other people think. - Jessica Clucas

I like RS because it makes us think about things we wouldn’t usually consider and understand situations other than what we’re used to. - Anna Blayney

Our son has been at King William’s College for two years and has settled in very well with the full support of the boarding staff and teachers, who have demonstrated great kindness and caring. The highly disciplined, but dynamic education system has helped our 15 year old son to adapt well and his confidence has noticeably improved in a short space of time. What's especially pleasing is that not only does the College have an excellent calibre of teaching staff and a strong academic curriculum, but we have been surprised and delighted to discover their excellent music achievements! With such great experience, our second son will also join KWC starting at Lower 5, to have a well rounded education. We cannot be more pleased with our decision to send our sons here all the way from Hong Kong!

M5 Overseas Parent