Religious Studies at Leweston is an important part of the curriculum. It is timetabled for all pupils as a separate subject throughout the School.

GCSE, A and AS Level courses are available as well as the Certificate in Catholic Studies. Contemporary issues, morality, ethics and philosophy are all explored alongside the more traditional religious themes.

Beyond this academic study is the realisation that each individual needs to explore her own spirituality and place in a multi-faith society.

To this end various "Days with a Difference", retreats and services are arranged for and by the girls.

Years 7 to 9

In Years 7-9 all girls follow the CTS religious education programme, The Way, The Truth and The Life.  

Year 7 girls are introduced to the nature of biblical writing and how it is valued as the Word of God. They learn about the sacraments from both a doctrinal and personal perspective and look at the role of leadership in the Church, together with its Mission and examine their historical and contemporary settings.

Year 8 begins with a study of the Church's teaching on creation and explores the contribution made by both scientific and environmental issues to our understanding of the world we live in. Examining the theme of Covenant, pupils reflect on their role of stewards of God's earth. Central to this year's syllabus is a detailed exploration of the Paschal Mystery and the importance of the Mass in the life of the Christian community. The prophetic role of the Church and its place within past and present British society is the final section of the course.

In Year 9 the theme of life as a vocation is examined in both its community and personal contexts. The concept of 'Spiritual Quest' for each individual is explored from the Christian and Islamic perspective. The New Testament is revisited for a deeper look and understanding of the Gospel message, this is then used to explore the challenges the Church faces in contemporary society and how its social teaching provides a guide to the individual as a global citizen.

GCSE

All students in Year 10 and Year 11 follow the GCSE religious studies course. The girls study two units: Religion and life based on a study of Christianity, which deals with issues such as beliefs and values, community and tradition, worship and celebration and living the Christian Life and St Mark's Gospel which looks at discipleship, conflict and argument, death and resurrection and who is Jesus?

In addition all candidates undertake a special study on the theme of Christian attitudes to Wealth and Poverty and Christians and Persecution or the Parables of the Kingdom.

While it is possible to submit work on the special studies as coursework, for the majority of candidates assessment is based on the completion of two, two hour, written examination papers taken in the Summer of Year 11.

A Level

Religious Studies at A Level challenges the student to consider the basic questions of our existence: Who am I? What is the purpose of life? Is there anything beyond? As such it goes far deeper than a school subject and helps to prepare the person for life in general.

The course in Year 12 consists of two units: one which explores the foundations for Philosophy of Religion and the foundations of Ethics and a second, entitled Investigations, where each student either selects a topic from a list of titles provided or may submit their own proposal for approval by the Chief Examiner. With the help of the teacher the student prepares a coursework essay based on her own research in this area.

In Year 13 for A2 there are a further two units. Developments, which expands on the AS Foundations Unit and includes the study of the further philosophical arguments for the existence of God such as religious experience, beliefs about life after death and religious language and ethical concepts and selected problems in ethics, and Implications which draws together topics studied in other sections of the course and examines the consequences of holding certain opinions, views or beliefs; how a particular belief or value could affect other people, either for good or ill and how other people's lives might be affected if a certain belief were widely held or if a certain value were widely applied.

 

The Jesuits and the Tudors by Daniel Kearney