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Faith, Belief, Culture & Society

‘Faith, Belief, Culture and Society’ is not simply a rebranding of traditional Religious Education.

We are working to enhance students’ understanding of how society works, and the role that faith, beliefs and culture have in everyone’s life, regardless of whether they’re religious or not. We look at the personal impact of beliefs on the way that people live, and consider what the behaviours of others can tell us about what they value and believe in. The department currently teaches GCSE Religious Studies and Psychology, and both Psychology and Philosophy within the IB, as part of this broader approach to the study of what makes us human, which is what we’re really trying to think about in class.

Key Stage 3

Over the past year we have developed a new KS3 curriculum in FBCS that has been designed to challenge students to consider the effects their beliefs have on their behaviours, through considering different people’s points of view. Thus we might look at Hindu views on creation and ask students to reflect upon those views in relation to their own. When we look at ethics in Y9 students encounter different ethical and religious viewpoints and discuss the rights and wrongs of situations from these and a personal perspective. At all stages the beliefs and behaviours of others are considered and used as a tool to reflect upon students’ own views on life, the universe and everything. One part of our approach is to utilise aspects of Philosophy for Children to help develop analytical skills and a rational approach to debating important issues, and this has been particularly successful in engaging students in what we think is one of the most important subjects that students can study for a constructive life in British society.

Key Stage 4

RELIGIOUS STUDIES: AQA Examining Board

What is the purpose of religion? Is it right to test medicine on animals? Is the world ours to be used as we wish? Is prejudice inevitable? Is war just? Should someone terminally ill be allowed to die when they choose?

These are just some of the challenging and thought-provoking questions you will meet in your study of GCSE Religious Studies. You will have the opportunity to address the fundamental questions of life as well as encounter the laws, ethics and beliefs which shape people’s lives.

All students cover two units, which are comprised of various thematic topics. These themes will be approached through an in-depth study of Christianity and Buddhism.

The units are:

Unit 2:  Unit 3:
Religion and Life Issues Religion and Morality
Religion and Animal Rights  Religious Attitudes to Matters of Life (Medical Ethics)   
Religion and Planet Earth Religious Attitudes to the Elderly & Death
Religion and Prejudice Religious Attitudes to Drug Abuse
Religion and Early Life ReligiousAttitudes to Crime and Punishment
Religion, War and Peace Religious Attitudes to Rich & Poor in UK society

Students will sit two exams at the end of the two-year course.

PSYCHOLOGY: Edexcel

Psychology is becoming established as a very popular option at Bexley Grammar School. This course, offered by Edexcel, has been chosen for its interesting topics and the way it compliments IB Psychology, available in the sixth form.

Psychology is a science. This means that there is, alongside the topics (detailed below) a clear focus on rigorous methodology and the analysis of data. The traditional science psychology is most closely linked to is biology, and it is important that you are aware of this as you consider your options: psychology isn’t about mind-reading, but about trying to understand all aspects of behaviour in a better way, in part through considering the biology behind behaviours.

The course comprises two papers, both of which are examined at the end of Y11:

Paper 1Perception and Dreaming

  • How do we see our world?
  • Is dreaming meaningful?

Paper 2: Social and Biological Psychological Debates

  • Do TV and video games affect young people’s behaviour?
  • Why do we have phobias?
  • Are criminals born or made?

Key Stage 5

PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS: International Baccalaureate
PSYCHOLOGY: International Baccalaureate