Religious Studies

Religious Studies is taught as an academic subject, aiming to ensure that all students leave Putney able to understand and evaluate their own religious beliefs and those of others they meet, combined with a particular ability to consider the texts, philosophical assumptions and influence of Christianity. Through looking at all of the major faith traditions using art, discussion, story, trips to places of worship, rites of passage, belief, philosophy and attitudes, students can examine many of the ‘big questions’ of life and express and evaluate their own answers to these. Religious Studies aims to equip students to live and work in multi-cultural societies.

Key Stage 3:

Pupils study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Judaism and Christianity in Years 7 and 8, developing skills of evaluation, critical thinking and analysis. In Year 9, the curriculum moves on to Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics, covering arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering, the relationship between science and religion, environmental ethics, poverty, equality and medical ethics.


Pupils continue their study of Christianity and Judaism and the influences of these on individuals, communities and societies. Different opinions among Christians and Jews as well as non-religious responses to contemporary issues are studied, and pupils are encouraged to express their opinions and develop evaluative skills. Pupils consider the origins and value of the universe and human life, philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God, and the nature of the divine revelation. The course also includes an in-depth study of the elements of Mark’s Gospel.

A Level:

This course comprises three modules: Philosophy of Religion, Religious Ethics and Textual Studies. Pupils study a range of arguments on topics such as the nature and existence of God, the relationship between religion and science, and life after death. Students are introduced to ethical theories such as utilitarianism, natural law and situation ethics and meta-ethics (using ethical language). They also consider ethical dilemmas such as war and medical ethics. Pupils explore the religious, social and political background to the life and ministry of Jesus and the purpose and authorship of the gospels.

Extension Activities:

Our Religious Studies department are in partnership with the London Academy of Excellence, and Year 12 and 13 pupils make exchange visits through the year to expand their curriculum skills and knowledge. Keen students have the opportunity to contribute to academic journals and to enter national essay competitions.

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