A Level Religious Studies (Year 13 & 14)
At AS Level students study Religion over 10 periods a week. They cover two modules: An Introduction to Islam and Religious Ethics – Foundations and Practices. Assessment is through examination in each module and AS Level is worth 40% of the overall mark for GCE A Level.
Unit AS 6: An Introduction to Islam[BH1]
This unit introduces students to the historical origins and central beliefs of Islam.
Students learn about the life and career of Muhammad and the revelations he received from God, which subsequently provided the content of the Qur’an. They place the origins of Islam in historical context, focusing on the events in the life of Muhammad that are religiously, politically and socially important. Students identify the role of the Qur’an as constitutive of Islam. They take account of its content, structure, process of collection and relationship to other sources of authority in Islam.
The unit also introduces students to the main beliefs and practices of Islam, as these are expressed in the Five Pillars of Islam.
Students learn about worship, particularly worship in the mosque and in the wider role of the mosque within the Muslim community.
Students also explore the relationship between Islam and other aspects of human Experience.
Unit AS 7: Foundations of Ethics with Special Reference to Issues in
At the start of this unit, students explore the themes and principles that are foundational to religious ethics. These include: the role of Christian scripture in informing Christian ethics, the deontological approach of natural moral law and the teleological approaches of utilitarianism and situation ethics.
Students learn about the origin and development of each ethical theory, focusing on the contribution of key writers and ethicists.
They then apply these ethical approaches to key issues in medical ethics, such as human infertility, surrogacy and embryo research.
Students explore the relationship between science, technology and Christian ethics. This allows them to consider possible implications for society, marriage and the family.
In their study of life and death issues, students focus on the moral debates surrounding abortion and the ethics of assisted suicide and euthanasia. Students also explore the relationship between ethics and other aspects of human experience.
Again, students study religion over 10 periods a week. They further develop their study of the two modules: The Theology of the Gospel of Luke and Ethics and Society. Again assessment is through two examinations which make up 60% of the full GCE A Level.
Unit A2 6: Islam in a Contemporary Context
In this unit, students consider the beliefs and practice of Islam in the context of the modern world. They consider the division between Sunni and Shi’a Islam in the context of its religious and political origins and of its contemporary significance.
Students learn about what is common to both groups of Muslims and what is distinctive of each. Students also focus on women and family life, along with ‘respect for life’ issues.
The final theme is conflict, freedom of belief and orthodoxy. In this theme students consider orthodoxy and interpretations of orthodoxy that construct boundaries around religions and communities.
The positive contribution of religion in resolving conflict and controversy is an important issue relating to division and conflict.
Students initially study this theme in relation to Islam. It then provides a perspective from which students can consider the content of other units.
Unit A2 7: Global Ethics
At the start of this unit, students focus on moral theory. This includes the origins and development of virtue ethics and a study of free will, determinism and libertarianism.
The moral theory underpins the study of global ethics, focusing on topical issues in the world today.
Students learn about global rights, including the historical development of Christian and secular perspectives on human rights. These focus on sexual identity and gender-related issues. Students examine the nature and purpose of justice and punishment and the problems presented by contemporary warfare as global ethical issues.
In the final theme on conscience, freedom and tolerance, students consider the notion of moral duty and the link between religion and morality.
An important issue relating to the capacity for religion to promote tolerance is the question of whether fundamentalism has the opposite effect.
Students initially study this theme in relation to religious ethics. It then provides a perspective from which students can consider the content of other units.
Diocesan Faith Awards
Our Senior students are given the opportunity to become involved in projects which help them to put their faith into action. The Armagh Diocese has the Muiredach Cross Award for Year 11-12 students and the John Paul II Award for Year 13-14 students.
This involves students gaining credit for active work in their school and parish such as liturgical reading, Eucharistic minister, cleaning the church, singing in church, charity work and social justice projects such as helping Trocaire and SVP.