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Philosophy and Religious Education (PRE)

Exam Board: WJEC


Subject Overview

The aim of the PRE Department is to develop a sense of curiosity in the religious beliefs of others as well as an understanding of why different groups of people behave the way they do. Throughout PRE lessons, students are encouraged to express their opinions as well as learning to critically and sensitively consider the views of others.

KS3 Year 7: See Project Based Learning (PBL)

KS3 Year 8: See Project Based Learning (PBL)

KS3/4 Year 9: During Year 9, students are predominantly focused on exploring the basic beliefs of some major world religions to give a solid grounding for GCSE: Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Sikhism. 

GCSE Overview

All students complete a GCSE in Religious Studies. The course is delivered over two years with 5 one-hour lessons per fortnight. There is no coursework or controlled assessment for Religious Studies and students are assessed solely through three examinations at the end of Year 11.

The course is designed to be flexible and units can be taught in a different order especially if world events lend themselves to looking at a topic in depth at that time to show relevance.

KS4 Year 10: In Year 10, students begin by completing Component 3: A Study of Hinduism, examining key beliefs and teachings of the faith including beliefs about God, cosmology and human nature.  Following this, they explore Component 2: A Study of Christianity.  This unit looks at key religious beliefs about God, evil and suffering, creeds, life and death of Jesus, sin, heaven and hell, types of religious worship, celebrations, evangelism and mission.  

KS4 Year 11: The second year of the course is focused on Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the modern world and is composed of four topics:

  1. Relationships – marriage, divorce, cohabitation, purpose of sex, gender equality and same-sex relationships
  2. Life and Death – creation, evolution, environmental sustainability, abortion, animal rights, right to die and human rights
  3. Good and Evil – morality, causes of crime, aims of punishment, death penalty, origins of evil and suffering
  4. Human Rights - discrimination, extremism, censorship, personal conviction, poverty and prejudice.

Throughout the GCSE course, students are encouraged to develop their ability to express their own opinions on these issues, to give full details of why some people will disagree with them and to recognise and counter potential flaws in their arguments.  All topics are explored predominantly from Christian and Hindu perspectives, although students are permitted to write about any of the major world religions in the exams.  

Exam Details:

Component 1 -  Religious, Philosophical and Ethical studies in the modern world – 2 hour exam - 50% of the final mark.

Component 2 -  Christianity: Beliefs, Teachings and Practices – 1 hour exam - 25% of the final mark

Component 3 - Hinduism: Beliefs, Teachings and Practices – 1 hour exam - 25% of the final mark.