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Religious Studies A level at Chancellor's School

Course description

The aims of the Religious Education (RE) curriculum are to enable pupils to become:

  • successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  • confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

RE is an important and distinctive curriculum subject which forms the core part of the basic curriculum. RE is important in its own right and it also makes a unique contribution to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and supports wider community cohesion. RE offers pupils opportunities to reflect on their personal beliefs, values and commitments and plays an important part in their spiritual development. RE enables pupils to ask many thought provoking questions such as: 'If God exists, what is the nature of God?', 'What is the ultimate meaning and purpose of life?' and 'How do we know right from wrong?'. RE develops young people's awareness of the importance and impact of religion and beliefs on individuals, their families, communities and cultures. Pupils gain invaluable insights into issues which affect all of us, for example, equality and justice, protecting and preserving our environment and its resources, and community cohesion and harmony. This knowledge will increase pupils' understanding of the world today: it will enable them to become responsible citizens who make informed choices in our diverse society and global community.

Religious Education is taught in accordance and under the guidelines of the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus of Religious Education 2012-2017. The Syllabus states that, by the end of KS3 aspects of all of the six principal world religions should have been studied. These six religions are: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. Furthermore, The Education Act of 1996 state that all Agreed Syllabuses should reflect "the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain".

The teaching staff is enthusiastic and sensitive to pupils' needs and religious beliefs. Pupils are always encouraged to be considerate and empathetic to the beliefs, values and traditions of others. Where appropriate, pupils are also encouraged to learn and explore topics from the viewpoint of their own faith community, if they have one. Under the Education Act, parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or some of their RE lessons. The department is always happy to discuss aspects of the curriculum with pupils and parents.

Course content

Year 12

  • Religion and Ethics:
  • Utilitarianism
  • Situation Ethics
  • Medical Issues of Euthanasia and Abortion
  • Religion, Philosophy and Science:
  • Miracles
  • Creation
  • The Design Argument

Year 13

  • Philosophy of Religion:
  • The Ontological Argument
  • Religious Language
  • The Problem of Evil
  • Ways of Moral Decision-Making:
  • Natural Moral Law
  • Virtue Ethics
  • Kantian Ethics
  • Medical Research and Developments


Year 12 students have four and a half hours of lessons per week and Year 13 students have four hours of lessons per week. Students will be assessed formally at the end of each topic.

Future opportunities

'A' Level RS is highly regarded by both higher education institutions and employers. It can lead onto reading Philosophy, Ethics, Theology, Law, Sociology, Politics, History, Psychology and Economics at higher education, and Broadcasting, Journalism, Education, Law, Counselling, Medicine, Social Work, and Business in employment.

'A' Level RS will develop skills and qualities which are highly valued by universities and employers, such as skills of analysis, critiquing and evaluation. A successful 'A' Level RS student will be an articulate and confident individual, someone who is able to read and make sense of complex issues and concepts, and form original ideas.

Famous people who have studied Religious Studies, Philosophy & Ethics include:

  • Richard Gere – actor
  • Ethan Coen – filmmaker
  • Philip Glass – composer
  • Bruce Lee- martial artist/actor
  • George Soros – financier
  • Iris Murdoch – author
  • Gerald Levin – CEO, Times Warner Inc

Further information

Extra curricular activities include a trip to St Paul's Cathedral, Philosophy and Ethics conferences, a lunchtime Philosophy club and a philosophy essay competition.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Chancellor's School directly.

Last updated date: 16 August 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September


  • More information
    • FROM THE NORTH - Take the A1(M) to Hatfield. Exit at Junction 3 and take A1001 signposted Welham Green, then join the A1000 to Potters Bar. After 2 miles at Brookmans Park (transmitting station on left) turn right into George's Wood Road (almost opposite B158, Kentish Lane). After 100 yards turn right into Pine Grove, then after 600 yards left (Signposted) to Chancellor's School.

      FROM M25/SOUTH - From the M25 exit at Junction 24 to Potters Bar. Take the A1000 signposted Hatfield. After about 2.5 miles take a left turn into George's Wood Road (just before B158, Kentish Lane). After 100 yards turn right into Pine Grove, then after 600 yards left (Signposted) to Chancellor's School.