Wellington College

Wellington College Belfast

Co-Educational Grammar School

Engage | Educate | Empower

Religious Studies

Religious Studies
Religious Studies Trip to Poland

Key Staff

  • Mrs P McKeown (HoD)
  • Mrs R Fitzsimons

The Religious Studies Department wish to promote the College motto UNA DISCAMUS: Let us Learn Together. We want to ensure that all students have the opportunity to maximise their potential in the curriculum area of Religious Studies and as a consequence develop academically, socially, emotionally and morally.

The needs of the pupil are always paramount with every effort being made to ensure students can study Religious Studies, irrespective of gender, race, culture, belief and academic ability.

The Religious Studies Teaching Team seeks to, over time, to help young people:

  • To develop a curiosity, interest and enjoyment of Religious Studies.
  • To understand how Religion can be a powerful influence, positively or negatively, on people’s lives; individually and in communities.
  • To value and respect religious diversity and to learn how to live with it in a shared society.
  • To have open and enquiring minds and to see Religious Studies in the context of a wider body of knowledge and skills.
  • Realise his/her full academic potential.
  • Achieve success in public examinations and gain access to higher education.
  • To explore religious and ethical issues with awareness and understanding.
  • To develop a range of desirable personal qualities.
  • To work independently and as part of a team.
  • To engage in responsible religious dialogue: involving the right to a voice and the responsibility to listen.
  • Become an independent, critical thinker and life long learner.
  • Develop a vocational understanding of work in preparation for the 21st century.

Year 8

  1. Christianity
  2. All about Me
  3. Creation
  4. Environment
  5. Moses
  6. Equality
  7. CS Lewis

Year 9

  1. Who is Jesus
  2. Adolescence
  3. Jesus’ relationships
  4. Parables
  5. Holy Week
  6. Judaism
  7. St Patrick

Year 10

  1. Existence of God
  2. Challenges of Adolescence
  3. Miracles
  4. Career Choices and Work
  5. Islam
  6. Reformation
  7. Religious Diversity

Unit 4: Christianity through a Study of the Gospel of Matthew

This unit introduces students to five themes in the life and ministry of Jesus, as portrayed in Matthew’s Gospel.

  1. The Identity of Jesus
  2. Jesus the miracle worker
  3. The Kingdom of God
  4. The death and resurrection of Jesus
  5. The role and nature of Christian Discipleship

Students enhance their knowledge and understanding of, and ability to evaluate, key passages. They should consider these passages both within the religious, political, social and cultural context of Jesus’ time, and in terms of how they influence contemporary Christian lifestyle in all its diversity.

Unit 6: An Introduction to Christian Ethics

This unit introduces students to ethics in the study of religion. Students explore:

  1. Personal and family issues,
  2. Matters of life and death,
  3. Developments in bioethics,
  4. Contemporary issues in Christianity and
  5. Modern warfare.

AS Religion and Ethics

Unit AS 2: An Introduction to the Acts of the Apostles

In this unit, students explore the beginnings of the Church of the New Testament.

Students trace the journey of the Gospel, from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and into the Gentile world of the first century. Students identify the role and importance of key individuals in the growth and expansion of the church and assess their contribution.

Students focus on Peter, Stephen and Philip with the start of the missionary work in Jerusalem, and the first expansion to Judea and Samaria. They study Paul’s work as a missionary and evangelist through his missionary journeys and speeches. Students also explore the relationship between the Acts of the Apostles and otheraspects of human experience.

Unit AS 7: Foundations of Ethics with Special Reference to Issues in Medical Ethics

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.  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.

Unit A2 2: Themes in Selected Letters of St Paul

This unit builds on the study of Paul’s missionary activity completed at AS level.

Students explore Paul’s role as a Christian evangelist in greater depth through his letters to the churches established during his missionary journeys in Acts. Students engage in detailed study of three New Testament texts and critically assess the importance of Paul’s teaching for early Christian communities and the church today. Students also focus on the role of Paul as pastor and theologian.

In the final theme on controversy, division and resolution, students examine the problem of controversy in religion and highlight some potential areas of conflict.  The contribution of religion in encouraging dialogue and resolution is an important issue relating to controversy and division. Students initially study this theme in relation to New Testament texts. It then provides a perspective from which students can consider the content of at least one other unit of study.

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 at least one other unit of study.

Religious Studies helps many pupils go forward and secure places in third level education or other alternative work pathways. The skills developed at various Key Stages in Religious Studies, have proven to be very beneficial in helping students to make the transition to academic study at university level.

Our teaching methodologies are designed to develop critical thinking skills, interpretative and analytical skills and encourage independent learning where pupils must research various schools of thought and offer their own personal insights. The content of the Ethics programme gives a meaningful moral and ethical backdrop to key areas such as Medicine, Journalism or Law.

Studying theology and religious studies allows you to explore how religious beliefs and practices shape and influence the world we live in

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Further education teacher
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Primary school teacher
  • Secondary school teacher

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Advice worker
  • Archivist
  • Charity officer
  • Civil Service administrator
  • Community development worker
  • Editorial assistant
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Social worker
  • Youth worker

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