Religious Studies and Philosophy

Religious Studies and Philosophy

Religious Studies and Philosophy (RSP) is an exploration of some the most important questions of human existence.

‘Why are we here?’, ‘is there a purpose to human life?’, ‘is there a god?’, ‘how should we behave?’, ‘do we have free will?’, ‘how should societies organise themselves?’, ‘is the world really as I perceive it?’ – these are just a few.

Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 | core subject

We explore the above questions through studying the six major world religions and non-religious philosophical perspectives. Students will also gain a good understanding of the key beliefs and practices of the great world faiths.

In the Summer Term of each year students take part in Philosophy for Children where in group enquiries they develop their critical thinking, debating and self-expression skills while considering such ‘big’ questions listed at the outset.

Year 10 and 11, GCSE | option subject

The Religious Studies GCSE is more than its name suggests. Pupils study a range of religious beliefs, especially Christian and Islamic, coming to recognise that religion remains one of the most powerful influences on our world today. They also examine a range of philosophical and ethical perspectives,

considering issues around medical ethics, crime and punishment, war and violence and the philosophy of religion as well as questions such as ‘does God exist’ and ‘how can there be a loving God with all the evil in the world?’. Not only is this an academic study, but Religious Studies GCSE can be a journey of personal development. Philosophical and religious beliefs shape everything about an individual; how we view ourselves and others, the purpose of life and what happens at its end, along with the formation of attitudes to key moral issues and the development of our own decision making.

– There are no specific academic requirements.

– AQA GCSE 8062 Religious Studies

Sixth Form, A-Level | option subject

Philosophy is literally ‘the love of ideas’. This subject is ideal for students who enjoy wrestling with big questions that often don’t have answers, such as ‘Is the world really as it appears to us?’, ‘Are we born knowing anything?’, ‘How do we make moral decisions?’, ‘Is it acceptable to lie under certain circumstances?’, ‘Is the mind the same thing as the brain?’, and ‘Does God exist?’.

We explore answers suggested by some of the greatest minds in history. So, not only will studying Philosophy enlarge a student’s understanding of their own existence, it will also demonstrate to universities and employers the quality of their mind, showcasing the highly prized skills of constructing arguments, thinking logically and creatively and communicating ideas clearly.

– Students do not need to have studied (I)GCSE Religious Studies and Philosophy. However, it is expected that students will have at least a grade 7 in either (I)GCSE History, English Language or English Literature.

– AQA A-Level 7172 Philosophy

John Lyon Success

– 60% of A-Level students achieved A*-B grades in Philosophy.
– 58% of GCSE pupils were awarded a 9 or 8 grade in Religious Studies.
– Nathan Cuttica (OL2019) left John Lyon to read Philosophy at the University of St Andrews.

Outside the Classroom

John Lyon’s programme of extra-curricular activities includes a number of options directly related to or complementary to Religious Studies and Philosophy, such as Ethics, Faith Club and Philosophy Club.

Beyond School

Religious Studies develops analytical and critical thinking skills, literacy skills, the ability to work with abstract ideas, leadership and research skills. As such, it is a highly respected academic qualification, with all universities welcoming pupils with Religious Studies onto their degree courses.

Former pupils have progressed to read Law, Medicine, Philosophy, Economics, English, and many other subjects, finding careers in the legal profession, business world, financial services, health sector, media, civil service, teaching and numerous other professions.

A-Level Philosophy is a highly respected academic qualification. Past students have gone on to read Philosophy, Theology, Religious Studies, PPE, Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Economics, English and many other subjects at Oxbridge and Russell Group universities. According to the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, Philosophy graduates go into a wide range of careers including: law, medicine, psychology, education, politics, business and financial services, the civil service, journalism, publishing, broadcasting, advertising, film and media.