GCSE

GCSE

Link To GCSE Philosophy, Ethics and Religion (AQA)

Link To GCSE (Short Courses) Religious Studies (WJEC)

Link To GCSE Religious Studies (WJEC)

We have three study streams at KS4, to allow you maximum flexibility to choose the subject(s) that suit you and your future plans.  Option choices are always difficult; we have done our very best to ensure that no student is disappointed and that every student who wants to can gain a full GCSE qualification, regardless of option subject timetabling. 

Route

Timetabling Commitment

Qualification and Awarding Body

GCSE Philosophy, Ethics and Religion

One option block  - 5 periods a fortnight over KS4 (Years 10 and 11)

GCSE Religious Studies - AQA

GCSE Religious Studies

Option K block - 4 periods a fortnight in year 10 only (plus core lessons)

GCSE Religious Studies - WJEC

GCSE (Short Course) Religious Studies

None - you automatically have 2 lessons a fortnight of Core RS

GCSE (Short Course) Religious Studies - WJEC

All students, regardless of their GCSE option choices, have the opportunity to take the short course exam as part of their KS4 study; non-statutory guidelines require students to have core Religious Studies lessons.  We offer the chance to gain external recognition for this study.

If you have any questions at all about KS4 options within Religious Studies, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Putt (Curriculum Leader) in A24 or on the main school number.

Do you want to study an exciting course where you can consider modern ethical dilemmas e.g.  abortion, euthanasia and discuss whether such practices are correct? A course where you can also debate the big questions of life; is there a God?; is there an afterlife?

 

GCSE Philosophy, Ethics and Religion (Aqa)

This is our most recently introduced qualification, and it has proved very popular.  We always feel this course should really be called "Being Human" - there is not a single unit of study that isn't highly relevant to every single human being on the planet!  It is a very academic course, which truly develops philosophical ("thinking") skills.  This means it is a perfect complement to any other GCSE course - it blends just as coherently with straight sciences as with other humanities or more literacy-based options.

In the world of work employers look for someone with an enquiring mind, an appreciation of different viewpoints and an ability to come to clear, balanced decisions. If you want to work with people, in caring work, teaching, journalism, publishing, policing, in the armed forces, with children, in health, leisure and tourism or to work abroad, Religious Studies will give you valuable expertise that is recognised by recruitment professionals in all of these areas.

Is it for me?

If you want to study current issues such as organ donation, abortion, euthanasia, care of the elderly, punishment of criminals, rehabilitation of offenders, distribution of welfare at home and abroad, then yes.

If you care about what happens to you or your loved ones when old age creeps up; if you have an opinion on what happens to people when they die; if you are intrigued by stories of ghosts, miracles or visions and would like to know more, then yes.

If you want to personally analyse accounts of vision and miracle for their authenticity; if you want to know why good things happen to bad people and why good people suffer; if you believe we can even define "good" or tell right from wrong, then yes.

If you want to be skilled in the art of winning arguments convincingly or at least persuading people to consider your view, then yes.

If you have a faith; are a committed atheist or an interested agnostic, then yes.

If you are interested in human behaviour, then yes.

Basically, yes!

What will I actually study?

In year 10, we cover Religious Philosophy and Ultimate Questions.  This encourages you to begin philosophical thinking, focusing on matter linked to the Philosophy of Religion.  Whilst reflecting upon ultimate questions and developing your own, reasoned responses to questions such as whether there is life after death, you will also study philosophical arguments put forward by a variety of scholars.

Topics covered: The Existence of God; Revelation; the Problem of Evil and Suffering; Immortality (life after death); Miracles, and Science and Religion.  In the exam, you choose four of these topics to answer questions on.

In year 11, we cover Religion and Morality.  This allows you to express and support your personal view on questions/issues such as identity, meaning, purpose, truth and values.  You will also explore how religious belief impacts upon how people respond to these issues.

Topics covered: Medical Ethics; Attitudes to the Elderly and Death; Attitudes to Drug Abuse; Crime and Punishment; Rich and Poor in British Society and Attitudes to World Poverty.

How is the course examined?

There are two exams at the end of year 11, each counting for 50% of your final marks.  You will be given questions on all 6 of the topics you've studies for each unit, and you choose 4 to answer - there are no compulsory questions and no coursework/controlled assessment.

Download Ethics, Philosophy and Religion Booklet

Short Course Religious Studies (Core)

All students are timetabled for Religious Studies as part of their core curriculum, in accordance with non-statutory guidelines.  At Malbank, we feel that every student should have the opportunity to receive external accreditation for their study, so we offer all students the opportunity to sit a short course GCSE at the end of year 10, should they wish to.

To this end, during year 9 pupils begin their study of the GCSE syllabus, completing the Our World and Is it Fair modules.  In Year 10 we then study the Relationships and Looking for Meaning modules, completing the course and allowing students, in conjunction with their parents/carers, to decide if they would like to sit the exam.

What Will I Study?

The short course that we use is offered by WJEC, and covers pertinent issues for all global and local citizens or members of a community.  It is particularly relevant to young adults developing social, moral, spiritual and community awareness.  It is divided into four modules:

  1. Relationships (studied in Year 10) - this unit covers a variety of issues to do with sex and relationships, including marriage, divorce, remarriage, the purpose and value of love and sex.  It also looks at the topical issue of same sex marriage in places of worship. 
  2. Is it Fair? (studied in Year 9) - this unit addresses issues of justice and equality in a local and global context.  It focuses in particular on social responsibility, human dignity and wealth.  It also covers responsible use of the media and responses to racial, social and gender discrimination.
  3. Looking for Meaning (studied in Year 10) - this unit focuses on life, death and God.  It covers religious views on the existence and nature of God, as well as responses to God.  We also study views on the purpose of life and the nature of death and the afterlife, as well as considering if religion has a value in a secular society.
  4. Our World (studied in Year 9) - this unit is concerned with the place of mankind in the world.  It looks at a multitude of environmental issues as well as animal rights and the moral use of talents.  We also look at religious creation stories and their different interpretations.

How is it Examined?

You will have the opportunity to take one exam of an hour and forty five minutes to gain a short course GCSE qualification.  There is no coursework or controlled assessment and you will be given questions to answer on each of the above topics.  The exam is normally in May.

In the world of work employers look for someone with an enquiring mind, an appreciation of different viewpoints and an ability to come to clear, balanced decisions.  If you want to work with people, in caring work, teaching, journalism, publishing, policing, in the armed forces, with children, in health, leisure and tourism or to work abroad, Religious Studies will give you valuable expertise that is recognised by recruitment professionals in all of these areas.

Won't it be boring?  Isn't it all old stories and rules?

Definitely not!  In Religious Studies we deal with all the big issues that you see

and hear around you in the media - much of our study relates directly to current

news items so we often use different aspects of the media as a source or starting point for debate. The course is exciting and up-to-date as it evolves as our society responds to events.  It's relevant to anyone who has any interest at all in the world around them, and the BIG questions of life.

What will I actually study?

You will cover a large variety of fascinating topics, many of which do not have a definitive right or wrong answer - Religious Studies is about looking at what other people belief and then forming your own opinion.  Here's a taster of some of our debates:

Are there ever good reasons to go to war?

How should a war be fought?

Is genetic engineering a positive thing?

Can you really forgive someone who hurts you?

How should crime be punished?

How do you make the correct decision about anything?

What skills will I develop?

  Analysis - understanding views  of other people

  Evaluation - how to form conclusions and support them

  Persuasive writing and speaking

  Empathy and consideration for others

What's the exam like?

After one year you will sit two exams.  They are 1hr 45mins each, and each consists of five compulsory questions.  One exam will cover the content that is taught in your Core RS lessons (which will go over and revise) and one will cover the content that is taught solely through the Option K classes.

Why Option K?

Basically in response to popular demand!!  Many students expressed a wish to top-up their short course GCSE because RS is such an important and popular subject.   We are offering it in Option K with the same, specialist teachers in response to this student feedback.  This means that those who have opted to take the short course examination can "top-up" their qualification to a full GCSE, without filling another option block.  It only commits you to one year of study in Option K (year 10) and means that you can gain an addition GCSE which is highly valued by employers.

For further info:

Pop in to see Mrs Putt in A24 or contact her via the main school number

Download GCSE Booklet

 

GCSE Religious Studies (wjec) (Option K Top-up)

In the world of work employers look for someone with an enquiring mind, an appreciation of different viewpoints and an ability to come to clear, balanced decisions. If you want to work with people, in caring work, teaching, journalism, publishing, policing, in the armed forces, with children, in health, leisure and tourism or to work abroad, Religious Studies will give you valuable expertise that is recognised by recruitment professionals in all of these areas.

Won't it be boring? Isn't it all old stories and rules?

Definitely not! In Religious Studies we deal with all the big issues that you see and hear around you in the media - much of our study relates directly to current news items so we often use different aspects of the media as a source or starting point for debate. The course is exciting and up-to-date as it evolves as our society responds to events. It's relevant to anyone who has any interest at all in the world around them, and the BIG questions of life.

What will I actually study?

You will cover a large variety of fascinating topics, many of which do not have a definitive right or wrong answer - Religious Studies is about looking at what other people belief and then forming your own opinion. Here's a taster of some of our debates:

Are there ever good reasons to go to war?

How should a war be fought?

Is genetic engineering a positive thing?

Can you really forgive someone who hurts you?

How should crime be punished?

How do you make the correct decision about anything?

What skills will I develop?

• Analysis - understanding views of other people

• Evaluation - how to form conclusions and support them

• Persuasive writing and speaking

• Empathy and consideration for others

What's the exam like?

After one year you will sit two exams. They are 1hr 45mins each, and each consists of four compulsory questions. One exam will cover the content that is taught in your Core RS lessons (which will go over and revise) and one will cover the content that is taught solely through the Option K classes.

Why Option K?

Basically in response to popular demand!! Many students expressed a wish to top-up their short course GCSE because RS is such an important and popular subject. We are offering it in Option K with the same, specialist teachers in response to this student feedback. This means that those who have opted to take the short course examination can "top-up" their qualification to a full GCSE, without filling another option block. It only commits you to one year of study in Option K (year 10) and means that you can gain an addition GCSE which is highly valued by employers.

For further info:

Pop in to see Mrs Putt in A24 or contact her via the main school number

Download GCSE Booklet

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