Religious Studies

Religious Studies is largely Bible-focused, in keeping with Elstree’s strong Christian ethos and history.  With the school’s crest resembling a cross and its motto declaring ‘clarity out of obscurity’, the department aims to make clear the main teachings of the Bible and tackle many of life’s big questions.  The children study segments of the Bible narrative each term in the lower school, while a two-term Bible Overview in Year 6 bridges the crossing to the Common Entrance syllabus in the final two years.  We want boys to enjoy and remember their lessons, and encourage drama in the classroom and the grounds outside, while assemblies (Prayers) and weekend church services also complement their learning.

With religion commanding attention in the news, boys learn about five World Religions across the year groups.  They spend a term in Years 5-7 on Judaism, Islam and Christianity respectively, studying their beliefs and impact on life today.  The Common Entrance syllabus is incredibly broad in the area of World Religions, incorporating study of the founders, core beliefs, holy books, festivals, and places of worship of main religions.  The boys enjoy trips to London’s Jewish Museum, a local Mosque, Church and Hindu Temple.  We aim for boys to grow up with a sense of respect and understanding as they enter the wider world.

The Common Entrance course is called Theology, Philosophy and Religion, which provides opportunity for curiosity and for digging deeper into selected Bible texts, philosophical views, and religious beliefs.  The exam challenges both knowledge and understanding of a wide range of topics, and we give generous time for exploring wider questions on CE topics like ‘what is God like?’, ‘is civil disobedience justified?’, ‘are people morally responsible for their environment?‘, and ‘should religious festivals always be fun?’ These often make for colourful discussions and opinionated short essays!

Head of Department: Andy Prichard

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