Religious Studies is a compulsory subject at all levels in the Senior School. It follows a spiral pattern, with the students revisiting key issues each year with increasing complexity. Students are taught by specialist teachers and encouraged to commence their lifelong search for understanding, meaning and spirituality. They participate fully in class activities and respect other students' ideas and beliefs. Class discussions aim to help students think critically and to encourage enquiry into the religious and moral issues, which underpin society.
The first year in Senior School lays down firm foundations for future years of study. We understand that students come from varied backgrounds and schools, and therefore their knowledge will be assessed and their needs catered for.
Why do we study religion?
In Term 1, students will endeavour to find an answer to this question through ‘The Island' unit. Here they are transported to an imaginary desert island, and through a range of sensory stimuli, determine how we, as humans, need to have a structure of the spiritual, combined with ritual and tradition, in our lives.
The Origins of Christianity
Term 2 develops studies of the Christian faith by looking at the origins of the religion, key figures in the Old Testament, the Anglican denomination and our use of symbols to aid understanding and teaching.
Happiness in Buddhism
Term 3 explores how happiness can be achieved in Buddhism, with a particular focus on the noble eightfold path and meditation techniques.
Was Jesus an Historical Figure?
In the final term, students examine the historical evidence around Jesus’ existence and then examine how Jesus is written about by the Gospel writers. Finally, we explore Jesus as the founder of the Christian faith.
Students cover four units in Year 8. We also begin to explore comparative religion in more depth. As Islam is the second largest religion in the world, and often misrepresented in the media, a study of the beliefs and practices is taught, with a focus not only on learning about religion but also learning from religion.
What does it mean to be an Anglican in Australia?
In the first term, students explore Anglican worship, with a particular focus on belief, faith and the idea of God. Other denominations are also examined to help contextualise the historical development of the Church over two centuries.
Do our actions affect us when we die?
This Term 2 unit examines the concepts of reincarnation within Hinduism. We also compare other faiths’ views of life after death. This supports the students’ understanding of Hinduism and its traditions, which aims to deepen cultural and religious awareness.
Worship and Prayer
During the third term, students partake in a thorough examination of the meaning and purpose of The Lord's Prayer. Students also spend some time analysing how and why people of all religious traditions use prayer.
The Islamic Vision
In Term 4, students explore Islam through key religious beliefs and practices. Students also learn about the link between Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
Students continue their search for answers to life's big questions and develop their knowledge of the world's great religions through four challenging and searching programmes of study.
Religion, Justice and Equality
The study of ethics is continued with a special focus on global issues - respect, need or greed, development charities such as Anglicare and The Anglican Board of Mission, and equality in the roles of women, ethnicity and culture.
Christian Community and Tradition
In Term 2, students will consider the meaning and importance of the Bible and the Church for different groups of Christians, such as liberal, conservative or literalist believers. We also explore how religious ideas are interpreted and re-interpreted over time.
In Term 3 students study Judaism's foundation, culture, beliefs and practices in preparation for studies on the Holocaust in Year 10. They will explore the historical background of the important concept of covenant, look at Kashrut and Shabbat, and examine the importance of rites of passage such as Brit Milah and Bar Mitzvah.
Cults, Sects and New Religious Movements
This new unit asks questions about the differences between cults, sects, NRM and more mainstream denominations. We question whether there is increased choice, diversity and individualism and how this may lead to new ways of expressing spirituality or secularisation.
This year of study aims to stimulate students' interest in further big questions in life, as well as providing opportunities for spiritual development.
Why do we suffer?
In the first term, we examine concepts central to religion. All the major religions offer insights into the struggle between good and evil in human experience and suggest answers regarding the origin, nature and end of evil.
Peace and Non-violence
This unit explores Christian views towards conflict and how this has changed over the course of history. The Just War Theory and the Holy War Ideas are critically evaluated.
Jewish Responses to the Holocaust
In the third term, students examine the causes and effects of the Holocaust on the Jewish religion. We examine survivor testimonies, artefacts and literature in order to examine human behaviour and the nature and existence of God. An empathetic exercise, ‘Diary of a Jewish Teenager in the Warsaw Ghetto', concludes the unit.
Living a Christian Life
For our final unit in Year 10, students explore the idea of Christian vocation and how the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount act as a guide for living. We also examine the Anglican Sacraments.
The programme consolidates the understandings and teachings of Christianity gained from previous years. The course aims to encourage students to think about themselves, the society in which they live and the meaning of life.
The course is divided into six main sections:
- Believing in God: we explore religious upbringing and experience, the Design and First Cause arguments, belief in God and the search for meaning and purpose. Students will have the opportunity to listen to different guest speakers' views of God.
- Matters of life and death: religious and non-religious views on life after death, abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering and artificial intelligence are explored.
- Marriage and the Family: students examine the purpose of marriage, divorce and family life in a changing society.
- Religion and the Media: we investigate the variety and range of religious programmes and religious themes in film, television and social media and what constitutes ‘news’ in contemporary society.
- Community Cohesion: how Christians respond to prejudice, discrimination and social harmony, with a specific focus on Indigenous Australians to develop cultural exchange, collaboration and respect.
- Capital Punishment: explores personal and religious responses to capital punishment.