At Taunton School, we aim to develop open-minded thinkers who are aware of and respectful of cultural and religious diversity, but who are not afraid to challenge opinions and beliefs whilst forming their own.

Whether our pupils are studying Religious Studies for GCSE, A-Level Philosophy, Religion and Ethics or IB Philosophy, our courses provide the ideal platform for them to explore, discuss and seek answers to the fundamental questions of human existence and identity.

At GCSE pupils follow Edexcel’s syllabus. Courses in Religious Studies have changed significantly over the last fifteen years and they no longer focus on nurturing Christian faith in students. Instead, they focus on the academic analysis of important metaphysical and ethical topics through an engagement with both religious and nonreligious argument. While not everyone believes in God or the supernatural realm, everyone tries to make sense of their lives and the ups and downs they encounter during it.

The Christian and Muslim responses to these current issues are examined and critiqued alongside a look at relevant legal and social changes, technological advancements, and up-to-the-minute examples from the news. The students reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in light of their learning. Since it is an academic course the students are not encouraged to accept any particular religious or faith tradition’s answer as correct.

The students will not merely learn a body of knowledge but will acquire the key academic skills of research, analysis, and evaluation and use them throughout the course. This provides a firm foundation for future academic study beyond GCSE in other subjects as well as Religious Studies and Philosophy.

The course focuses on Religion and Ethics (Christianity) and Religion, Peace and Conflict (Islam).

There is an option to study the subject as a full course.