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WJEC Eduqas – Route A
Component 1 (50%): Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World
In this first component, students will study four religious, philosophical or ethical themes: Issues of Relationships – such as marriage, divorce, gender equality and sexual ethics; Issues of Life and Death – such as beliefs about the origin of the world and the value of human beings as well as questions about abortion and euthanasia; Issues of Good and Evil – such as questions about crime and punishment, forgiveness and the problem of evil and suffering for belief in God; Issues of Human Rights – such as fighting social injustice, prejudice and poverty. These themes will be studied from a Christian perspective with additional views from a secular perspective where appropriate.
Component 2 (25%): Christianity – Beliefs and Practices
This component first involves an in-depth study of Christian beliefs and teachings. Students will learn about the Christian understanding of a Triune God, omnipotent and omnibenevolent; the way Christians make sense of the creation of the world and humanity; the significance of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the idea of salvation. They will also study Christian beliefs about life after death, heaven, hell and the resurrection of the dead.
Secondly, students will consider the significance of certain key Christian practices: different forms of worship, formal and informal; the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church; pilgrimages and the celebrations of Christmas and Easter; the place of the Church in local communities and in the world.
Component 3 (25%): Islam – Beliefs and Practices
This component begins with a study of important Islamic beliefs. Students will learn about the nature of Allah, his oneness, transcendence and omnipotence along with his fairness and justice; the significance of prophets in Islam – Adam, Ibrahim, Isa and Muhammad, the ‘Seal of the Prophets’; the significance of angels in Islam – Jibril’s revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad, Mika’il and Israfil; the afterlife (akhirah) – Heaven, hell and the Day of Judgement; the foundations of faith – the six articles of Sunni Islam and the five roots in Shi’a Islam.
Students will also study key Islamic practices and their significance: the Five Pillars of Sunni Islam; the Ten Duties of Shi’a Islam; Jihad – the struggle to live as a good Muslim in Britain today; festivals – Id-ul-Adha (the festival of sacrifice), Id-ul-Fitr (at the end of Ramadan), Ashura (the Day of Remembrance) and the Night of Power.
There is no ‘controlled assessment’ in RS. Assessment is by three exams: the paper for Component 1 is two hours long, the papers for Components 2 and 3 are one hour long.
The Value of RS
Religious Studies at GCSE requires students to understand some challenging material and then to argue their viewpoint clearly. It is valuable for developing thinking skills and learning how to express ideas clearly and persuasively. Indeed, the ability to see another person’s viewpoint by first understanding their fundamental beliefs is an invaluable skill.