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ELD - Religious Studies

Year 11 ELD, organised by the RS department, proved to be both challenging and informative. The day, which was organised around speakers and a film, enabled us to meet people who didn’t share the same views as ourselves and therefore allowed us to challenge our own point of view and form arguments to debate theirs, particularly on issues our GCSE course covers.  Here, Year 11's Sarah tells us more.

The morning was spent listening to three very different speakers who talked about what God meant (or didn’t mean) to them. The first presentation was from a member of the British Humanist Association.  He spoke about how humanism stems from human rights and equality for all people. He also encouraged us to consider where we would place ourselves on a religious spectrum from: “being sure of a God” to “being sure of no God”, this developed into considering why he believes that God does not exist.

The next presentation was from a member of the “Religious Society of Friends” or Quakers as they are commonly known.  He talked about the fundamental values of the Quakers, particularly as pacifists and how it has affected their role in history, such as in the World Wars.  He also elaborated on their current involvement with trying to find a solution to the issue of climate change.  We also found out more about Quaker worship and how this differs from other church services; Quaker services take place in a circle and a large proportion of the meeting is in silence.  This is due to their belief in no church hierarchy and that they see religion as something very personal.

Our third presentation was from two members of Crossteach, a group which works with schools to teach about Christianity.  They talked about their personal experiences with Christianity and we then did an exercise about how the Bible was the instruction manual which directs them on how to live their lives.  They then allowed us to ask questions which led to a debate about modern controversial issues which we are studying, such as abortion and sexuality.  This proved very challenging for many of us; however, it was a great opportunity to meet people who made us consider and review our perspectives.

After lunch we listened to Richard Bell, the professor of Theology at Nottingham University.  Previously he had studied Physics and Chemistry at university before being ordained.  He covered issues about how science and religion do not contradict eachother and his evidence for a God.  He talked about the content of Theology at university and how his previous affiliation with science has affected him.  He was extremely interesting to listen to and he also touched on his interest in classical music and how he links this to his Theology course.

We finished the day with a film which covered issues which are relevant in society today and also covered themes which are important in our exam.  It was a really informative and interesting day and a great opportunity for learning and debate.