At the forefront of education for over 100 years Education at Upton Court is about inspirational teachers and aspirational pupils At the forefront of education for over 100 years Education at Upton Court is about inspirational teachers and aspirational pupils At the forefront of education for over 100 years Education at Upton Court is about inspirational teachers and aspirational pupils
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  • Religious Studies

    From a traditional philosophical base, we consider the role and place of religion in making key decisions in a contemporary society and the relevance of religion in society. Students also study ethics and, in particular, medical ethics. The units chosen introduce students to a wider agenda, helping them to develop key skills they will need to explore theology at university.

    We encourage and inspire analytical and critical thinking across disciplines and nature of the course of study draws together the different aspects of the course.

    Leaders of industry and business are increasingly assessing potential employees in terms of their ability to work with different kinds of people, and their awareness of global issues. Religious Studies demands a rigorous analysis of human behaviour, our responsibilities to society and our rights within that society. This qualification demonstrates an ability to analyse and assess what makes people function at the deepest levels and is of use in all walks of life. In addition to traditionally related subjects, universities are increasingly showing some preference for Religious studies as a contrasting subject for traditional science subject areas such as Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Biology.

     

    KS5 calendar highlights

    We rely on our sixth form students to take the lead in being role models to younger pupils so many of our activities are jointly run.

    “The walking tour of churches in Slough: a trip that most students take in year seven was offered to the AS level religious studies class. It was a form of CAS and service to the school as well as a chance to look at places of worship and recap and develop what we had learnt 5 years ago. The tour around slough was enjoyable and gave the whole class a deeper understanding of the unity of the church and the role of the place of worship within Christianity. The trip contributed to the AS level course and was a great foundation to develop our understanding of the church.”       Muntiha VIRI

     

    We work closely with external organisations.

     

    Who am I? This DVD was commissioned by South East Faith forum and Slough Interfaith for use in meetings and in areas with low diversity. UCGS hosted an event which included a lecture from Eleanor Nesbitt and group discussions with UCGS pupils and members of the Faith Forum and visitors from other schools.

    The DVD, which has excellent reviews, looks at different aspects of living in Britain and how these are interpreted in the interplay between religion, culture and Britishness.

    “This powerful and thought-provoking resource is very good value for money and is highly recommended for the RE classroom.”     Caroline Bond: RE Today

     

     

    We are now working closely on another project ‘Why do I? which considers the embedded codes that make people behave the way they do.

    In 2015 a group of students visited Istanbul and met with the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly CEO to discuss the impact of the Balkans war, migration  and citizenship and whether there was anything to be learned from the South African Truth and Reconciliation work. Arriving one  snowy night in February, they spent five days considering this and studying contemporary society for the RS AS level.

     

    We love to travel. From Reading to London, Newark to Istanbul 2015 and in 2016 to the Balkans and, hopefully, in future beyond!

     Istanbul 2015

    Whether visiting the beautiful, modern Sakirin mosque or the ancient architecture of the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia, or hanging about in bookshops in Taksim, we braved the snow and ‘did’ Istanbul. Our trips are planned and managed internally to keep costs down and we often use public transport which the students say “puts us in touch with real people”.

     

    Our expert Suleiman taught us about Ataturk and we haggled in the bazaars.

    Importantly, we observed and compared with our AS studies the different nature of this Islamic society which seemed to be changing under our noses. 

     

     

    Sixth form conferences and study visits

    Regulars on our calendar include Sixth Form Ethics conferences in London, which we have attended for three years now, and lectures of interest, whether accompanied by a teacher or not. A number of our students have been fascinated regulars at Gresham College open lectures, travelling to London after school to attend; and we have together visited Kings’ College and Reading university, listening to prominent speakers such as Mona Siddiqui.

     

    Projects and other opportunities

    Sixth form Religious Studies students have been regular participants in Eton College’s Wisdom Project discussing, in an informal setting, a wide range of topics with students from other schools.

    We have made short films exploring our ‘Sacred Spaces’.

    Students have interviewed A.C. Grayling, the Humanist and presented at Slough Interfaith week. We want students who will seek and explore opportunities beyond the curriculum.

     

    Religious Studies recommended films

    A Short Stay in Switzerland Opens discussion about euthanasia
    Million dollar Baby Opens discussion about euthanasia
    My Sister’s keeper Saviour siblings