The Systems of Belief course is unique as it allows students and teachers to interact while questioning each other and their own ideas about modern day arguments as well as ancient debates.

Systems of Belief is a class full of debate. We discuss the fundamental questions of our world which have never been concretely answered. This lesson helps us understand one another, and the views of others, coming from very different backgrounds, with many very different experiences of life.

Year 9 student

Years 7, 8 and 9

From their first until their last day at Sevenoaks School, our students are encouraged to think critically and independently. Our aim is that pupils should become increasingly aware of how our beliefs and values affect the way we view the world. Written with the multicultural nature of British society and the internationalism of Sevenoaks in mind, this makes the study all the more exciting and relevant.

This course in Years 7, 8 and 9 offers students an understanding and insight into the systems of belief that have shaped and continue to shape our world. The course develops the skills that students need to interpret and comprehend the contemporary religious and ethical landscape and nurtures the skills they will develop further in Year 10 (Critical Perspectives).

The world faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism) are approached as belief systems alongside other perspectives such as atheism, agnosticism, polytheism or pantheism. Students develop the skills to study the world religions from an academic perspective. The views of each pupil are respected and they are encouraged to develop their own beliefs and ideas whilst also developing a sensitivity for the beliefs and views of others.

All these great faith traditions share elements in common, including their commitments to texts, community and tradition, worship and celebration, and high moral standards. In addition all have to wrestle with questions of interpretation. In spite of their common heritage, tensions between religions underpin some of the key conflicts in the modern world. This course examines the key ideas behind these great traditions and students explore their similarities, differences and relationships.

The course includes an introduction to the study of the Old Testament and New Testament. Students develop a knowledge and understanding of key biblical texts and relate them to contemporary moral and social issues. Units of work include personal and moral issues such as euthanasia, and contemporary global issues such as money, wealth and poverty. Each issue is studied in relation to various religious perspectives and responses.

The course culminates with students giving their own TED-style presentation on a theme of their choice.

Head of Systems of Belief: Miss Olivia Powerocp@sevenoaksschool.org