The study of Religion and Philosophy at Geelong Grammar School is undertaken as an academic discipline rather than a confessional activity. As such, it is an important component of a liberal education, contributing to the development of the mind and playing a specific role in promoting a rational dimension to religious knowledge and understanding.
The Religious Studies curriculum at each year level is grounded in five essential areas: Philosophy of Religion, Silence and Stillness, Theoretical and Applied Ethics, the Biblical and Christian Tradition, and World Religions.
At this level the Christian story is studied with particular attention to the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus and the ways these key events are expressed in the seasonal celebrations of the Anglican Church. Students go on to study creation myths from around the world, and examine Aboriginal Dreamtime stories. They consider notions of symbolic meaning, the place of silence and symbols in religious worship, and the use of art in religion and spiritual practice.
In the first part of the year students explore images of God in the Christian tradition, before considering the Christian doctrine of Trinity. Easter is studied as a saving event, and the key concepts of atonement and salvation explored as the heart of Christianity. This focus is then broadened to an introduction to World Religions through worship practices, particularly prayer. Great religious figures from a range of traditions are then introduced, and their wisdom explored through an individual investigation. Finally, within the context of Positive Education, students discuss character development and purpose in life based on issues raised in Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress.
Years 7 and 8
In these two years a major commitment is made to the understanding and interpretation of sacred text, particularly the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Through a careful study of key stories and characters in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospel of Luke (New Testament), students are encouraged to develop a beginning understanding of the theology of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Through their encounter with ancient texts, students develop skills in the analysis of language, comprehension, forms of interpretation, politico-historical understanding and the developing meaning attributed to religious texts over time. Within this context, students are reminded of the nature of ethical judgements and the structure of the arguments on which these are based. Attention is also paid to Islam, the third monotheistic faith, so that students obtain a basic understanding of the three world faiths in the Abrahamic tradition – Judaism, Christianity, Islam.
1. Journal (20%)
2. Group Assignment (40%)
3. Project (40%)