N4/5 Religious, Moral & Philosophical Studies (RMPS)
In S4 all pupils study Religious, Moral & Philosophical Studies (RMPS). This course aims to build on the knowledge and skills acquired in the Broad General Education (BGE). At the end of S4 pupils are offered the opportunity to gain SQA accreditation at National 4 or 5 depending on their ability and level of engagement with the course.
There are three main components of the RMPS course:
World Religion: Christianity
Pupils examine some of the fundamental tenets of the Christian religion:
- The Nature of God
- The Nature of Human Beings – Created in God’s Image & Likeness
- Free Will & Sin
- The Incarnation
- The Death & Resurrection of Christ
- Judgement, Heaven & Hell
- The Teaching & Example of Christ
Morality & Belief: Justice
Pupils explore how moral decisions are made, contrasting religious and secular viewpoints in relation to the following:
- Aims of Punishment
- Causes of Crime
- UK Responses to Crime
- Capital Punishment & Life Tariffs
Religious & Philosophical Questions: Existence of God
- The Attributes of God (omnipotence, omniscience, benevolence)
- The Cosmological Argument
- The Teleological Argument
The patron of our school is St Thomas Aquinas, and in this unit we focus heavily on St Thomas’ chief arguments for God’s existence known as the ‘Five Ways’.
The nature of the course requires critical engagement and reflection of life’s great questions: Is there a God? What will happen to me when I die? Is there any meaning to be found in suffering? Can religion and science co-exist? Pupils are encouraged to ask questions and to dialogue with their teachers and classmates, to think logically using reason, facts and arguments. This resonates with the Core Learning of Level 5 This is Our Faith, and fulfils the requirement that pupils at this level should “Develop the skills of reflection, discernment, critical thinking and deciding to act in accordance with an informed conscience when making moral decisions.” (A Curriculum for Excellence: Religious Education in Roman Catholic Schools – principles and practice. P.2)
A number of teaching strategies are used: comprehension work, practising past paper questions teacher-led discussion, presentations, group work, debates, video clips. This variation keeps the lessons interesting and encourages pupils to learn in different ways. Teachers endeavour to get to know how pupils learn best and adapt their teaching accordingly.
Pupils are formally assessed throughout the course after each component.
- For National 4 pupils, this is done on a unit-by-unit basis with the assessment consisting of one of the following:
- a piece of written work
- an oral or visual presentation
- a poster
- a combination of the aforementioned
- For National 5 pupils, assessment consists of:
- One Formal Exam – 2hrs 20mins
- One Assignment – written up in 1hr with a resource sheet
- N5 pupils will sit a prelim in January
Recording & Reporting
Within the RE department, assessment of day-to-day progress depends heavily upon the marking and correction of written work and other tangible forms of pupil response.
The main purpose is formative – helping pupils to see how their work can be improved and developed, identifying weaknesses and uncertainties as a basis for remedial action, and as a major and effective practical means of establishing suitably high expectations of each pupil.
Pupil progress will be reported via tracking, full reports and a parents evening.