Religious Studies is taught throughout the Dragon starting in Reception at Dragon Pre-Prep and up to Year 8, when Scholarships and Common Entrance papers are taken. All children in Year 4 - 8 have two lessons per week and those in years 7 and 8 have a preparation once a week. There is also an after school Philosophy and Ethics club for scholars.
The aim of the department is to represent the Christian belief of the school. At the same time the Dragon has an open approach to religious education and promotes a forum for discussion within the teaching of the subject, in a way that is attractive to pupils of all cultural backgrounds. The school is supportive to those of all religious faiths and in Year 6 World Religions are taught.
Religious issues are studied within an atmosphere of honesty, with pupils being encouraged to ask questions and discuss the difficult areas such as science and religion and the history and philosophy of religions. The children are taught to respect the opinions of others and show integrity and tolerance towards one another. In the teaching of Religious Studies the department also promotes and encourages the understanding of one’s moral and spiritual awareness.
The pupils' cultural development is excellent. They have a strong awareness of faiths other than their own, promoted by religious studies lessons and assemblies. In the pre-prep this is enhanced when parents are invited to school to explain their beliefs and customs. Pupils develop an excellent knowledge and understanding of other communities and cultures through many external visits, including abroad, and from shared projects with local state schools.
From Reception through to Year 6 an internal syllabus and scheme of work has been created to guide the teaching of Religious Studies. This syllabus covers Old and New Testament texts as well as important festivals during the year in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Whilst Christianity is the main world religion taught at the Dragon, it is one of the objectives of the department to make the children aware of other faiths. To this end we endeavour to present the children with a broad knowledge and understanding of a number of the major world religions. In Year 6, children are introduced to the six major world religions and their key aspects. In Years 7 and 8 the Common Entrance Religious Studies syllabus is followed, preparing the children for their external examination to their senior schools which is sat at the end of Year 8. Those who are being prepared for scholarship will have a slightly different two year syllabus based on religious texts, ethics and philosophy which begins in Year 7 and which is more challenging in recognition of the papers the children will sit.