Miracles from Heaven

One of our wonderful Year 11 students who has almost finished her time at Thomas Knyvett College has emailed to let us know there’s a great film to revise Religious Studies Unit 1 Section 1 ‘Believing in God’ called Miracles from Heaven.  Apparently it shows evil and suffering, miracles as well as unanswered prayers. Could this be a good revision film to watch for Year 10 students before Thursday?

On IMDb it says: MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN is based on the incredible true story of the Beam family. When Christy (Jennifer Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, incurable disease, she becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter’s healing as she searches for a solution. After Anna has a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified, her family restored and their community inspired.



New Head of Human Rights group

At 30 years old Martha Spurrier has just started a tough new job, as Head of Liberty, a UK human rights group she’s stepped straight into the battle over the Human Rights Act being thrown away by the current government.

The Guardian reports:

The Human Rights Act, passed in 1998, allows individuals to defend their rights in UK courts while also ensuring that public organisations such as the police, and local and national government treat all citizens equally and respectfully. So it is no surprise that Spurrier is horrified by the prospect of its abolition – particularly as details of what might replace the act are so vague.

“We’ve got to a pretty bad place where a government is even considering repealing the Human Rights Act,” she explains. “I don’t think the government would put in its manifesto that it would repeal the Equality Act, and I can’t see the difference between that and the Human Rights Act.”


Quickfire Genetic Engineering Videos

Need a quick peek at informative videos about genetic engineering? Here are some easy videos for Unit 8 Section 1.

Gene Editing

Horizon – Playing God This is just a commercial for the TV programme

Horizon – Are we still evolving? This is just a commercial for the TV programme

Nature Vs Nurture 5 minutes BBC documentary

GM Food Debate 

Should we make designer babies?

Everyone deserves human rights, even a cold blooded killer

A few weeks ago we reported on the the Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breiviks who’d successfully argued that his human rights were being denied in prison because there’d been so much isolation forced upon him. Some people feel that if you’ve killed someone that you no longer deserve the same rights as a citizen who keeps to the law and respects others. Meanwhile others take human rights law exactly as it says: all humans are born equal and deserve their rights no matter who they are or what they’ve done.

Anders Behring Breivik arrives in court on fifth day of trial

Well a survivor of Breiviks killings, where 69 people died, has spoken out that he thinks it shows Norway’s strength that they’ve taken Breivik’s complaints seriously:

“We can see his grievances separately from his acts. We can say that everyone is equal before the law in Norway, including Breivik. He should be treated with the same respect for human rights as any other inmate in our prisons.”

Why are local elections important?


On May 5th 2016 there are local elections in 124 boroughs; but most people are still only talking about the EU referendum later in June. The BBC points out the numerous reasons we should care about the local elections, and if you are over 18 years old make sure you go and vote. In our GCSE RS Unit 8 Section 1 we need to be able to explain why voting is important. Below are some ideas from different sources:


mosquito quote bad officials

Elections Landing Page Final_tcm15-48930


Free Will all an Illusion

An article in the Independent which questions whether we actually have free will, might hurt your brain trying to fathom out. Scientists in the Scientific American magazine say that the idea of free will may have arisen because it is a useful thing to have, giving people a feeling of control over their lives and allowing for people to be punished for wrongdoing.


However scientists believe that it might only be quickly made choices that don’t require much thought where we really have choice, and in fact bigger decisions might give the illusion of choice even when there isn’t. Complicated arguments.

cow free will

We use the argument of Free Will quite regularly in our GCSE RS answers because it can explain why people, and Christians, might make their own decisions about a moral situation and not necessarily follow the Bible, Church and Situation Ethics. It allows us to understand that people decide on their actions and they are not puppets to a greater being like God:

puppet freed


Start planning a holiday in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is not a country that attracts huge numbers of tourists, unless they are heading to Makkah on the Hajj pilgrimage. Well the country is planning to change that by investing millions of dollars into their tourism industry. They hope to pull themselves away from their reliance on the oil industry and make tourism their big money earner.

With strict laws against alcohol and big restrictions against women, it remains to be seen whether they’ll be successful or not. There is also the issue of their human rights violations.

The Saudi Kingdom is already the home of Mecca and Medina, two of the most important sites in the Islamic faith, and it has developed a sizable and growing industry for religious visitors. According to figures from the World Bank, the total number of tourists arrivals to Saudi Arabia reached over 18 million in 2014, though the large majority of those visitors are said to be religious visitors or pilgrims. The obvious problem of only inviting lots of pilgrims is that they tend not to be big spenders!

Hajj Pictures 130

Pilgrims walking around the Ka’ba above, and on Mount Mercy on the Plain of Arafat below:

plains of Arafat Mount Mercy

Finally the enormity of Hajj is shown by Tent City: