Religious Studies

Who we are:

  • Miss R Wood – Curriculum Leader
  • Ms T Holdaway
  • Mr D Puskas
  • Miss Al-Sanjari

Key Stage 3 (years 7 and 8)

Year 7 - Autumn Term

Judaism - How has suffering, sacrifice and covenant defined Judaism?

  • Exploring the concept of Jewish identities
  • Origins of the faith and introducing the themes of suffering, sacrifice and covenant
  • Key figures and teachings including Abraham, Isaac and Moses
  • Jewish celebrations including their history, meaning and symbolism
  • The Synagogue – Reform & Orthodox
  • Suffering in modern Jewish history including the Holocaust and anti-semitism

The Christian Church – What is the ‘Church’?

  • Exploring the faith through the concepts of ‘Believing’, ‘Belonging’ and ‘Becoming’
  • Central Beliefs of Christianity including what is meant by the ‘The Christian Church’?
  • What it means to belong to a community
  • Knowing and understanding different denominations
  • How Christians can put their faith in action
  • Recognising Christianity as a global religion
  • Considering and exploring what the Church might be like in the future

Spring Term

Islam in Modern Britain – Is Britain the best place to be a Muslim?

  • Introducing facts about Islam in Britain
  • Knowing and understanding each of the 5 pillars of Islam
  • Exploring issues of Identity – Can we have more than one identity? What does it mean to be British and by ‘British Values’?
  • Understanding what is meant by religious freedom and comparing the UK with other countries

Summer Term

Heroes of Faith – How do beliefs, social settings and actions affect one another?

  • What is a hero & how does it differ from a hero of faith?
  • Being a religious hero – how faith influences actions
  • Study of a range of examples of heroes of faith – what makes them a hero of faith? To what extent are they a good hero of faith? Examples include Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, Gandhi, Dalai Lama

Year 8 - Autumn Term

Hinduism – What does it mean to be a Hindu?

  • Exploring and understanding Hindu ideas about God, including the Trimurti
  • Knowing and understanding Hindu beliefs about life after death
  • To consider the relationship between beliefs, belonging and becoming within Hinduism
  • To and understand the meaning, symbolism and significance of Hindu celebrations e.g., Holi

Buddhism – A way of life?

  • Introduce the life of the Buddha
  • Knowing and understanding Buddhist truths, Eightfold path and 5 precepts
  • Exploring the impact, the key beliefs have on the lives of Buddhists and reflecting on whether it is more of a way of life than a religion
  • Understanding key Buddhist celebrations e.g., Wesak

Spring Term

Ethics – How do we know right and wrong?

  • Understanding what ethics is
  • Exploring how people know what is the right or wrong way to act
  • An Introduction to the following ethical theories: Absolutism, utilitarianism, situation ethics, the ethics of Jesus, virtue ethics
  • Exploring different ethical dilemmas including the ‘Trolley Case Study’
  • Knowing and understanding Human Rights
  • Applied Ethics: Exploring what is the morally right thing to do in these situations: Animal testing and the Syrian refugee crisis, by applying different ethical theories and considering our human rights.

Summer Term

Sikhism – What does it mean to be Sikh?

  • Exploring the origins of Sikhism and the significance of Guru Nanak
  • Learning about the different Guru’s and considering their meaning and importance
  • Understanding how Sikhs can show their faith including the 5 Ks
  • Knowing and understanding the importance of community and loyalty, linking to Baisakhi
  • Considering the importance of Sikh contributions in WW1

Philosophy of Religion

  • Exploring what philosophy is
  • Considering why people believe in God?
  • Reflecting on ‘Who is God’ and consider the nature of God
  • Introduction to the following philosophical theories: Design argument, causation, the problem of evil and suffering.
  • Questioning how did the world come into existence?
  • Exploring the question ‘Does God exist?’ Considering arguments for both sides of the argument.

Year 9 – Autumn Term

Humanism – What is Humanism?

  • Knowing and understanding key Humanist beliefs
  • Reflecting on how Humanists understand morality and find meaning and purpose
  • Identifying similarities and differences between Humanism and major world religions
  • Exploring Humanists perspectives on society

Interfaith Dialogue – Can we respect views that differ from our own?

  • Considering different types of truth
  • Identifying similarities and differences between people in society and considering the pros and cons of these
  • Exploring different ways that interfaith dialogue can be carried out
  • Considering different religious perspectives, particularly within Christianity

Spring Term

Human Image – What does it mean to be ‘human’?

  • Exploring different beliefs about the existence and relationship of the body and soul
  • Studying and applying the ideas of different philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato and Descartes.
  • Exploring Plato’s analogy of the cave through media
  • Considering different beliefs about life after death

Summer Term

Discrimination – Have laws on discrimination made a difference?

  • Knowing and understanding a wide range of forms of discrimination
  • Evaluating to what extent we think these are issues in our society and considering ways to reduce them
  • Knowing laws that exist to overcome the issue and evaluating their success
  • The topic is explored using a range of case studies

Key Stage 4 GCSE (Years 10-11) – option

Examination Board: AQA - Specification A

GCSE Religious studies entail the study of the core religious beliefs, teaching and practices of two of the world religions.  It also enables students to consider philosophical questions and ethical dilemmas which relate to modern life in Britain.  The course challenges students with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues.

Assessment: Two examined units each worth 50%

Progression: Religious Studies develops your analysis, problem-solving, evaluating, writing, empathy and communication skills. All these skills are transferable to all subjects at Key Stage 4 and 5 and in higher education or the workplace.

Religious Education allows you to

  • explore the significance and impact of beliefs, teachings, sources, practices, ways of life and forms of expressing meaning
  • express their personal responses and informed insights on fundamental questions and issues about identity, belonging, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments
  • adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion
  • explore religions and beliefs, reflect on fundamental questions, and engage with them intellectually and respond personally
  • enhance their personal, social and cultural development, their understanding of different cultures locally, nationally and in the wider world, and contribute to social and community cohesion
  • develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the study of religion, and relate it to the wider world
  • reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes

KS 4 – yr. 10 & 11 Philosophy and Ethics course

A non-examined course providing student the chance to explore issues within contemporary society and evaluating them through a range of religious and non-religious perspectives.

Topics include: The role of social media, Infertility treatments, sacred wonders, forgiveness and crime and punishment


December 2022