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Religious Studies


Religious Studies plays a major role in the curriculum in enabling students to explore their own beliefs and values as well as becoming more informed about those of others. It enables students to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of a range of religious and non-religious life stances and to develop respect and sensitivity so that, as future citizens, they will value and celebrate cultural and religious diversity. Religious Studies also makes a valuable contribution to students’ life long search for truth and meaning. In a world full of ethical and philosophical issues this is as important now as it has ever been.

We deliver our lessons with vibrancy and enthusiasm and through our dedication to the subject area we ensure high standards and outcomes. We aim to challenge our students in their Religious Studies lessons so that they learn to challenge their own views and question the views of others.

Colleges, universities and employers value the opportunities that students have had in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics to develop skills and qualities such as debating ideas, evaluating views, demonstrating empathy and tolerance of others.

RPE has always been highly relevant in public life and never more so than at the moment. We live in increasingly diverse multi-cultural and multi-religious societies though the world is becoming more secular. This potent mixture means that an understanding of the ways that different religious communities can work together and how organisations can have a successful relationship with clients from these backgrounds is very attractive to employers.  

Career paths following on from the further study of RPE may include, uniformed services, social work, advice work, archivist, charity officer, teaching, retail, customer service, human resources, civil service administrator journalism and law.

Think about what you gain through RPE and how this might translate into a workplace: 

  • An open minded and tolerant approach to other cultures might be valuable in teaching, NHS, local government. Anywhere where you will be in contact with the general public.
  • The ability to debate articulately about religion and world cultures without giving offence. Again useful in any role involving the general public. Particularly those which often engage with them in stressful circumstances e.g. Police, social services, armed serviced, politics.
  • An understanding of people and groups of people should develop good people management skills.

Employers tell us that they are looking for candidates that can show that they have the following skills, all of which RPE help you to develop:

  • Willingness to learn
  • Self-motivation and desire to achieve
  • Teamwork
  • Communication skills (oral and written)
  • Rapid identification of key issues
  • Problem solving
  • Initiative and creativity
  • Time management – producing work to deadlines
  • Research and investigative ability

Through studying RPE you can:

  • Absorb and retain complex information and identify key issues
  • Sift, select relevant information and think logically
  • Express ideas clearly through essay writing and discussion
  • Use imagination and creativity
  • Develop a critical approach to contemporary issues
  • Develop a disciplined approach to problem solving
  • Develop investigative, analytical and critical evaluation skills
  • Understand and take a sensitive approach to different cultures and beliefs
  • Show a real curiosity in people and world cultures


The Key Stage 3 curriculum in Religious Studies is designed to introduce students to the concepts of religion and beliefs. There are opportunities to study both Christianity and Buddhism as a grounding for further work later in the school. Students enjoy the philosophical and moral issues we present them with across Key Stage 3 and they have opportunities to share their views while examining the views of others, both religious and secular.

Year Group Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3
Year 7 The Island – an introduction to religion and beliefs The Island – an introduction to religion and beliefs Buddhism – beginnings and key teachings
  Cycle 4 Cycle 5 Cycle 6
Year 7 Buddhism –Wheel of life and Nirvana Buddhism –Contemporary issues – discrimination, animal rights Christian views on origins of universe


Year Group Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3
Year 8 Absolute and relative morality Rights of children Religious and cultural attitudes – Bend it like Beckham
  Cycle 4 Cycle 5 Cycle 6
Year 8 Issues – Animal rights (treatment Issues – Animal rights (medical experiments) Works of charities


Year Group Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3
Year 9 Beliefs about immortality – multi-faith and none Attitudes to drugs – Christian and other religious responses Modern medical dilemmas – Christian and other religious responses
  Cycle 4 Cycle 5 Cycle 6
Year 9 Relationships – Christian and other religious responses Human rights and social responses – Christian and other religions Buddhism



GCSE Religious Studies follows the AQA ‘specification A’ course.  It is designed to help students to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of religion by exploring philosophical and ethical questions. Students will be challenged to explore the significance and impact of beliefs, teachings, practices and ways of life as well as studying key religious texts. Students will also be encouraged to express personal responses and informed insights on fundamental questions and issues about meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments. At GCSE level schools are required to study two religions and our students study Christianity and Buddhism.

Unit 1 is a study of the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity and Buddhism. This is examined by a 1 hour and 45 minutes written paper. 50% of total GCSE. Unit 2 is a thematic study of four religious, philosophical and ethical themes. This is examined by a 1 hour and 45 minutes written paper. 50% of total GCSE. All examinations are carried out at the end of Year 11.

At GCSE students have access to Kerboodle which can be located on the following website:

GCSE students may also find the following sites helpful:

Year Group Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3
Year 10 Arguments for and against the existence of God Revelation Christian beliefs and teachings – God and Jesus
  Cycle 4 Cycle 5 Cycle 6
Year 10 Christian beliefs and teachings – role of Jesus

Life of Buddha and 4 Noble Truths.

Buddhism beliefs and teachings

Buddhism beliefs and teachings


Year Group Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3
Year 11 Buddhism beliefs and teachings Religion, crime and punishment Christianity and Buddhism Religion, peace and conflict    Christianity and Buddhism
  Cycle 4 Cycle 5 Cycle 6
Year 11 Christian and Buddhist practices Revision Revision and GCSE examination



This course develops skills of interpretation and analysis. It equips students to be independent thinkers and to be strong in powers of persuasion. It encourages open mindedness while examining critically, various religious and ethical belief systems. It will develop essay writing skills and the ability to evaluate issues and develop critical awareness of personal points of view. This course will increase awareness of the beliefs and issues that affect our society today as well as considering on-going controversial issues.

Unit 1: Philosophy of Religion – 2 hours written examination. 33.3% of total A level

This unit studies philosophical arguments about the existence or non-existence of God as well as the nature and problem of evil. It also studies different views on life after death. It asks whether or not the soul can exist outside of the body.  It studies the validity of religious experience and miracles and looks at whether or not religious language has any meaning.

Unit 2: Religious Ethics – 2 hours written examination. 33.3% of total A level

This unit studies the relationship between ethical theories and religious methods of ethical decision making. It contrasts religious and secular approaches to morality. It will also consider a variety of ethical issues such as euthanasia and sex and sexuality. It also studies freewill and determinism and considers to what extent the future is already mapped out. It also studies the nature and role of conscience in decision making and whether this comes from God or society.

Unit 3: Developments in religious thought – 2 hours written examination. 33.3% of total A level

This unit studies one chosen religion, looking at religious beliefs, values and teachings. It also studies the significant social and historical developments in that religion as well as the relationship between religion and society.

Due to the nature of this qualification, it can be applied to any university course or career because it develops skills that are valuable and can be applied in many areas – Law, Journalism, Teaching, Media, Social Work, Community Work. The ‘Ethics’ part of the course will sit well with Advanced Level Biology and will be of value for those thinking of going into medicine.

Good combinations of other subjects to study with Religious Studies are:

History, Geography, Sociology, Psychology, English, Biology, Business Studies.

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