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Religious Studies


Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE) 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. RPE 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 RPE 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 Religion, Philosophy and Ethics 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 7

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Skills Focus – an introduction to RPE The Island – an introduction to community, equality, law and order The Island – making links from community to religion
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Buddhism – an introduction.  Where it all started. Buddhism –Teachings of the Buddha Consolidation: Skills linked to religion


Year 8

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3




Human Rights

Rights of children

Animal Uses:



Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Animal Uses:





Work of charities

Mother Teresa


Religious and cultural attitudes:

Rights of women

Media resource


Year 9

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Attitudes to drugs: Christian and other religious responses

Attitudes to drugs

Modern medical dilemmas: start of life
Modern medical dilemmas: Christian and other religious responses
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Crime and Punishment – Christian and other religious responses Crime and Punishment – Christian and other religious responses Relationships and families: GCSE Theme A



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.

GCSE students may find the following sites helpful:

Year 10

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3


Beliefs and teachings,



Beliefs and teachings,

Christianity: Beliefs and teachings, Practices
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Theme C:

Arguments for God and revelation

Theme C conclusion

Theme E:

Religion, crime and punishment

Theme E conclusion

Revision and exam techniques


Year 11

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Theme B:

Religion and life

Revision strategies

Theme B conclusion

Theme D:

Religion, peace and conflict

Theme D:

Religion, peace and conflict
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Revision: Christian and Buddhist practices Revision and exam techniques 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 Christian thought – 2 hours written examination. 33.3% of total A level

This unit studies the Christian religion, looking at religious beliefs, values and teachings. It also studies the significant social and historical developments in Christianity 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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