Religious Studies



Year 7

In Year 7, RS is taught during one lesson a week and looks at the foundations of the six world main religions; Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism. Pupils study the background to these religions, key features, inspirational leaders, festivals and stories.


Year 8

In Year 8 pupils look at moral issues and key questions in life. Pupils begin by analysing how religion can be a force for good/bad, how the world was created, wealth and poverty, animal rights and ideas of good versus evil.



Years 9-11

Students will be completing the new AQA Religious Studies specification in Year 9 and have two lessons per week. This GCSE will have two components and will be assessed under the new grading system of 1-9.


Component 1: Beliefs, teachings and practices of two religions:

This unit will develop students understanding of specific religious belief. It is assessed through one 1.45hr exam paper at the end of Year 11. In this unit students will study:



Key beliefs, Jesus Christ and Salvation, worship and festivals, the role of the church in local and worldwide community.



Key beliefs, The authority of the Qur’an and Muhammad, Worship, duties and festivals


Component 2: Thematic studies

This unit will consider religious, philosophical and ethical studies from both religious and non-religious viewpoints. It is assessed through a 1.45hr exam at the end of Year 11 and will be worth 50% of the total GCSE marks. It contains 4 themes:


Theme A: Relationships and families

Contraception, sexual relationships before marriage, homosexual relationships, families and gender equality


Theme B: Religion and life

Abortion, euthanasia, animal experimentation, the origins and value of the universe, the origins and value of human life


 Theme D: Religion, peace and conflict

Violence, weapons of mass destruction, pacifism, the causes of violence, terrorism and war


Theme E: Religion, crime and punishment

Corporal punishment, the death penalty, forgiveness, the causes of crime, the aims of punishment.


Year 11 Syllabus Content


In Year 11 students will complete the final year of the legacy Edexcel GCSE specification using an A*-G grading system in two lessons a week. They will have two exams at the end of Year 11 covering; religion and Life, religion and society. Having previously studied ‘Religion and Life’ during Year 10, students will cover ‘Religion and Society’, which will involve assessing (from a religious and non-religious perspective) the following moral issues;


Rights and Responsibilities

Christians and the Bible, Christians and the authority of the Church, Christians and conscience, Christians and situation ethics, Christians and moral authorities, Human Rights in the UK, why Human Rights are important to Christians, democratic and electoral processes, Christian teachings on moral duties and responsibilities, the nature of genetic engineering, Christian attitudes to genetic engineering.

Environmental and Medical Issues

Global warming, pollution, natural resources, Christian and Muslim teachings on stewardship and the environment, medical treatment for infertility, Christian and Muslim attitudes to medical treatment for infertility, transplant surgery, Christian and Muslim attitudes to transplant surgery.

Peace and Conflict

Causes of war, the UN and world peace, religious organisations and peace, just war theory, Christian and Muslim attitudes to war, Christian and Muslim attitudes to bullying, Christian and Muslim teachings on forgiveness and reconciliation.

Crime and Punishment

The need for law and justice, theories of punishment, Christians and justice, Muslims and justice, non-religious arguments about capital punishment, Christian and Muslim attitudes to capital punishment, drugs and alcohol laws, social and health problems caused by drugs and alcohol, Christian and Muslim attitudes to drugs and alcohol.