Religious Studies

Curriculum Leader: Mrs M Barnes

Subject Teachers: Mrs M Barnes, Mr S Blackwell and Mrs S Shaw

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibres connect us with our fellow men.

Herman Melville

Overall Purpose of the Subject - Summary:

Religious Studies explores issues of faith and belief (both religious and non-religious) and encourages respect for the cultural and life experiences of others. It allows pupils to examine their own beliefs by asking questions about the meaning and purpose of life, issues of right and wrong, and what it means to be human. Religious Studies also helps pupils to challenge prejudice and to operate as citizens in a diverse society.

Course Outline and Structure - Key Stage 3

Religious Studies follows Living Difference, the Agreed Syllabus for Hampshire, and lessons are centered on conceptual enquiry and Philosophy for Children. No fewer than three religions will be studied, one of which must be Christianity. Philosophy for Children (P4C) is embedded into curriculum as a way of encouraging caring, collaborative, critical and creative thinking that is inclusive and challenging.

Key Stage 3 Religious Studies is delivered in one lesson per week during Year 7 and Year 8.

In Year 7 pupils begin by asking "What makes something religious?" and will consider the importance of symbolism, identity and remembrance for understanding religious and non-religious ways of living in our world. The study of Judaism forms part of this introductory term.  Next ideas of authority and revelation are examined through Christianity by looking at sacred texts and the person of Jesus and considering the question "How can something so old still be relevant today?"  The year ends by exploring philosophical questions, such as, Who am I? Why am I here? What is truth? and looking at current religious and non-religious moral responses to the major issue of “How should we care for our world?”.

In Year 8 pupils consider the concept of ‘struggle’ as an important part of religion and of what it means to be human. A study of what the Buddha taught leads to questions of whether anything good can come out of suffering. Christianity and Islam are also studied through the concepts of reconciliation and ummah, and by asking questions such as “Does a life without hope have any meaning?” and “Should faith make a difference?”

Assessment Method - Key Stage 3

Each term students will study a different unit of work and are assessed on their knowledge and understanding of that particular unit. Students’ progress is then tracked through a combination of their end of unit assessments, and their classwork and verbal contribution in class. There is one attainment target for Religious Studies outlined in the Hampshire Agreed Syllabus, Living Difference as “Interpreting religion in relation to human experience”.

The unexamined life is not worth living and the unlived life is not worth examining.


Course Outline and Structure - Key Stage 4                          Exam Board: AQA

Years 9, 10 and 11   Religious

This is a core subject and all students in Years 9, 10 and 11 have one lesson per week allocated for this full GCSE course. There are 2 main components to the course:

Paper 1 is about the study of religions and explores the beliefs and practices of two major world religions. Currently this is Christianity and either Islam or Judaism

Paper 2 explores four themes in philosophical and ethical issues in the modern world, such as relationships and families, issues of life and death, peace and conflict and crime and punishment

Assessment Method - Key Stage 4

All Religious Studies courses are 100% assessed by examinations at the end of year 11. Within class time, students are assessed on each unit using past exam paper questions and grade boundaries to track students’ progress and proficiency. This is then used to guide intervention based on student's individual needs.

Extra-Curricular Activities / Clubs

Trip to a relevant place of worship such as a church, synagogue or mosque

SACRE Youth Voice and Y8 conference

RS Candle Conference for Y11

TGI Cove School Christian Union