What will students learn? 

Year 7

In year 7 we offer an insight into the bigger questions about life by beginning with a philosophy unit which explores the ultimate questions about life, creation and afterlife. We then explore religions comparatively by focussing on the diverse views about God, worship and religious leaders. We then move on to study religious festivals from each of the six world faiths before beginning our thematic study of religion which continues into year 8. Listed below are the units of study in year 7;

  1. Ultimate Questions

  2. World Religions  

  3. Religious Festivals 

  4. A study of Hindu beliefs & Practices 

  5. A study of Sikh beliefs & Practices 

During the study of these topics, we develop skills in oral and written articulacy, comparison, empathy and tolerance.

Year 8

Our year 8 curriculum continues the study of world religions and also explores within it the diversity that is apparent as well as Humanist and secular world views. We also look at ethical issues surrounding the nature of the sanctity of life, during this unit we explore matters related to capital punishment, IVF, genetic engineering and when life begins. We offer our students a range of opportunities to engage with diverse world views, religious and secular in order to build their critical analysis. Listed below are the unit of study in year 8;

  1. Exploring Judaism 

  2. The Person of Jesus 

  3. A study of the beginnings & foundations of Islam 

  4. Is life sacred?

  5. Evil and suffering 

Year 9

In year 9 pupils study the AQA Short Course GCSE. Students will study beliefs and teachings from Christianity & Islam. They will then study two themes in which they will be required to study religious and non religious viewpoints on issues raised.  Students will be expected to explore religious texts and make reasoned judgements which is something we prepare our students for from year 7. The qualification is linear in that all students will sit the exam at the end of the course. Listed below are the units of study’ 

  1. Christian Beliefs 

  2. Muslim Beliefs

  3. Relationships & Families 

  4. Religion, Peace & Conflict. 

Below is a link to the Short Course Specification. 

AQA | GCSE | Religious Studies: Short course | Specification at a glance

How will they be assessed?

Year 7, 8 & 9

All students in year 7, 8 and 9 will sit a similar style assessment at the end of each unit studied. This will be a formal, closed book assessment. These assessments are designed to assess students' knowledge and understanding of the units studied but also their ability to evaluate, analyse, critically assess and build an argument to then reach a justified conclusion. Each assessment will consist of multiple choice questions, short answer questions and one evaluation statement which requires students to write at length in order to formulate an argument from different points of view. Students are given detailed mark schemes and exemplar answers to enable them to Feed Forward effectively. In addition to these formal assessments, students will also be taking part in low stake assessments such as quizzes and debates in the classroom. 


How can parents support their child?

We really encourage students to keep up to date with the world of religion and spirituality by having an awareness of what is going on in the world. We therefore ask them to watch the news and topical shows such as ‘the big questions’. The more that students engage with these and discuss them with friends and family the more likely they are to achieve highly in RS, particularly if they are able to understand and argue from a different point of view to their own. It is also important for students to recognise the diversity of faith that is apparent in the world around them, this includes their own religion too.