Religious studies

Religious studies

At the Academy, Religious Studies forms part of Philosophy for Learning. Taught alongside Citizenship, PSHE and Careers at Key Stage 3, students receive 2 lessons per fortnight. If a student opts to study Religious Studies at GCSE, this increases to 4 lessons per fortnight. Those students in Key Stage 4 who do not choose the subject, continue to study this as part of their Philosophy for Learning curriculum.

RS offers the students opportunities for personal reflection and pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) as it encourages them to examine the significance of their learning in relation to themselves and others. It enables pupils to explore their own beliefs (whether they are religious or not), ideas, feelings, experiences and values in the light of what they learn. RS encourages empathy and respect. It enables pupils to develop their own sense of identity and belonging. It also promotes respect for the right of others to hold different beliefs, values and ideas.

RS enables positive participation in our society with its diverse religious and non-religious world views, giving pupils an informed understanding of political, social and moral issues that they will need to face as they grow up in an increasingly globalised world. It helps them deal positively with controversial issues, to manage strongly held differences of belief and to challenge stereotypes and prejudice.

Curriculum information 

At Key Stage 3, each unit studied culminates in a formal, written assessment

Year Topic


This unit covers the following: Shabbat, Abraham, Moses, Kashrut, Torah, Festivals, Story of Job, Evil and Suffering.


History of Sikhism, Sikhism in Britain, Guru Nanak, 10 Gurus, The Gurdwara and Sewa, Commitment in the Khalsa, Pilgrimage, Life after Death, Fighting inequality.



Christian Beliefs – nature and belief about God, Christian Denominations, St Paul, Jesus – life and teachings (including parables), Jesus – crucifixion, resurrection, salvation and atonement, Miracles, Influential Christians, The Bible – sources of wisdom and authority and moral decision making, Evil and Suffering, Life after Death. 


Divergence with Islam – 6 articles of faith, 5 Pillars (including significance of shirk), Hajj, Ramadan – revelation in the Quran, Zakat – divergence khums and sadaqah, Prayer and Quran, Festivals, Muhammad Seal of Prophets and Risalah.


Christian beliefs

Belief in God, Nature of God, The Trinity, Forgiveness, God as a Judge, God as a Creator, Creation of Mankind, The Fall and Original Sin, Evil and Suffering, Story of Job, The Life of Jesus, Jesus Ministry, The Temptation of Jesus, Jesus’ Miracles, Teachings of Jesus, Jesus’ Death and Crucifixion, Ascension, Resurrection, The Concept of Salvation, Eschatological Beliefs, Heaven and Hell, Revision.

Christian practices

The Concept of Purpose and Worship, The Role and importance of Liturgical Worship for some Christians, Structure of Services in different Christian Denominations, The Role of Informal/Charismatic Worship, The Role and Meaning of The Sacraments, The Role of Eucharist and Baptism, Prayer – including Lord's Prayer, Types of Prayer, Pilgrimage, The Purpose and Impact of Pilgrimage, Christians and Christmas, Christians and Easter, Baptism and Confirmation, Marriage, Funerals, Mission, The Church in the Community, Evangelism, The Wider World, Christian Aid, Revision.

Islamic beliefs

Core Beliefs – 6 Articles of Faith, Core Beliefs – five roots of ‘usul ad-din, Tawhid, Prophethood, Muhammad, Kutub Books, Angels, Eschatological Beliefs – life after death, Revision.


Healthy V Unhealthy Relationships, Domestic Violence, Consent, Sexting and Revenge Porn – the legalities, STI’s and Contraception, Homophobia and Stereotypes, LGBTQ, The Media.

At Key Stage 4, each unit studied culminates in a formal, written assessment. All GCSE students work towards OCR examination. Non-GCSE students cover a variety of age-appropriate topics within the Philosophy for Learning lessons.

Year Topic

Islamic practices

The Five Pillars, Public Acts of Worship, Zakah, Khums and Sadaqah, Sawm, Hajj, Festivals, Jihad, Revision.

Christianity – relationships and families

The Role and Importance of Family in Society, Christian Teachings on the Family, Marriage, Marriage Services, Same-sex Marriage, Christian Responses to Same-sex Marriage, Christian Responses to Pre-Marital Sex/Cohabitation/Celibacy, The Role and Purpose of Contraception, Christian Beliefs on Contraception, Divorce, Annulment and Re-marriage, Christian Teachings on Divorce, The Role of Women in Christian Families, Upbringing Children, Equality, Prejudice and Discrimination, Christian Attitudes Towards Equality, Revision.

Christianity – the existence of God

Nature of God, God’s Relationship with the World, God’s Relationship with Humanity, God as Good, Evil and Suffering, Arguments for the Existence of God, The Bible, God in the World, Miracles, Inspirational Christians, Religious Experiences, Worship and Sacraments, Revision.

Peace and conflict

Christian Attitudes towards Terrorism, Just War Theory, Violence, Causes of Terrorism, Holy War, Warfare, Pacifism, Societies Working for Peace, The Rejection of Pacifism, Forgiveness and Reconciliation, Justice and Injustice, Liberation Theology, Revision.

RSE/healthy lifestyles

Sex, The Law and Consent, Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships, Contraception and STI’s, Staying Safe Online, LGBTQ, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Body Image.


Dialogue – the relationship between religious and non-religious views

Challenges for Religion, Secularisation, Education – secular and religious viewpoints, Religion, Tradition and Law, Christian Conflicts – abortion, euthanasia and genetic engineering, Christian Conflicts – the creation of life, Beliefs and Attitudes – Christians and other religions, Areas of Disagreement – religion, atheism, agnosticism, humanism and secularism.

Exam revision – Specification OCR

Paper 1 – Beliefs and teachings & Practices – first religion (1hr). Which is worth 25% of the final grade. Paper 2 – Beliefs and teachings & Practices – second religion (1hr). Which is worth 25% of the final grade. Paper 3 – Religion, philosophy and ethics in the modern world from a religious perspective (2 hrs). Which is worth 50% of the final grade.