Religious Studies (RS)

Religious Studies

Students learn and understand the full range of the six main world religions: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.

Subject Area Curriculum Intent


Principles at Key Stage 3

In year 7 and 8 students learn and understand the full range of the six main world religions (Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism). Pupils learn about religions and beliefs in a local, national and global context. They learn the importance and relevance of religious sources i.e. Holy books and how these apply to their lives.

The principal aim of RS at KS3 is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living. This is intended to highlight the commonality (shared experiences) between religions. As a result of all the above, by the end of year 7 students will have acquired a detailed knowledge and understanding of 3 religions (Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism).

By the end of year 8 they will have acquired a sound knowledge and understanding of Sikhism, Buddhism and Islam. The impact of the teaching and learning will be assessed by the use of both formative and summative assessments that will be accompanied by a structured approach to modelling of good responses, along with the consistent scaffolding of material that will allow the students to gain the confidence to attempt new and complex skills. This will evidently lead to success in the acquisition of knowledge.

Routine quality checks on teacher feedback, set homework and presentation of students’ folders will be held to ensure that students are provided with the full informed opportunity to achieve the best they can in RS.

The sequencing of the medium term planning highlights a focus on the knowledge of the key factors relating to both learning about, and from, the six main world religions. This is intended to underpin an initial understanding of British values, such as religious and cultural, tolerance, mutual respect and democracy


Principles at Key Stage 4

Students will be learning the traditional faith of the country (Christianity) which is compulsory. Students’ will also focus on an additional faith (Sikhism). This makes up the content for the eventual GCSE that the student will achieve by the end of their KS4 studies. Students will keep learning the beliefs, teachings and practices of the two faiths, but will also focus on the thematic approach linked to RS. The thematic study allows pupils to draw together their learning each year, connecting their studies of different religions. This then feeds into the long term plan, encouraging students to be deeper thinkers and appreciating the vast diverseness in the range of sacred text, beliefs and practices that run through KS4. Themes covered at KS4 according to the AQA specification A syllabus are:

    • Religion peace and conflict
    • Religion crime and punishment
    • Religion and life
    • Religion Human rights and social justice


RS four year impact

RS provides each and every student with the unique opportunity to explore and experience life from the perspective of individuals both similar and very different. This encourages them to demonstrate an open-minded approach as well as developing a sense of tolerance and understanding. Such a mind-set helps the student in preparing for life outside school and ready for the experience of adult life and social interactions within and beyond local communities. As a result the student is better equipped to cope with the complexities of human behaviour and beliefs that help to shape the culture and moral fibre of the individual and the wider community.

Our RS curriculum makes every attempt to ensure the success of the above occuring by introducing the variety of world religions. In structuring an approach to learning that will challenge the able, encourage the less able, and foster a culture of respect, knowledge and tolerance. The use of key questions linked to the units helps to focus the approach of both the teacher and the learner. Students eill consider questions such as, ‘Why do some people choose to go to a place of worship?’ And ‘What is worship and what do people feel as they worship?’ They will also consider statements for evaluation such as, ‘War can never be justified’, or ‘The death penalty is the best way of keeping people from committing serious crime’. Through the structure of our RS curriculum, each student is equipped with the tools of cognition to confidently, effectively and successfully answer such questions as those above. The student develops this ability as they evolve through the key stages, processing and retaining information that then becomes the knowledge that will form part of their long term memory.


Teaching and learning

RS has a knowledge enabling curriculum where students will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth. This is to enable them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues and concepts. Students will also gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture. They will develop analytical and critical thinking skills and the ability to work with abstract ideas.

Teaching focuses on the development of a subject specific vocabulary supported by religious and non-religious evidence, elaborated ideas and evaluative writing. This is monitored through structured challenging lessons, scaffolded learning, end of topic assessments and questioning. The use of regular retrieval practice and homework help to strengthen the stickability of information by linking prior learning to current learning. Knowledge organisers are utilised as a live teaching and learning resource, as it allows the student to consolidate their understanding as well as strengthen their knowledge through regular engagement and updated tasks.

We support all behaviour for learning practices that are school wide in our lessons and in our dialogue with students, using positive rewards to motivate and encourage good participation and learning in the classroom and at home.

In RS we share the JMCC T&L common principles based on Interleaving, Elaboration, Retrieval Practice, Dual Coding, Spaced Practice and Concrete Examples. Many worksheets and PowerPoint resources, as well as classroom and homework activity is based on these principles.

Interleaving is often explored through highlighting the cross religious and cultural commonalities that underpin the core principles of RS, whilst regularly making references to prior learning.

Dual coding is to be worked on by means of linking visual and written information to help demystify conceptions and avoid misconceptions.

Concrete examples are routinely used throughout lessons by media clips of religious practices. There is also modelling of good practice and expected standards of achievement. This is demonstrated with formative assessments and scaffolded learning in order to build confidence and competence in RS.

curriculum overview

year 7
autumn term spring term summer term

How did we get here?

A study into theories of creation, both religious and scientific in order to launch an investigation into whether science and religion are in conflict.


Should we care for the world?

We will investigate the role of humans on earth from a variety of religions. Students will study how these religious beliefs are practiced. This will then lead to a study into ethical and philosophical debate around religious responsibility towards a sustainable world and towards the care of animals

How should we treat other people?

We will look across the religions to consider different teachings and practices which encourage kindness and equality and how these are practiced within religion.

Core values and beliefs

(The Abrahamic religions)

The objective of this topic is to identify key religious beliefs of the Abrahamic Religions. To find similarities and differences between Abrahamic Religions and evaluate the commonalities between the Abrahamic religions

year 8
autumn term spring term summer term

What are moral codes?

An investigation into religious moral codes and how people are influenced by them. Where do people learn their morals? Do all people see these moral codes in the same way? Students will debate literal and liberal views while gaining a knowledge of scriptures and their use within religion as well as their influence


Who are we?

Students will build on the previous topic’s knowledge and those studied in year 7. The students will apply knowledge of key religious morals to issues in regard to sanctity of life

What happens when we die?

After considering religious morals and sanctity of life students will investigate religious views on eschatology. They will be taught key beliefs about life after death and judgement. This will then be applied to key issues and the way religious groups and individuals are influenced by these beliefs (funerals)


Concept of pacifism

Students will consider how religious teachings can be applied to the issue of the death penalty. They will draw on knowledge from previous lessons to debate whether it is ever acceptable to take a life. They will draw on skills already developed to debate literal and liberal views. They will look at countries where the death penalty does exist, to look at the current legal system, its failings and successes and then apply religious teachings to state if it should or should not be made part of the penal system.

Core values and beliefs (Vedic religions)

The objective of this topic is to identify key religious beliefs of the Vedic Religions. To find similarities and differences between Vedic Religions and evaluate the commonalities between the Vedic religions

year 9
autumn term spring term summer term

Christian Beliefs and teachings

Paper 1 Christian Beliefs and teachings

- The nature of God

- God as omnipotent loving and just

- Christian beliefs about creation Incarnation and

  Jesus Son of God

- The crucifixion

- Resurrection and life after death

- The afterlife and judgement

- Heaven and Hell

- Sin and salvation

- The role of Christ in salvation

Christian Practices

Paper 1 Christian Practices

- Worship/Prayer

- The sacraments: baptism, Holy communion

- Pilgrimage

- Celebrating festivals

- The role of the church in the local community

- The place of mission and evangelism


Sikhism beliefs and teachings

- The nature of God as one

- The nature of God as the creator

- The Nature of human Life

- Karma, rebirth, mukti

- The five stages of liberation The importance of

  being God centred

- The oneness of humanity, equality for all

- Equality and Guru nank

- Equality and Guru Gobind Singh

- Equality in the GGS

- Sewa Role and importance of Sangat

Paper2 Thematic studies (E) Religion crime

and punishment

- Reasons for crime

- Christian attitudes to law breakers H/W

- Aims of punishment

- Suffering

- Treatment of criminals

- Forgiveness

- Death penalty

year 10
autumn term spring term summer term

Paper 2 Theme D Religion Peace And Conflict

- Violent protest

- Reasons for war


- Just war theory

- Holy war and terrorism

- Pacifism/peace making

- Religious responses to victims of war

Paper 2 Theme F Religion Human Rights And

Social Justice

- Social justice and Human rights

- Prejudice and Discrimination

- Religious freedom

- Prejudice and Discrimination-Disability and Race

- Christian teachings about wealth and poverty

- Exploitation of the poor

- Giving money to the poor

Paper 2 Theme B Religion And Life

- The origins of the universe

- The value of the world

- The use and abuse of the environment

- Pollution

- The use and abuse of animals

- The origins of human life

- Abortion & Euthanasia

- Death and the afterlife