Religious Studies

Our Vision

The principal aim of Religious Studies is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that students 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.

Students extend and deepen their knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and beliefs, recognising their local, national and global context. Building on their prior learning, they learn to appreciate religions and beliefs in systematic ways. They draw on a wide range of subject-specific language confidently and flexibly, learning to use the concepts of religious study to describe the nature of religion. They should understand how beliefs influence the values and lives of individuals and groups, and how religions and beliefs have an impact on wider current affairs. They are able to appraise the practices and beliefs they study with increasing discernment based on analysis, interpretation and evaluation, developing their capacity to articulate well-reasoned positions.

By the end of Year 7, students should…

  • Make sense of a religious belief by; explaining what Christians mean when they refer to God as Trinity, using evidence from the Old Testament; investigating the use of metaphor to communicate ideas in the Bible; studying religious text and non-religious ideas to understand good, evil and suffering
  • Understand the impact and significance of a religious belief by; giving examples of how Christians express their ideas about God through art & symbols; explaining how Christians use teachings to guide behaviour/actions; how Christians worship and are influenced by the Bible; how Christians and non-religious people respond to suffering
  • Make connections by offering reasons why Christians worship God as Trinity; what difference it makes for Christians to believe in God; the implications of Christian teachings for the modern world; how people decide what is right and wrong comparing two views; to what extent religion exists to help humans cope with suffering

By the end of Year 8, students should…

  • Make sense of a religious belief by; describing how varieties of Buddhist traditions relate to the dhamma; explaining the key beliefs about life after death and how they are interpreted differently; comparing two religious views on suffering; explaining at least two solutions to suffering offered by religious traditions
  • Understand the impact and significance of a belief by; giving reasons and examples to explain how Buddhists put their beliefs in to action in different ways; showing how Buddhists teachings guide Buddhists in making moral decisions; showing how belief in life after death affects the way people live; explaining why people respond to suffering in different ways
  • Make connections by; offering an account of what difference it makes that overcoming dukkha and achieving enlightenment is achievable by anyone; evaluating how far the Buddhist dhamma can help to make sense of the world; evaluating how far it is the case that religions exist to help humans cope with suffering, fear & despair

By the end of Year 9, students should…

  • Make sense of a belief by; explaining what is meant by the term ‘non-religious’ and give examples of the range of views covered by this belief; explain what sources of authority non-religious people might use and why; explain the importance of key beliefs studied for Jewish ways of living in Britain today; comparing at least two ways to describe ‘spiritual’ and ‘spirituality’; describing spirituality within Cornwall as expressed through the creative arts
  • Understand the impact and significance of a belief by; giving reasons to explain how & why non-religious people put their beliefs in to action in different ways; showing how Humanist principles guide people in making moral decisions; giving reasons and examples to show how Jewish people put their belief in to action in different ways; showing how Jewish belief and teachings guide Jews in responding to the challenges of modern life in Britain; showing how people express spirituality in different ways; explaining how and why Cornwall is an important place of spirituality
  • Make connections by; offering an account of the changing religious landscape of the UK; evaluating how far the non-religious beliefs help to make sense of the world; giving an account of the challenges and opportunities of being a Jewish teenager in Britain today; evaluating how far living in Cornwall will shape the way someone sees all aspects of life

Key Concepts

Making sense of a range of beliefs
Understanding the impact & significance of beliefs
Making connections

KS3 Religious Studies

Religious Studies Learning Journey

Curriculum Breakdown

Year 7

  • If God is ‘just an old man in the sky’
  • What the story of the Bible is
  • What the church of the Holy Trinity looks like
  • What Christians should be like, based on the idea of God
  • What difference it would make to Christians if they only believed in one part of the Trinity
  • What is made in the ‘image of God’
  • Who the ‘fallen’ are
  • Whether humans need to be saved
  • Where people get their values from
  • How we decide what is right and wrong
  • Whether God should be blamed for evil and suffering
  • What the Book of Job would look like today
  • If God is beyond our understanding
  • How sacrifice helps Christians deal with evil and suffering
  • What we might do if life gets hard

Year 8

  • How Buddha’s experiences led to him seeking enlightenment
  • How Buddha’s teachings impact on Buddhists today
  • What Buddha says about wisdom, justice and strength
  • What is means to be Buddhist in a British context
  • If Buddhism is an early form of Humanism
  • Why some people believe in life after death
  • What Christian teachings say about life after death
  • What the Muslim ideas about Paradise are
  • What Sikhs believe about immortality
  • Whether this life is all there is
  • If suffering is a natural human state
  • If we work hard, will we avoid suffering?
  • How the Noble Eightfold Path offers a map to help escape dukkha
  • If there are any good solutions to suffering

Year 9

  • Whether more people are not religious than before
  • Why Britain is so religiously diverse
  • How non-religious people replicate the practises of religion
  • To what extent it is fair to describe the non-religious in relation to religion
  • How young British Jews live out their religion
  • How young British Jews see themselves
  • How being Jewish makes a difference to people’s lives
  • If theodicy is possible after Auschwitz
  • How society could overcome racist and intolerant attitudes
  • What it means to live a spiritual life
  • Whether Cornwall is a place of religion or spirituality
  • How art helps people to understand their belief
  • How Cornish poet’s work reflects their spirituality
  • How we can express our own sense of the spiritual

KS4 Religious Studies

Edexcel GCSE 9 – 1

Beliefs In Action

Our GCSE course develops the skills and knowledge learned in KS3 Religious Studies. In GCSE Religious Studies, students learn about two religions in depth, focusing on belief, philosophy, issues of social justice, peace and conflict. They will have the opportunity to relate the issues and themes studied to those of modern life, as well as their own beliefs and values.

This course is accessible for all students, offering clear and straightforward assessments and highly engaging topics, designed to support, develop and encourage substantiated judgements and provoke lively debate!

The Course in Brief:

  • Full GCSE Course
  • Two Exam Papers
  • Two Exams (1hr 45mins)
  • Paper 2: Peace and Conflict
  • Paper 3: Religion, Philosophy & Social Justice

Paper 2: Area of Study 2 – Religion, Peace and Conflict

  • Buddhist, religious & non-religious beliefs
  • Non-religious & Buddhist attitudes towards crime & punishment
  • Living life as a Buddhist
  • Non-religious & Buddhist views on peace and conflict

Assessment Overview

  • The assessment consists of four questions.
  • The paper may include short, open response and extended writing questions.

Paper 3: Area of Study 3 – Religion, Philosophy and Social Justice

  • Jewish beliefs
  • The philosophies of Judaism
  • Living life as a Jewish person in modern society
  • Equality; Jewish views & lived experience

Assessment Overview

  • The assessment consists of four questions.
  • The paper may include short, open response and extended writing questions.