Subject Overview   

The RS Department seeks to inspire and motivate pupils to tackle challenging questions and explore different faiths, cultures and people all across the globe. It actively promotes values of truth, justice and respect for all.    

Year 7   

In Year 7, pupils are introduced to the key questions of what is belief and what Christian beliefs are. The founders of the major world religions of Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism are studied, along with key Jewish festivals and Buddhist beliefs. Students are also introduced to the places of worship and holy books of various faiths.  

  • Unit 1: What is Belief?
  • Unit 2: Why are Abraham & Moses special to Jews?  
  • Unit 3: Why is Pr. Muhammad important to Muslims?
  • Unit 4: Were and how do believers worship?
  • Unit 5: Why are sacred texts important to believers?
  • Unit 6: Why is Gotoma Buddha important today?   

Year 8

The theme of commitment is explored in Year 8, where students examine what it means to be a committed Jew and how Muslims show commitment to their faith. Key elements of Christian belief are also studied, where students investigate what the concepts of Incarnation and Resurrection mean to Christians. An independent project on what it means to be a committed Sikh is completed at the end of Year 8.   

  • Unit 1: What does it mean to mean to be committed Jew?
  • Unit 2: What does the Incarnation mean to Christians?
  • Unit 3: What does it mean to be a committed Muslim?
  • Unit 4: What does the resurrection mean to Christians?
  • Unit 5: What are we doing to the environment?
  • Unit 6: What does it mean to be a committed Sikh?

Year 9

In Year 9, students consider Big Questions of life and engage in philosophical discussion about these. They also look at the topic of ‘Who is my neighbour’ ‘How do we challenge unfair rules?’ and the various Rites of Passage that are observed in some of the major World Faiths. Pupils will also study the Conflict and Peace unit before we begin the GCSE course which begins with Area of Study 1- Religion and Ethics through Christianity- Section 1 Christian Beliefs module at the end of Year 9.   

  • Unit 1: Should humans compete with God?
  • Unit 2: Can we make poverty history?
  • Unit 3: How can we challenge unfair rules?
  • Unit 4: Where are we going? (Rites of passage)
  • Unit 5: Can humans ever live in peace?


We start the GCSE towards the end of Year 9 and follow the Edexcel NEW 9-1 GCSE Specification B.

Key stage 4 

Year 10 

Area of Study 3 - Religion, Philosophy and Social Justice Christianity studied in Year 10

This consists of four sections:

  • Section 1: Christian Beliefs
  • Section 2: Philosophy of Religion
  • Section 3: Living the Christian Life
  • Section 4: Equality

Key stage 4

Year 11 

Area of Study 1 – Religion & Ethics through Islam is studied in Year 11.

This consists of four sections:

  • Section 1: Muslim Beliefs
  • Section 2: Marriage & the Family Life
  • Section 3: Living the Muslim Life
  • Section 4: Matters of Life & Death


The RS GCSE is linear with an examination at the end of the two-year course.

(Reviewed July 2019)