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GCSE Religious Studies

Mathematics - Year 7

Click here to return to our Philosophy, Religion and Ethics curriculum overview

Below you will find more specific information about the curriculum in Religious Studies for students who have chosen this subject for GCSE, explaining to you what students will learn, when, why and how. There is also information about how parents/carers are able to support students in their learning, extra-curricular opportunities in this subject and how it links to other subjects and the wider world.

While this information covers a broad range of areas, please do get in touch with the Subject Leader Mrs Wells if you have any questions.

Please click on the questions below to find out more.

Which exam board will students be examined by?


How are groups organised?

Classes are mixed ability. They have five one hour lessons per fortnight

What characteristics does a successful student have in this subject?

The most successful students are inquisitive and open minded. They work hard to learn the course content and apply it to the exam questions.

What are the key concepts students will study at this level?

  • Christianity / Islam: Beliefs and Practices
  • Relationships and Families
  • The Existence of God and Revelation
  • Religion, Crime and Punishment
  • Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice

What will students learn at this level?

Christianity - Beliefs and Practices:

  • The nature of God
  • Creation
  • Jesus – crucifixion, resurrection and ascension
  • Life after death and judgement
  • Heaven and hell
  • Sin and salvation
  • Worship and prayer
  • The Sacraments – baptism and holy communion
  • Pilgrimage and Festivals
  • The Church in the community
  • Persecution and poverty

Islam - Beliefs and Practices:

  • The nature of God
  • Sunni and shi’a
  • Angels and predestination
  • Life after death
  • Prophets – Adam and Ibrahim
  • Muhammad
  • Holy Books
  • The Five Pillars
  • Jihad
  • Festivals

Relationships and Families:

  • Human Sexuality
  • Sex outside Marriage
  • Contraception
  • Marriage and Divorce
  • Nature and Purpose of family
  • Gender Equality

The Existence of God and Revelation:

  • Design Argument
  • First Cause Argument
  • Miracles
  • Revelation and enlightenment
  • The Divine

Religion, Crime and Punishment:

  • Reasons for and attitudes to crime
  • Aims of punishment
  • Forgiveness
  • Death penalty
  • Treatment of criminals
  • Corporal punishment
  • Prisons

Religion, humans rights and social justice:

  • Social justice and human rights
  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • Religious freedom
  • Wealth and poverty
  • Gender equality

What skills will students develop at this level?

  • Analytical skills
  • Evaluative skills
  • Communication
  • Team Work
  • Group work
  • Pair and individual work

How will students learn at this level?

  • Taught lessons and power-points
  • Practising different exam skills
  • Discussion
  • Peer and teacher assessment
  • Group, pair and individual work
  • Homework that encourages and extends learning

How will students’ learning be assessed at this level?

There are two exams at the end of Year 11, each containing x5 questions

  1. 1 mark – multiple choice
  2. 2 marks – question basic answer
  3. 4 marks – for and against answer or two opinions
  4. 5 marks – same as question 4, but must include a quote as supporting evidence
  5. 12 marks – essay question, x3 paragraphs for, against and own opinion

Students will practice all of these questions and skills during the two years

When do key assessments take place?

8 units – assessments at the end of each taught unit

Mock exams etc – see exam timetable and school calendar

How can parents/carers support students’ learning?

Ensure students do all homework – will always be on SMHW

Help students learn the key words – help and support them to do this

Buy a revision guide

What equipment do students need for this subject?

Essential School Equipment

How does this subject link to other subjects?

English: written work and communication / presentation skills

What websites or resources may be helpful to support students’ learning?


Exam board Information

What extra-curricular or enrichment opportunities are available for students in this subject at this level?

There is a philosophy club that runs once a week, students should come along to debate contemporary issues and extend / use their knowledge and learning.

What sort of careers can this subject lead to?

Teaching, Social Work, Law, Police.

What does student work look like in this subject at this level?


How does this subject support a broad and balanced curriculum, meeting the needs of all students, and developing traditional core skills?

Covers a range of contemporary topics that are essential for students moving into the world of work after school. We cover a range of philosophical, religious and ethical issues, allowing for a broad and balanced curriculum that covers the religions of Christianity and Islam.

Lessons contain a range of strategies that allow for stretch and challenge; all lessons are differentiated.

Core skills in relation to religion are also covered – for example basic skills such as knowing key terms in relation to the religions. There is also an emphasis on the students written English as they are marked on their SPaG

How does this subject promote creativity, critical thinking, practice, perseverance and resilience, and making links?

Students are continually required to make links about what they have learnt in relation to how they feel; how this impacts on the daily lives of believers; how secular or other religions might respond to this key idea; how historical or geographical factors might influence people’s beliefs etc Students are also encouraged to think critically about the learning and give their own, informed opinion.

Students are encouraged to persevere through the repetition of practice exam questions, feedback from marking and the use of formal assessments.

How does this subject encourage enrichment and the development of cultural capital, deep learning, and inclusivity?

When learning in this subject, students are encouraged to read round the topic areas, therefore extending and expanding their understanding. What they learn should allow them to make informed decisions about what they see beyond the classroom and school environment.

All students that learn PRE should be open to the ideas of others, be willing to listen to and speak about the view-points. This is implicit in the teaching of all KS4 lessons.