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Religious Studies

Curriculum Intent Statement for Religious Studies


The religious studies curriculum at GM school is designed to inspire pupils to become theologians and philosophers with an ability to understand, question, and critically evaluate the world around them.


Pupils are able to make critical and balanced judgments about questions of meaning and purpose. Through a knowledge-rich curriculum, pupils develop religious literacy and a conceptual understanding of key theological and philosophical beliefs. They acquire a deep understanding of the Abrahamic religions and explore how these beliefs influence religious believers’ daily lives. This gives our pupils the knowledge to apply their learning to contemporary issues within the world in which they live and prepares them for their lives beyond school.

Academically Ambitious

The curriculum aims to imbue within the pupils three specific types of knowledge:

  1. Substantive Knowledge – knowledge about various religious and non-religious traditions.
  2. Ways of Knowing – pupils learn ‘how to know’ about religion. 
  3. Personal Knowledge – pupils build an awareness of their presuppositions and values about the religious and non-religious traditions. 

A Progression Model

Our spiral curriculum is thoughtfully organised to introduce knowledge and skills and reinforce its retention progressively. Key concepts are presented repeatedly throughout the curriculum but with deepening layers of complexity or different applications. In RS, they learn about and from religions and world views in local, national and global contexts to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.

Pupils learn to comprehensively develop key religious ideas and beliefs to show a depth of understanding, enabling them to critically deconstruct religious information/issues leading to coherent and logical chains of reasoning. This is to prepare our pupils for their GCSEs, A-Levels and their life beyond the school. 


  • Assessment:  Taken in Year 11
  • Exam Board: EDEXCEL Religious Studies B
  • 100% of the GCSE is achieved through two exams.

Paper 1

Christianity: Religion and Ethics (exam 1 hour and 45 minutes)

Christian beliefs, Marriage and the family, Living the Christian life, Matters of life and death.

Paper 2

Islam: Religion, Peace and Conflict (exam 1 hour 45 minutes)

Beliefs, Crime and Punishment, Living the Religious Life, Peace and conflict.

What Skills will I Develop?

For students, the aim is to understand why people of faith believe, think and act as they do.  You are not expected necessarily to agree.  Indeed, in Religious Studies and Ethics students are encouraged to ask, question and debate contemporary issues in society.  We stress critical thinking skills: no matter what your view is, you should be able to argue it well and justify it.

GCSE Religious Studies lays a solid foundation for further study of Religion and Theology at A Level and related A Level subjects including Philosophy, History, Government and Politics, Sociology and English Literature.

Key Stage 3

Year Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
7 Introduction to Religious StudiesThe Life of Jesus   Religious Prophets
8 SikhismPilgrimagePhilosophy of Religion
9 Evil and Suffering     Citizenship Only Citizenship Only

Year 7

Extension work: Students should develop their debating skills and learn to formulate an arguments.

Assessment: Students are assessed through essays, role play, presentations and debate.

Year 8

Extension work: Students should consider what it means to be part of a religion, and how it affects someone’s life.

Assessment: Students are assessed through art work, presentation, and a group project.

Year 9

Extension work: Students should consider the problems with believing in God and be aware of potential solutions.

Assessment: Students are assessed through a project, a speech, and essays.