Religious Studies


How should society deal with criminality? Is there life after death? How do religious people respond to humanitarian crises? Are religious teachings still relevant in the 21st Century? How should humans treat each other?

These, along with questions surrounding how to live a Christian and Islamic life in modern Britain make Religious Studies a fascinating subject, which helps students to understand and reflect on different worldviews, including their own. The course is designed to allow students to explore this in a creative, interesting and academically rigorous way. The department encourages students to use a variety of approaches, including discussion, debate, presentations, creative projects, art, drama, speaking, listening and writing skills, along with the whole school focus on the Edgbarrow8. By studying religious beliefs and investigating various worldviews, students develop an understanding of life in the 21st Century. Thanks to its exploration of fascinating questions and concepts, Religious Studies is a popular GCSE and A-Level subject at Edgbarrow School.

Key Staff

Mr C Hinz - Head of Department
Mrs Anigbo
Mrs Thurgood

Curriculum Intent

Religious Studies encourages students to understand a range of religious and secular worldviews, investigate spiritual and moral questions and identify their own beliefs. By studying religious beliefs and cultures students develop tolerance, respect and an understanding of what it means to be part of a diverse British society.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

In Year 7, students study an extended theme on ‘prophethood’ which allows them to explore religious views from a variety of faiths. Students will investigate the main philosophies of living a good life, according to the major world faiths as well as from a Humanist perspective. This will include an opportunity to compare and evaluate the similarities and differences between the spiritual guidance offered by different religions, such as Christianity and Buddhism.

Year 8

In Year 8, students begin by studying different Rites of Passage through a range of different religions. During the second term, students complete an in-depth study of Christianity, investigating major Christian denominations, as well as learning about the life and teachings of Jesus. Year 8 concludes with a study of Islam, where students consider the challenges of living an Islamic life in modern Britain, through an in-depth look at the Five Pillars of Islam.

Year 9

The final year in Key Stage 3, equips students with the essential skills necessary to continue with Religious Studies at GCSE. In the first term, students study Moral Issues and Ethical Theories. Within these topics, students are encouraged to explore the ultimate and moral questions relating to euthanasia, abortion, and capital punishment, as well as reflecting on their own beliefs and values. Additionally, students study how to make moral decisions, with reference to theories such as Situation Ethics and Ethical Egoism. In the following term, students continue to explore the importance of morality but from a more global perspective, through and an in-depth study of Human Rights and how these were born out of the Holocaust. Students investigate what happened to the Jews during the Holocaust and are asked to reflect on whether or not the Holocaust disproves the existence of a God.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum Map

Assessment Bands

Students will follow national guidelines throughout Key Stage 3 to support and prepare them for their Key Stage 4 courses. The school operates a banding system of 1-9 (9 being the highest band). Students will be given a target based on their Key Stage 2 scores and baseline assessments on arrival at Edgbarrow. The band they are awarded at the end of the Key Stage is intended to be indicative of the grade they may achieve at GCSE.


Summary Curriculum Plan

Year 7 

Year 8

Year 9

Key Stage 4

GCSE Religious Studies offers more than just learning about different cultures, beliefs and faiths. The WJEC/Eduqas Religious Studies course gives pupils the opportunity to analyse and try to understand more clearly the causes behind many major concerns and issues in our world today - for example, the causes of criminality and how society should deal with those who commit crimes; reasons why abortion and same-sex marriage are still contentious; why prejudice exists; what is being done about hunger in the developing world; why we should care about pollution; whether marriage is still worthwhile today and how religious scholars and philosophers have approached the above problems.

Students can analyse both Christian, Muslim and secular views on these issues. They can decide for themselves whether there is a right, wrong or best answer for any issue discussed. Looking at these issues gives pupils the opportunity to understand more fully the world they live in and develop the ability to form their own opinions, based on facts and informed discussion.

Select the link to watch our video Welcome to GCSE Religious Studies.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Map

Assessment Bands

Summary Curriculum Plan

Year 10

Year 11

Key Stage 5

Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

A-Level students continue to follow the WJEC/Eduqas course in Religious Studies. Students will have the opportunity to examine questions relating to arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering, the possibility of life after death and a range of ethical theories, including Utilitarianism and Natural Law. The course will also entail a close examination of the practices and beliefs of Islam, with a focus on the role of women within society and the Muslim understanding of Jihad. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to develop an understanding and appreciation of religious thought and its contribution to individuals, communities and societies.

Further, students will adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to religion today; enabling them to develop their own values, opinions and attitudes of religion and its place in the wider world.

Select the link to watch our video Welcome to A-Level Religious Studies.

Key Stage 5 Curriculum Map

Summary Curriculum Plan

Year 12

Year 13


It is our intent that pupils with special educational needs/disabilities (SEND) follow the same curriculum, learn alongside their peers and achieve similar outcomes. 

In addition, they may benefit from additional opportunities in the lessons and in the co-curricular activities that are arranged especially for them.

SEND Implementation and Impact

Pupil Premium Intent


Reading Aims:
  • To ensure students are equipped to understand command words in questions.
  • To ensure students are equipped with a range of independent reading strategies to aid comprehension when reading and answering exam questions.
  • To support students in understanding new or complex vocabulary that they encounter in their reading.
  • To support students with reading out loud and therefore pronunciation.
  • To encourage students to read for pleasure outside of the lessons.

Writing aims:

  • To ensure students are equipped with strategies to construct their answers.
  • To ensure students are equipped with a range of independent strategies to enable them to plan their answers carefully.
  • To equip students with strategies to reflect on and redraft their writing.
  • To explicitly teach spelling, punctuation and grammar to enable students to write fluently.
  • To support students in writing extended answers, through teaching them to use tier 3 vocabulary.
  • To support students in writing extended answers, through teaching them how to respond effectively to command words.

Spoken Language Aims:

  • To ensure students are equipped to use a range of vocabulary as well as subject specific vocabulary in their spoken language.
  • To ensure students are equipped with the skills to participate in formal discussion and debate.
  • To support students to use spoken Standard English.
  • To teach students how to listen and respond formally.
  • To provide students with opportunities for structured talk.

Select for Literacy Strategies


Visits to places of worship in the locality, as well as speakers being invited to lessons, will be offered for some topics e.g. prison chaplains, amnesty international, and religious leaders within Christianity and Islam. Where possible trips abroad are offered; in the past, we have visited Israel, Rome and Morocco, Auschwitz in Poland and Florence.

P4123442 Basilica di Santa Croce

Basilica di Santa Croce - Rome

photo 25

Hassan II Mosque - Morocco

IMG 0862

Jewish Museum Visit - London

Independent Study

Key Stage 4

Select to view current revision material

Key Stage 5

AO1 Descriptors

On the road to post-16 study - Ethics

AO2 Descriptors

On the road to post-16 study - Islam


On the road to post-16 study - Philosophy

For further information regarding our Religious Studies Curriculum please contact:

Mr C Hinz