Religious Studies

Religious Studies

The RS department consists of three specialist rooms which are well resourced. Curriculum planning is in accordance with the 2018-2023 Sandwell Agreed Syllabus and we consider ourselves to be a very successful department both in terms of the quality of the work we do and the examination results achieved.

GCSE Examination Results

Grades 9-4 Grades 9-5 Grades 9-7
2022 95% 79% 39%
2021 (TAGs) 80% 63% 35%
2020 (CAGs) 92% 81% 40%
2019 78% 70% 38%
2018 87% 73% 30%


Our Aims: Religious Studies gives student the chance to ask puzzling questions about God, religion and world beliefs. Our subject helps students to understand what makes other people tick and enables them to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own and so Religious Studies can help remove the ignorance that causes prejudice, hatred & violence. Additionally, it provides opportunities to promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development as well as improving their cultural capital.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Students begin with a basic introduction to key religious beliefs and practices before completing a baseline assessment.

How do religious teachings influence a person’s life? (Autumn Term)

Students focus on how religious belief may affect a person’s attitude and lifestyle. They will look at the Five Pillars of Islam, the parable of the Good Samaritan, the parable of the Lost Son and Sikh beliefs about Sewa.
This unit of work is concluded with a consideration of the Christian teaching of agapé, making links to the charitable work of local churches and culminating in the students supporting a reverse advent calendar hamper appeal.

What does it mean to take responsibility for belonging to a religion? (Spring Term)

Students will learn about a range of initiation ceremonies, including Believers Baptism, Confirmation, Amrit Sanskar and Bar Mitzvah.

How might we answer ultimate questions? (Summer Term)

Students will focus on a number of life’s big questions. They will have the opportunity to discuss, debate and argue possible answers from different religious and non-religious perspectives. The unit concludes with students producing a piece of creative work that may be entered into a national competition, NATRE’s spirited Arts.


Year 8

How does the Buddha’s search for enlightenment impact on the lives of Buddhists today? (Autumn Term)

Students will be given the chance to find out about the life of the Buddha and how his life has affected many. They will reflect on events in his life, personal qualities and his teachings.

What makes a person inspirational? (Spring Term)

Students will begin by studying the life of Martin Luther King, looking at his achievements and how he was influenced by religion. They then move on to examine the life of Nicky Cruz and how his faith impacted his actions.

How do religions express beliefs about God? (Summer Term)

An opportunity for students to explore religious beliefs and teachings about God: considering the similarities and differences between Hindu, Sikh, Christian and Muslim ideas; whilst also considering the impact these may have on the lives of believers.


Year 9

How Do We Decide What Is Right And Wrong? (Autumn Term)

This unit focuses on issues of morality and a range of ethical theories. Students will be expected to learn about the codes of living from at least two religions as well as some secular ethical theories. It is intended to provide opportunities for students to evaluate their own ethical ideas and values too (both religious and non-religious).

Why do we suffer? (Spring Term)

This unit provides an opportunity for students to examine and reflect on the causes of evil and suffering in the world today and consider a range of responses to suffering (e.g. Christianity, Humanism and Sikhism)

Should we use our wealth to help the poor? (Summer Term)

Students will consider some religious teachings about how people should spend their wealth and what responsibility they might have for those less fortunate than themselves. This unit includes a consideration of the work of Christian Aid, the role of the national lottery in overcoming poverty and also occupations that may be considered moral or immoral.

Key Stage 4

Core RS-Philosophy and Ethics

All students have the opportunity to consider some philosophical and ethical issues during Year 10 and 11. These sessions are designed to engage the students in discussion and debate and encourage them to reflect on a range of viewpoints, both religious and secular. An over-riding aim is to provide opportunities for personal reflection about a range of contemporary moral issues, whilst developing important transferable skills.

The topics are selected from those taught as part of the GCSE syllabus and include:

  • How should we punish criminals?
  • Is there life after death?
  • Is all life sacred?
  • Should we be able to play God?
  • What makes a ‘good’ relationship?
  • Is it ever acceptable to break the law?


Option Course

Exam Board: AQA Religious Studies A – Full Course
Assessment: 100% Examination

In studying this course students will have the opportunity to study religion, philosophy and ethics in depth; learning about the diversity of religion and the ways in which believers apply religious teachings in the 21st century.
The course starts with a consideration of both Christian and Sikh beliefs and practices before moving on to thematic studies. As well as developing theological knowledge, studying GCSE RS promotes the development of skills such as analysis, empathy and evaluation.

Students will study a range of topics and will consider questions such as:

  • Does God exist?
  • Should euthanasia be legalised in the UK?
  • How was the world created?
  • When does life begin?
  • What happens to us when we die?
  • Should everyone be treated equally or do some people forfeit that right?

Religious Studies is a useful qualification for such careers as Social Work, Youth and Community Work, Teaching, Nursing, Journalism, Medical and Health Care-Workers etc.

Curriculum Map