Religious Studies

‘An unexamined life is not worth living’ –Socrates

At Sexey’s School, Religious Studies allows students to ask deep and searching questions about faith and belief, and those with no religious beliefs, both of themselves and others and of contemporary moral issues in society. As a Church of England Academy, Religious Studies contributes significantly to the character of the School. Our Religious Studies curriculum develops student’s responsibility and respect for all aspects of diversity in Britain and globally, including cultural, religious and social diversity. We endeavour to prepare our students well for life in modern, global context.

Why ?
Religious studies makes a significant contribution to the whole school curriculum. It allows students to explore what it means to be human and the influence of religions on individuals, cultures, societies and communities. It allows students to consider their own values and spiritual development and explore the fundamental questions of what it means to be human.

Advantages Of Studying Religious Studies:

Lack of good religious education leaves pupils at risk BBC News 16.2.18

  • Religious Studies equips students to deal with a rapidly changing global world
  • It provides students with accurate and balanced information about the array of different world views that make up modern Britain.
  • Stereotypes and prejudices can be challenged and discussed in a safe and sensitive way
  • Students can be given tools that allow them to be able to differentiate between reliable and reputable sources in the wide array of media to help them identify which sources are more likely to lead to religious hatred.
  • Religious Education is highly regarded subject both at GCSE and A Level. Possible career paths include medicine, journalism, civil service, teaching, museum and curator careers to name a few.

Subject Overview

All pupils are taught from Year 7 up to GCSE in mixed ability groups.
We aim for our students to begin working towards their GCSE skills from Y7 onwards. They develop their extended writing and evaluation skills at a foundation level to prepare them for GCSE studies in Year 10.

Key Stage 3 curriculum plan:

Key Stage 3 curriculum plan RS

Key Stage 4 curriculum plan:

The GCSE specification provides a broad and balanced course outlined as followed:

Component 1
Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World

  • Issues of Relationships
  • Issues of Good and Evil
  • Issues of Life after Death
  • Issues of Human Rights

Component 2
Study of Christianity

  • Beliefs and Teachings
  • Practices

Component 3
Study of a World Religion – Islam

  • Beliefs and Teachings
  • Practices


Details of assessment criteria for Key Stage 3 can be found here.

All exams are taken at the end of Year 11. There are three written exams.

  • Component 1- Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies: 2 Hours
  • Component 2-Study of Christianity: 1 Hour
  • Component 2- Study of Islam: 1 Hour

Please note this is an outline of the course-timings subject to change

Exam Board

WJEC Eduqas


Core RE

For those who do not choose to do RE as an option subject, there is the Core Programme. This course is to encourage students to look hard at the world and think about ethical and moral issues which surround us. We will introduce them to religious and secular viewpoint and expect them to formulate their own conclusions after seeing the views of others. Both Oxford and Cambridge University include the study Religious Studies in the top level list of ‘generally suitable’ for university.

This course encourages thinking about the connections between religion, citizenship and the personal issues people may face in life. The course will help students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world around them as they explore the moral impact of the decision we make. Students will explore the views of Christians and Buddhists and develop their skills in evaluating them and explaining their own reasoned opinion.

Course Details:
Each unit of work is viewed from a secular and religious viewpoint, students are encouraged to express their own opinion but it is vital that they are also able to refer to differing viewpoints and appreciate diversity of belief. We use DVD films as a hook and a way to introduce a discussion and investigation of a variety of topics:

  • The Sanctity of life and medical ethics; specifically regarding cloning and stem cell research using “The Island
  • Crime and punishment; Looking at recent criminal cases in the UK and having a debate on the use of the death penalty using “Dead Man Walking
  • Human Rights; Focussing on women’s rights using “Suffragette” to show how things have changed in the last 100 years
  • Prejudice, Abortion and Euthanasia: investigate the religious and secular views on these topics using “Gatacca”
  • War, Peace and justice; Using “Blood Diamond”, and Selma to show how the west has taken advantage of poor countries and discriminated against BAME peoples

These topics are taught over years 10 and 11. Students study core Religious Studies for one lesson a week.
Assessment will take place within lessons and progress will be monitored through the awarding of GCSE type grades.

Most Able Opportunities/Support
What are the opportunities for Most Able students in particular?

We have hosted one of the highly regarded GCSE Conferences with Dr Peter Vardy at Sexey’s School for the last five years. This conference attracts around 150 students from across the South West and provides high challenge for those able students.
Similarly our A Level students attend conferences whenever possible, most recently at Wellington School in Somerset.
We enter art and poetry national competitions and encourage all students to take their studies further by providing extended reading lists and on-line courses for further challenge.

Special Educational Needs and Disability Opportunities/Support

  • High-quality teaching
  • Differentiated work and assessment with scaffolding to support students
  • Personalised w/sheet if needed
  • Seating plan to suit needs and abilities
  • Exam Access Arrangements with extra time for KS4 and KS5
  • Additional intervention and support with TA

Staff list

  • Susan Nurse
  • Leila Bailward
  • Niel Apps

Useful revision website links:

GCSE BBC Bitesize

Updated Sept 2020