We live in a world of different belief systems and values. Religious Studies looks at fundamental questions about life, death and the purpose of our existence.

It examines issues facing people in all parts of the world and helps students to understand their own personal beliefs and how they might be able to influence events.

We support literacy by…

creating a curriculum that builds upon opportunities to enable students to develop their speaking, listening, discussion and debating skills. In Religious Studies we support literacy by offering opportunities to develop reasoned judgements and develop empathetic writing.


The Religious Studies course here at Shuttleworth College looks at fundamental questions about life, death, and the purpose of our existence. It examines issues facing people in all parts of the world and aims to help pupils understand their own personal beliefs and how they might be able to influence events. It is important for pupils to get a different perspective on the big issues of life – issues such as where we come from, what happens to us after we die, why poverty and war exist in our world, and so on.

Key Stage 3 Religious Studies is delivered by our Humanities teachers and the course covers units such as Personal Belief; Morals and Ethics; Philsophy and Justice, Crime & Punishment, along with studies into Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Each half-termly unit of work has an assessment.  Students class work is also marked frequently and they can then improve upon it.

To develop students’ understanding, they could watch the news and current affairs programmes and discuss their views and opinions on what is going on in the world.  They could also speak to other people about their beliefs and values and think about why people might have viewpoints contrary to their own. Debating with others opens our minds to other possibilities and perspectives. It is this critical thinking and objectivity that will help students to excel in Religious Studies. They can also explore the subject further using the links on our webpage.


Key Stage 4 students follow the specification for GCSE AQA B Religious Studies. They will cover two papers worth of content during their three years, which are;  Paper One – The Study of Religions, Beliefs, Teachings and Practices – Christianity and Islam. Paper Two – Thematic Studies which covers Religion and Life, Relationships and Families, Religion, Peace and Conflict, Religion, Crime and Punishment and Religion, Human Rights and Justice.

Throughout the three years they will be continually assessed by their teaching on GCSE practice questions which will be done in class and for homework. They will also sit regular end-of-unit exams in order to prepare them for their final GCSEs.  From these assessment points, targeted interventions will be undertaken in order to support or challenge them. Self and peer assessment, just like in Key Stage 3 RE,  will play a part in lessons, enabling students to better engage with the success criteria. At the end of the three years, students will sit 2 exam papers.  Paper One is a written examination lasting 1 hour & 45 minutes, equating to 50% of the final grade. Paper Two is a written examination lasting 1 hour & 45 minutes, equating to 50% of the final grade. Both papers are worth 96 marks and follow the same question structure.

Students can do additional research around the subject, which can be done through their prep homework, set fortnightly by their teacher. The tasks on there will include watching videos about the topics being studied in lesson as well as recapping previous topics studied to ensure that the pupils are testing their long-term memory. Although there is a lot of content to remember in GCSE RE, it is not only the content that they need to be confident with, but also how they answer the questions on the exam paper. The more practice the pupils get, the more confident they will become, therefore completing past papers and GCSE questions under timed conditions is the most suitable way to prepare for exams.

Student resources:






How will my child be ‘set’ in this subject?

Students are set as in their English lessons.

How many periods a week will children spend learning this subject?

Students will study RS for one hour a week.

What are the career opportunities of this subject?

A qualification in Religious Studies is a stepping stone to a wide range of future opportunities.  The skills you develop will support you in further studies and employment.   Furthermore, as you enter the world of work, you will be expected to work alongside people with different beliefs than your own.   Religious Studies will teach the skills and understanding needed to work with people of all faiths and cultures.    These skills are vitally important in all careers especially professions such as the police, retail, teaching, the law, the caring professions and the armed forces, in fact any profession that brings you into contact with other people.


Miss L Binns


Religious Studies Syllabus

Download (pdf)

“Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams - they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do - they all contain truths”

Muhammad Ali

“In Religious Studies we learn about other people’s beliefs and have a chance to discuss things like morals and ethics. Everything from the creation of the world; to tolerance, respect, forgiveness, and reconciliation; to ideas of the afterlife!”

Charlotte Martin, Year 9