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Welcome to the Religious Studies Department at York High School!

Subject Staff

Mr J Bower (Subject Leader):

Mr S Hardy

Miss V Bettney

Mr P Kenny

KS3 Overview

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum in Religious Education at York High School explores issues such as Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism, equality, challenges that face religious believers in modern day society and benefits of practising mindfulness. As pupils move into Year 9, the curriculum focuses directly upon issues that young people face today, and allows them opportunity to reflect upon various arguments, debates and dilemmas such as: abortion, euthanasia, drugs, gambling and capital punishment.

Religious Education enables pupils to ask deep and often searching questions about their own faiths and beliefs, and explore the beliefs, faiths and opinions of others regarding pertinent contemporary moral issues. The teaching of RE makes links between the beliefs, practices and value systems of a range of faiths and world-views studied. Through the exploration of multiple faiths at Key Stage 3, pupils are provided with a breadth of knowledge, reflecting the multi faith society within which they live. 

Key Skills


Comparing and contrasting

Evaluating different sides of an argument

Making your own judgement


Making meaning from and using religious texts

Debating Morals and Ethics

Reflecting upon own personal beliefs

KS3 Topics

Year 7: Christianity, Islam & Sikhism

Year 8: Icons of Jesus, Prayer & Morality

Year 9: Ethical Issues, Evil and Suffering, What happens when we die?

KS4 Overview

Key Stage 4 learning builds upon the foundations built at Key Stage 3, deepening the understanding of the relationship between religious beliefs and religious practices. Students follow the AQA Religious Studies A Course for GCSE, and focus on Christianity and Islam as the two selected religions for their first paper. Students are given opportunities to explore the fact that religious traditions of Great Britain are, in the main Christian, but learning for their second paper allows them to incorporate the study of other faiths such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, as well as non-religious beliefs, such as atheism and humanism.

Through the structure of the AQA GCSE, there is scope for pupils to develop their ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject. Students are given opportunities to actively reflect, justify their own opinions and make meaning of relationships, the world and God.

At the End of the course, two written exams of 1 hour and 45 minutes each are completed. Within these examinations, all eight units are assessed:

  • Christian Beliefs & Teachings
  • Christian Practices
  • Islamic Beliefs & Teachings
  • Islamic Practices
  • Theme A: Relationships & Families
  • Theme B: Religion & Life
  • Theme E: Religion, Crime & Punishment
  • Theme F: Religion, Human Rights & Social Justice

Exam Board Links

Revision Guides Available:

My Revision Notes AQA GCSE Religious Studies by Lesley Parry & Jan Hayes

Religious Studies GCSE Revision Guide by Pocket Posters

AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Christianity and Islam Revision Guide by Marianne Fleming, Harriet Power & Peter Smith

Online Help:

BBC Bitesize:

Revision Videos on YouTube

Christianity Beliefs and Teachings:

Christian Practices (1):

Christian Practices (2):


Paper 2 Guide: