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Welcome to the Religious Studies Department at York High School!

Subject Staff

Mr J Bower (Subject Leader):

Miss V Bettney

Miss C Clements

Mr M Pattinson

KS3 Overview

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum in Religious Studies at York High School explores variety of religious beliefs and traditions alongside issues such as Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism, equality, the benefits of practising mindfulness and the challenges that face religious believers in modern day society. As pupils move into Year 9, the curriculum focuses directly
upon issues that young people face today, allowing them the opportunity to reflect upon various arguments, debates and dilemmas such as: abortion, euthanasia, animal rights, capital punishment and evil and suffering within the world.

Religious Studies 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 Religious Studies makes links between the
beliefs, practices and debates found across the 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

3.3 – What is so radical about Jesus?

3.8 – What is good and what is good and what is challenging about being a Muslim in Britain today?
3.10 – Does religion help people to be good?

Year 8: Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism
Key Learning Questions from City of York Agreed Syllabus:
Key Question 3.11– What difference does it make to believe in the Torah and God’s Chosen people?
Key Question 3.7– How can people express the spiritual through Music and Art?
Key Question 3.9 – Should happiness be the purpose of life?

Year 9: Christian Perspectives on: Ethical Issues, Evil and Suffering, Human Rights and People of Faith, What happens when we die?
Key Learning Questions from City of York Agreed Syllabus:
3.5 – Why is there suffering? Are there any good solutions?
3.10 – Does religion help people to be good?
3.4 – Is death the End? Does it matter?

KS4 Overview

Key Stage 4 learning builds upon the foundations set at Key Stage 3, but deepens 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 exam paper. Students are given the opportunity 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: