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Through their study of RS and Philosophy at KS3, students explore each of the six major world religions, as well as some of the most important philosophical questions humans have asked. In doing so, they not only learn about people’s beliefs and how these beliefs affect the way in which they live their lives, but they also reflect upon their own beliefs and values. Students engage with some of the biggest questions about life itself – about the purpose of life, the nature and existence of God, and how we decide what is right and wrong - learning how to articulate and discuss ideas clearly and coherently. 

Year 7

In Year 7, we begin our study of world religions by studying Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism. This involves looking at how each religion started, its main teachings, its holy writings, its main places of worship, its festivals and rites of passage. We want to know what their followers believe, how those beliefs affect their lives and why they are important to them.

Year 8

In Year 8, we begin by studying Christianity, looking at the ‘big story’ of Christianity, the life and teaching of Jesus, as well as examining how Christian beliefs affect the lives of Christian believers. We then study Islam, with a particular focus on how the Five Pillars shape the beliefs and practices of Muslims. In the final term, we study Philosophy by exploring thought experiments, such as the ship of Theseus and the veil of ignorance.

Year 9

In Year 9, we begin by looking at the philosophical issues involved in the relationship between religion and science before considering key arguments for and against the existence of God. We then study Buddhism, considering the life of the Buddha, his key teachings and what Buddhism has to say about ethical issues, such as punishment. Finally, we study philosophical questions about the nature of humans and what makes certain actions right or wrong.

Year 8 students visiting Cambridge Central Mosque 

Year 8 students visiting Cambridge Central Mosque 


Do students need to be religious to study the course? 
Religious Studies is appropriate for people of any religious belief or none. There is no requirement of knowledge of any religion or commitment to any faith or set of beliefs. Examiners are not interested in judging your personal beliefs but in assessing your skills in criticising or defending ideas and arguments.
What do RS students go on to study in the sixth form? 
Many students develop a real passion for the subject at GCSE and decide to continue with it in the sixth form, going on to study either A Level RS or IB Philosophy. However, the analytical and evaluative skills engendered by the subject - being able to think and write clearly and critically, constructing logical and well-justified arguments - are highly valued in a wide range of academic contexts.
KS3 - Title on Humanities page needs to be changed to ‘Religious Studies and Philosophy’
RS and Philosophy examines people’s beliefs and how those beliefs affect the way in which they live their lives. It also asks some of the biggest questions about life itself – about what people think about the purpose of life, about how we decide what is right and wrong and about important events in people’s lives.

Religious Studies at GCSE