Our Vision of Religious Studies

Religious beliefs and Worldviews continue to play a vital role in the World today; they have an impact on events nationally and internationally and these can be both positive and negative; it is therefore vitally important that we develop religious literacy in our pupils. It is our intent at Castle Newnham School to offer a thought provoking and inspiring curriculum which seeks to engage and therefore our pupils to develop their own views on religious, philosophical and ethical matters as well as equipping them with the skills needed to question and reflect on other views.

Curriculum Intent

Pupils are encouraged to:

  1. Adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of major worldviews.

  2. Explore religious and non religious responses to ultimate questions and engage critically with the response.

  3. Respond and reflect on own responses to ultimate questions and present these ideas clearly and confidently.

  4. Recognise and reflect on the role that religion has in society.

  5. Embed Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural skills

  6. Develop the following skills

    1. Empathy

    2. Explanation and analysis

    3. Balanced arguments

    4. Evaluation

    5. Application of religious ideas

The teaching of RS makes links between the beliefs, practices and value systems of a range of faiths and world-views studied. The RS curriculum will help to develop responsibility and respect for all aspects of diversity, whether it be social, cultural and religious, and prepare pupils well for life in modern Britain.

Curriculum Implementation


Year Group Content

R.1 Being special

Where do we belong?

  • Learning from religion

  • Religious festivals

  • Exploring different cultures

  • Exploring the differences between people.

1.1 Christianity

What do Christians believe God is like?

  • Learning about God through parables

  • Moral is a lesson

  • Types of prayer

  • Forgiveness

  • The Bible

  • Places of worship


1.2 Christianity

Why does Christmas matter to Christians?

How and why do we celebrate special times?

  • Story of the Nativity

  • Giving and receiving 

  • Advent

  • Traditions

1.3 Judaism

What do Jewish people believe and how do they live?

  • Special objects at home

  • Jewish Prayers

  • Places of worship

  • Festivals

  • The Torah


1.4 Christianity

Why is Easter important to Christians?

  • New life

  • Spring

  • Story of Holy Week

  • Resurrection

1.5 Islam 

What do Muslims believe and how do they live?

  • Places of worship

  • Muslim Prayers

  • The Qur’an

  • Calligraphy

2.1 Christianity

What is the ‘good news’ Christians believe Jesus brings? 

  • Disciples 

  • Peace and forgiveness 


2.2 Christianity, Judaism and Islam

How and why do we celebrate special times? 

What makes some celebrations sacred to believers?

  • Diwali

  • Eid

  • Ramadan

  • Hanukkah

  • Christmas

  • Understanding the meaning behind different religious stories and festivals. 

  • Symbols linked to festivals.

2.3 Christianity, Judaism and Islam

What can we learn from sacred books and stories?

  • Stories from different religions

  • The message a story gives to its believers. 


2.4 Christianity, Islam and Judaism

Who is an inspiring person? 

What stories inspire Christian, Muslim and Jewish people?

  • What is inspiration?

  • Religious leaders

  • Roles and responsibilities

2.5 Christianity, Judaism and Islam

What makes some places significant? 

What makes some places sacred to believers?

  • Churches

  • Mosques

  • Synagogue 


2.6 Christianity, Judaism and Islam

How do we show we care for Earth and why does it matter? 

  • The story of creation

3.1 Christians, Islam and Judaism 

Where, how and why do people worship?

  • Worship

  • Devotion

  • Self-control

  • Pilgrimage 

3.2 Judaism 

How do festivals and family life show what matters to Jewish people?

  • Hebrew

  • Sabbath

  • 10 commandments

  • Passover

3.3 Christians, Hindu, Islam and non-religious people 

How and why do people try to make the world a better place?

  • Charity

  • The importance of giving

  • Love and forgiveness

  • Honesty

  • Human rights activists


3.4 Christianity

Why do Christians call the day Jesus died ‘Good Friday’?

  • Key dates in the Christian calendar

3.5 Christians, Hindu, Islam and non-religious people 

Why do some people think life is like a journey?

How and why do people mark significant events of life?

  • Milestones 

  • Significant life events

  • Marriage


3.6 Christianity

What is the trinity and why is it important?

  • The Father

  • The Son

  • The Holy spirit

4.1 Sikhism

How is faith expressed in Sikh communities and traditions?

  • 5 Ks

  • 10 Gurus

  • Places of worship


4.2 Islam

How do festivals and family life show what matters to Muslims?

  • Places of worship

  • Eid

  • Living harmoniously

4.3 Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and non-religious people

What are the deeper meanings of the festivals?

  • Religious festivals

  • Learning through stories

  • Understanding the role of festivals in Britain today

  • Similarities and differences between religious festivals. 


4.4 Christianity

For Christians, what was the impact of the Pentecost?

  • Holy spirit

  • Easter Sunday

  • Jerusalem


4.5 Hinduism

How is faith expressed in Hindu communities and traditions?

  • Diwali 

  • Holy festival

  • Story of Rama and Sita


4.6 Christianity

What kind of world did Jesus want?

  • Story of the good samaritan

  • Sharing good news

5.1 Christianity, Islam and non-religious people

Why do some people believe in a God and some do not?

  • Popular religions

  • Religion around the world

  • Atheists and agnostic  


5.2 Christianity

How do Christians decide how to live?

What would Jesus do?

  • The bible

  • The commandments 

  • Parables

  • Compassion

5.3 Examples from many different religions

How and why do people inspire others?

  • Martin Luther King

  • Gandhi

  • Activism

  • Inspirational figures from across the globe 


5.4 Christians on non-religious people

Creation and science: conflicting or complementary?

  • Stories of the beginning of the world. 

  • Heaven and Earth

5.5 Religious and non-religious ideas

What will make our community a more respectful place?

  • Communities

  • Demographics

  • Immigration

  • Migration


5.6 Islam

How is faith expressed in Islam?

  • Religious leaders

  • Worship

  • Pilgrimage

6.1 Christianity

What does it mean if Christians believe God is holy and loving?

  • Devotion

  • Righteousness

  • Acceptance

  • Strict rules and laws in the UK


6.2 Hindus, Judaism, Muslims and Sikhs

Justice and poverty: Why does faith make a difference?

  • Favouritism and discrimination

  • Inequality

  • Sustainability

6.3 Christianity and non-religious people

Values: What matters to Humanists and Christians? 

  • Humanists

  • Values

  • Standards of behaviour


6.4 Christians, Muslims and/or Jewish, and/or Hindus and/or non-religious people 

How does faith enable resilience?

  • Prayer

  • Sense of purpose

6.5 Christianity

What do Christians believe Jesus did to save people?

  • Crucifixion

  • Resurrection

  • Penance  

  • Eucharist


6.6 Hindu

What helps Hindu people as they try to be good?

  • Karma

  • Observance of custom or law

  • Reincarnation

Through Year 7 pupils are building on knowledge from KS2.  They gain a foundation in our three main strands of Religious Studies- Philosophy, Ethics and Religion.  Pupils consider their own and others’ responses to philosophical questions including whether or not God exists and how we can know what is real and what is not.  They also gain a foundation in Christianity and Sikhism which provides the knowledge needed for other topics in KS3. Pupils start to develop their analytical and evaluative skills.

Pupils will be taught the following units:

  1. What is reality?
  2. Why do Christians believe that Jesus is God incarnate?
  3. How do Sikhs show equality through worship?
  4. What do people believe about God and the Universe?

By Year 8 pupils are fully aware of the range of topics and issues examined through Religious Studies. They continue to embed their analytical and evaluative skills and start to consider the relevance of religious teachings for a modern society; this is very important to achieve higher levels in RS.  This skill is developed through topics including ‘What does it mean to be Muslim in Britain today?’ and ‘What does it mean to be agnostic in Britain today?’.

Pupils will be taught the following units:

  1. The Life of the Buddha
  2. What does it mean to be Muslim in Britain today?
  3. What does it mean to be agnostic in Britain today?
  4. Why is there suffering in the World?
  5. What happens when we die?

Throughout Year 9 pupils continue to develop the vital skills needed to attain the highest levels in RS. By the end of Year 9 pupils should be able to use a range of philosophical, ethical and religious vocab to discuss the role that religion and beliefs have on a pluralistic society. They should be able to explain the different religious and ethical beliefs within and between religious and non-religious communities.  These skills are developed through the different topics that we study in Year 9 which aim to challenge pupils’ thoughts and develop their skills of critical evaluation.

Pupils will be taught the following units:

  1. Good, bad, right, wrong- How do I decide?
  2. Is religion part of the problem or the solution to the World’s issues?
  3. Religion and the Media

Year 10 Core

Our Year 10 Core provision is not examined. The topics build on subjects that pupils have studied in KS3 as well as supporting them with skills that they will need in other GCSE subjects.  The different units are specifically chosen to ensure that when our pupils leave school they will have had the opportunity to have studied topics which are pertinent to the modern world including topics on e.g. genocide and topics on the ethics of technology (“What makes me special?”).

Years 10 and 11

Pupils have the option to complete a GCSE IN RS. We follow AQA GCSE Religious Studies Specification A. This specification builds on knowledge pupils have gained from our KS3 syllabus. Pupils study Christianity and Islam and then apply their knowledge to different philosophical and ethical questions and principles. Throughout the course pupils are building the different skills they need to be successful in the exam including analysis and evaluation.

Y10 Core Pupils will be taught the following units:

  1. Philosophers
  2. What makes me special?
  3. Genocide
  4. Extremism
  5. Crime and Punishment
  6. Is happiness the purpose of life?

Y10 GCSE pupils will be taught the following units:

  1. Beliefs and Teachings: Christianity
  2. Beliefs and Teachings: Islam
  3. Relationship and Families
  4. Religion and Life
  5. Religion: War and Peace
  6. Christianity: Worship and Practices

Y11 GCSE pupils will be taught the following units:

  1. Christianity: Worship and Practices- continued
  2. Existence of God and Revelation
  3. Islam: Worship and Practices