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Townley Religious Studies Teaching & Learning Curriculum Religious Studies

Religious Studies

Religious Studies teaches about the main beliefs and practices of the different world religions and examines philosophical and ethical responses to issues. At Townley Grammar, by studying Religious Studies, individuals develop the ability to see another point of view and to understand what it means to be a member of a faith community. Students learn how a religious belief works and are able to identify the moral values which guide the lives of religious people. Religious Studies can help individuals to sort out their own ideas, values and commitments.

Students in Years 7 and 8 have three lessons a fortnight. In Year 9, students have two lessons a fortnight. In Years 10 and 11, Religious Studies is part of the ‘core’ and all pupils take full course Religious Studies GCSE, with two lessons a week and follow the Eduqas Syllabus. Religious Studies is one of the options for Advanced Level Studies in the Sixth Form and has two or three groups per year.


Course Progression

Key Stage 3 Religious Studies

Year 7

  • Autumn Term
    Bridging unit - A seven-week scheme of learning which introduces students to Religious Studies at Townley Grammar.  Students take a brief look at the key beliefs within the six main world religions that students will study in further depth later in Key Stage 3.
    Sikhism unit – Students learn about the key beliefs, teachings and practices within Sikhism.
  • Spring Term
    Christianity unit –A detailed scheme of learning which focuses on the key beliefs, teachings and practices within Christianity.
  • Summer Term
    Hinduism unit - A detailed scheme of learning focussing on key beliefs, teachings, and practices within Hinduism .

Year 8

  • Autumn Term
    Judaism unit - A detailed scheme of learning which focuses on the key beliefs, teachings and practices within Judaism.
  • Spring Term
    Islam Unit- A detailed scheme of learning which focuses on the key beliefs, teachings and practices within Islam.
  • Summer Term
    Philosophy of Religion unit – A scheme of learning which introduces students to key arguments within Philosophy of Religion. Students focus on the Design Argument, The Cosmological Argument and The Problem of Evil and Suffering.
    Rites of passage – students learn about different rites of passage and present their own devised rite.
    Human rights- students explore key human rights with particular focus on children’s rights

Year 9

In Year 9 students have two lessons a week. 

  • Autumn term
    Buddhism unit - A detailed scheme of learning which focuses on the key beliefs, teachings and practices within Buddhism.
  • Spring Term
    Ethical issues - a consideration of the ethical dilemmas surrounding medical ethics such as IVF and surrogacy; cloning and transplants. Philosophical Thinking - An Introduction to Philosophical Thinking which asks students to consider ‘what is real’.
  • Summer term
    Students begin their GCSE studies with the Human Rights unit
Key Stage 4 Religious Studies (GCSE)

Religious Studies tries to study religious behaviour and belief from outside any particular religious viewpoint. Religious Studies is one of the core subjects at Townley Grammar and all pupils take the full course GCSE. Eduqas Syllabus A.

Assessment Structure

  1. Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern world: 50% - Key topics are relationships, Life and death, good and evil and human rights 
  2. Christianity: 25% - This includes beliefs, teachings and practices
  3. A world faith: 25% - This includes beliefs, teachings and practices

Typical questions include:

  • Do we have a responsibility to help those in need?
  • Can killing someone ever be the right thing to do?
  • Does religion cause more problems than it solves?
  • Is IVF treatment ethical?

In each topic the ideas and moral issues will be studied through; class discussions, role-plays, videos, debates and group work.

Advantages of Studying Religious Studies

  1. Religious Studies encourages philosophical thinking, collaboration and independent working skills, decision-making skills, and the search for compromise and conflict resolutions.
  2. It creates opportunities for young people to develop their skills of interpretation and analysis, evaluation and dialogue.  These are vital skills in a modern workforce where communication and collaboration are core skills.
  3. Religious Studies involves the study of texts, philosophical thinking, social understanding, ethics and develops the skills of analysis, evaluation and reasoning. All of these skills help to develop literacy.
  4. Religious Studies makes a key contribution to understanding British values. It provides an opportunity for young people to study contemporary contentious issues, develop social, cultural, political, philosophical and spiritual awareness.

In Religious Studies, pupils learn to respect themselves and understand their own identity. Students also learn to respect others, and to understand their own and others’ rights and responsibilities. This is becoming more important as communities are becoming more diverse, therefore there is a greater need for a more religiously tolerant society. Religious Studies plays a key role in creating social cohesion and generating understanding between communities. 

Key Stage 5 Philosophy and Ethics (A Level)

Philosophy and Ethics is an academic subject that is well respected by universities and an excellent grounding for any Arts or Social Science based degree course. It will enable you to develop the kind of skills which will enhance your study of other subjects. The ability to articulate idea and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses is one that is transferable and highly applicable to any career which involves communication, including Law, Public Relations, Education, Advertising and Marketing, therapy, journalism, retailing, social work, nursing, radio and TV, acting, teaching.

Studying Philosophy and Ethics helps students to develop analytical and evaluative skills. It particularly complements Humanities subjects, English and students intending to study medicine, as students learn about the ethics of medical issues.


Students will develop their analytical skills and be able to research different topics to provide reasoned explanations and the ability to expand on different points of view.  Writing skills will be improved by the practice of the different teaching and learning activities.

Students study three papers:

Paper 1: Philosophy of Religion

In this module you must be prepared to ‘think for yourself’ and be willing to consider and evaluate logically the arguments of philosophers.

A number of topics are studied, such as:

  • The ‘proof’ arguments for God’s existence, Evil and Suffering, religious language, Plato and Aristotle on the soul, afterlife, religious language.

Paper 2: Ethics

A study of the relationship between religion and morality, A study of ethical theories such as Utilitarianism Kantian ethics and Situation Ethics, A study of applied ethics; euthanasia and business ethics, sexual ethics.

Paper 3: Developments in religious thought Christianity

A study of key beliefs within Christianity and the impact of these beliefs in the world today. Liberation theology and Marx, feminist theology, pluralism and secularisation

Related Courses and Careers

The A Level course provides a very good introduction regarding preparing students moving onto any social sciences, arts or humanities degree-based course.  Students can combine RS with science subjects and go on to study medicine, pharmacy and other science-related courses. The ability to provide a reasoned well written argument is a valuable skill to have when moving on to university courses.

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