Religious Studies

Subject Overview

Religious Studies is a statutory subject which all schools must provide. It provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops students’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity as well as other religious traditions. At Waddesdon School, it plays a key role in promoting the values of Dignity and Respect for all, as well as developing an awareness of the unique nature of the Anglican tradition.

Teaching Aims and Objectives

Students are taught to:
  • understand the nature, role and influence of religion in the world
  • pursue a personal quest for meaning, purpose and value
  • formulate reasoned opinions and arguments
  • understand and respect different beliefs and life-styles.
Course Information

At Key Stage 3, students follow a scheme of work based on the Buckinghamshire Agreed Syllabus and the QCA Non-statutory National Framework for Religious Education.

The topics covered are:

Year 7

Is there a God?

Why worship?

Similarities and differences between worship in Hinduism and Christianity

What does Jesus mean to Christians?
  • Jesus – Man or God?
  • Jesus – His life, death and beyond
  • Are the teachings of Jesus relevant today?
Year 8

What does it mean to be a Muslim?

Why is there suffering? How do Christianity and Buddhism deal with the question?

Religion and Moral Issues
  • Introducing students to the examination of moral dilemmas and questions.  This module enables the students to analyse their own moral standpoints, as well as exploring a variety of religious approaches.  In particular, it gives the opportunity for students to develop the crucial skill of debate and discussion.
  • Topics explored include:
    • Social justice and human rights
    • Prejudice and discrimination
    • Religious freedom
    • Poverty and wealth
    • We look at the impact of religious believers such as Martin Luther King, Jnr, Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalai Lama on these issues
Key Stage 4

All students follow a three-year course leading to a Full Religious Studies GCSE qualification.

Students learn how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture, and are challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues. They develop analytical and critical thinking skills, the ability to work with abstract ideas, leadership and research skills. All these skills will help prepare them for further study

They explore the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity and Buddhism in detail.

They also study four themes, considering the moral, religious, and spiritual implications of the issues. The four themes are:
  • Religion, peace and conflict
  • Religion and Life, including abortion, euthanasia and animal experiments
  • Relationships and families
  • Religion, crime and punishment
A Level

The course features a variety of relevant and contemporary themes, to help inspire engaging classroom discussion. Students will also gain critical and evaluative skills sought after by higher education and employers. Students gain critical and evaluative skills sought by higher education and employers – particularly in law, education, social work, politics, medicine, administration and the media. Religious studies is a thought-provoking subject and the contemporary themes inspire engaging classroom discussion.

The course consists of:

Philosophy of Religion and Ethics: exploring a range of ethical issues such as medical ethics and animal rights as well as some of the arguments for and against the existence of God

A Study of Christianity: analysing such theological issues as beliefs about life after death, a literal or non-literal approach to the Bible, and what is meant by God.



Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices
  • Beliefs, teachings and practices of:
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
Component 2 : Thematic Studies

Religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes:
  • Theme A: Relationships and families.
  • Theme B: Religion and life.
  • Theme C: The existence of God and revelation.
  • Theme D: Religion, peace and conflict.
A Level:AQA
  • Component 1: Philosophy of religion and ethics
  • Component 2: Study of religion

    Department Resources

    The Department uses a variety of digital and visual resources, including clips from Youtube etc. There is also a selection of up-to-date text books. The key text books used at Key Stage 3 are:
    • Key Christian Beliefs, Lion Educational Publishing, 1995
    • Some Hard Questions, OUP, 2002
    • This is RE! Hodder Murray, 2002
    • Think RE! Heinemann, 2005

    At Key Stage 4 the key textbooks are:

    AQA Religious Studies A: Christianity and AQA Religious Studies A: Buddhism Published by Oxford University Press

    At A Level the key textbook is:

    AQA Religious Studies Year 1 and Year 2, Published by Hodder Education
  • Subject Leader: Dr Maura Corcoran
  • Teachers: John Dangana, Mohammad Israr