Religious Studies

Curriculum Intent

The Religious Education department at Sunbury Manor aims to provide a curriculum that will give all students a strong understanding of the world’s major belief systems as well as allowing students to consider their own core values and develop their own sense of morality.

Religious Education is an important subject for promoting key skills that are required by all students. It allows students to develop critical thinking and evaluation skills as well as empathy and tolerance towards those with different beliefs and values. It is an important tool to allow students to explore questions about spirituality and ask some of life’s big questions. The skills achieved in Religious Education are easily transferrable to a wide range of the other subjects studied at Sunbury Manor.

In KS3, students will build upon knowledge of all six of the major world religions that they study in Primary School by exploring each of them in much greater depth. In year 7, students explore why the subject of RE is important, as well as introductions to the Abrahamic Religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. During the student’s second year they begin to study the Eastern faiths including Hinduism and Sikhism as well as topics such as Religion and the Environment. In year 9, our students complete the six major world faiths by studying Buddhism, as well as beginning to focus on ethics and morality through topics such as Crime and Punishment.

In KS4, when chosen as a GCSE option, our students follow the Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies Specification B. In year 10 students study Christianity in greater depth and in year 11 the focus is on Islam. Topics studied within these faiths include: Key Beliefs, Matters of Life and Death and Living the Religious Life. All KS4 students take part in our Belief and Ethics course which allows them to discuss moral and ethical issues on topics such as: medical ethics, marriage and the family and peace and conflict.

KS3 classes in Religious Education are taught in mixed ability classes with the exception of a higher ability set and a group that requires more support. KS4 GCSE classes are mixed ability as are Belief and Ethics groups. Although we study belief systems that can be considered ancient, we keep the subject relevant to the lives of our students by referring to modern resources and any relevant current events. Lessons are always based around discussion and debate which allow students to develop communication skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Within the department we offer a lunchtime philosophy club aimed at years 7 and 8 which introduces them to some of the core ideas within philosophical thinking. We also have a link with the Gideon’s who come in once a year and talk to year 7 and explain what their organisation does and why it was set up.

Students that leave Sunbury Manor having completed the Religious Education course will have gained invaluable skills that will prepare them for the future, whether that is at college studying for A levels or later on when choosing a career. Religious Education is a subject that will prepare students effectively for any kind of role that requires critical thought as well as working with the public. For example, in law, social work, police work, working for the NHS as well as countless other professions.

The Religious Education department at Sunbury Manor consists of two full-time subject specialists whose degrees include a Masters in Theology as well as Philosophy and Ethics. We are also joined by a member of senior leadership whose subject specialism is also Religious Education. There are two designated and well-resourced Religious Education classrooms in which all KS3 and KS4 lessons take place.


Curriculum Overview









Introduction to RE

God and the Jewish People

Was Jesus who He said He was?

Allah and Islam

Religion and Literature

What does it mean to be a hero?


History of Christianity

Key Features of Hinduism

Sikhism and Equality

Why is the Bible important for Christians?

Humanism and the ‘Big Questions’

Global Citizenship


Is Humankind ‘Fallen’?

The History of Judaism

Crime and Punishment

Buddhism and Suffering

Islam and Self-Discipline

Is there a ‘Right’ Way to Live?


Christian Beliefs

Marriage and the Family

Living the Christian Life

Matters of Life and Death

Mock Preparation

Revision/Key Islamic Beliefs



Muslim Beliefs

Crime and Punishment

Living the Muslim Life

Peace and Conflict

Exam Preparation



Key Stage 4 Specification

Subject Leader:

Mr Sloan


Exam Specification:

Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies B1RB0

QN Code:


Summary of course content

There are two exams of 1 hour and 45 minutes duration based on each religion studied.

Christianity Belief and Ethics: Paper 1

Christian Beliefs

Marriage and the Family

Living the Christian Life

Matters of Life and Death

Islam: Peace and Conflict: Paper 2

Belief in God

Crime and Punishment

Living the Religious Life

Peace and Conflict


Paper 1: 1 hour and 45 minutes (50% of total grade)

Paper 2: 1 hour and 45 minutes (50% of total grade)

What type of activities take place in lessons?

Text and source analysis

Research task to further understanding

Discussions in large and small groups

Evaluation of current news stories

Practice exam questions

Critical analysis of religious texts

Forming opinions and making judgements

What type of homework tasks will be set?

Tasks in line with GCSE questions

Research task to further understanding

Evaluation of current news stories

Practice exam questions

Critical analysis of religious scripts

Revision tasks such as mindmaps

How will it help me in the future?

Work in public services.

Law, Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology A levels.

Transferable skills such as:

Understanding people and other perspectives

Writing skills

Critical analysis

Ability to communicate opinions

Logical thought processes

How will this course build on what I have studied in Year 9?

In Year 9 you have studied Christian beliefs. This topic forms a base for the first topic studied in GCSE which is Christian beliefs.

The unit entitled ‘A Right Way to Live’, which is studied in Year 9, will help you to understand the importance of using sources of authority in your answers.

Religion and Science links to the difference between a humanist and religious perspective and also works as a base for understanding religious beliefs about creation.

All Year 9 assessments are structured in the new GCSE format.

What skills will I develop?

Understanding different perspectives

Sustained writing skills

Critical analysis

Source analysis

Communication skills: verbal and written