Religious Education

Chapel 100

Britain is a multi-faith society made up of people with a wide range of beliefs and values. At Prenton we learn about the major six religions by following the Wirral Local Agreed Syllabus. This allows students to learn about the faiths that make the UK, challenging misconceptions in the media and reflecting on their own beliefs.

Our aim in Religious Education is to ensure that all our students:
·         Learn to understand and respect others beliefs.
·         Explore their own beliefs and values in relation to religion and ethical issues.
·         To learn to explain ideas and concepts using evidence to deepen their arguments.
·         To develop thinking and questioning skills that allows them to challenge ideas and concepts.


Mrs S Close | Subject Leader RE
Mrs J Simpson | Teacher

Curriculum provision for Years 7, 8, 9

In Years 7 to 9, RE is taught as a discrete, separate, subject. Students have one lesson a week in Years 7 and 8 and two lessons a week in Year 9. In Year 7 students begin an in-depth study of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, learning about their core beliefs, how religious communities may vary and identifying similarities and differences between the religions. In Year 8 students then study these religions in a thematic approach and explore concepts such as faith in action and religious authority. In Year 9 students study religion through philosophy and ethics, explore questions such as why would a loving God allow evil and suffering and can religion and science co-exist? All Year 9 students start work towards their GCSE course after Easter, which can then be continued into Years 10 and 11.


The GCSE Curriculum

Edexcel full course GCSE in Religious Education

Why Study Religious Education At GCSE?

GCSE Religious Education provides students to build upon their knowledge of Christianity and Islam and gain an in-depth analysis of these religions complexities and core beliefs. This study is underpinned through looking at different ethical and philosophical issues in the modern world. These issues help students to develop informed opinion on modern day issues, as well as understand and respect others viewpoints.

Key skills involved include: learning how to explain views and use evidence to back up points, comparing views points questioning why similarities and differences occur and applying them to historical contexts. Students become active questioners learning to challenge ideas and develop informed arguments on ethical and philosophical issues. This helps support their oral and written literacy for their exam and across the whole school curriculum.

This course will allow them to progress to a GCE Advanced specification in Religious Studies or Philosophy.

Important Requirements

A good understanding of the basic beliefs of Christianity and Islam. Students are encouraged to keep up to date with the news and current affairs to deepen their understanding of the ethical topics studied. The ability to be an independent learner is key, allowing students to build on their subject knowledge in homework and revision tasks. Students should be able to explain their views with clear reasons and understand why others many not agree with them.

Syllabus GCSE in Religious Education – Single award

Examination Board Edexcel Spec B

Qualification- 1 GCSE A-G


Two Externally set Examinations. (1.5 hours each)

Please note this course has no coursework.

Course Content


Paper 1

Unit 1- Believing in God – Students analyse a range of reasons why people believe in God. They reflect on how upbringing influences our choices, if miracles and religious experiences are evidence of God’s existence and analyse the Design and Causation argument. Students then go on to look at the issues facing religious believers including the problem of unanswered prayers and if the media causes people not to believe in God.

 Unit 2- Matters of life and death – Students explore the evidence for life after death including near death experiences, paranormal tales and reincarnation stories. They evaluate why people believe in an afterlife and the impact this makes on our life. Students then go on to explore the ideas of quality and sanctity of life, analysing if it is ever acceptable to end a life. Students look at the law and ethical arguments surrounding abortion and euthanasia and form their own opinions on these topics.

Unit 3- Marriage and the family – This topic provides the opportunity to look at why families are important to society and the role they play for religious believers. Students study how society’s attitudes have changed on a range of family issues including sex outside of marriage, divorce and towards homosexuality.

Unit 4- Community Cohesion – This unit explores how the UKs identity has changed as a multi-faith and multi-ethnic society. Students explore the benefits and problems surrounding this diversity and explore if community cohesion is ever possible.

Paper 2


Unit 1 – Rights and Responsibilities – This unit looks at how the Bible, Church, conscience and situation ethics are used by Christians to make moral decisions. Students then apply their understanding of these sources of authority to a range of modern issues, including if everyone should have human rights, why democracy is important and if genetic engineering is playing God.

Unit 2 – The Environment and Medical Issues – Our environment faces many challenges in the modern world. Students study the threat of global warming, pollution and the pressures on limited natural resources. They then evaluate whose responsibility it is to look after the environment. This is underpinned by a study of the Christian and Muslim beliefs of stewardship.  Students then continue their studies looking at a range of medical issues including if organ donation should be compulsory and if IVF treatment should be available to everyone.

Unit 3 – War and Conflict – Lessons explore why conflicts happen and look at case studies of wars happening today. Students explore the ideas of pacifism and if Just War theory and Jihad are possible in today’s world. The idea of conflict is then looked at in society today explore how bullying and family conflict also provide challenges during peace and how religious communities deal with this.

Unit 4 – Crime and Punishment – Students study why the law and justice are important in society. They explore a range of aims of punishment and if these aims are met in today’s justice system or if we need to bring back old forms of punishment such as the death penalty. Students then look at the law surrounding drugs and alcohol and look at why some drugs are illegal but others are viewed as acceptable in society.


Recommended Revision Resources

Revise Edexcel: Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies Unit 1 Religion and Life and Unit 8 Religion and Society Christianity and Islam (REVISE Edexcel RS)

These are available in school to buy at the discounted price of £2.50

There is a wealth of resources on Moodle for students to use including textbooks and useful links and videos. One recommended resource would be be BBC bitesize:

BBC Bitesize

Or this app can be very useful:

GCSE Religious Studies (Revise Better)