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The Hereford Academy

'Seek to do good to one another and to everyone’. Thessalonians 5:15

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Religious Studies

Subject Department and  Lead(s)

Subject: Religious Studies


Head of Department: Miss B Vincent

Curriculum Area Vision and Intent


The Religious Studies curriculum at the Hereford academy is deliberately designed to stimulate curiosity, develop religious literacy and broaden opportunities to thrive in the 21st century world.

RS provides all pupils with the opportunity to experience a broad, deep and knowledge-rich curriculum, without limits.

We aim to engage pupils into thinking about the bigger questions in life, both religious and non-religious and develop skills that can be transferable for all walks of life.

The core aims of studying Religious Studies at the Hereford academy are;

  • Become religiously literate – Opportunities to discuss, challenge and build on other points of view through the knowledge of, and ability to understand, religion.
  • Have knowledge and understanding of the six key world religions and alternative beliefs, as well as learning from these religions.
  • Broaden cultural experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. Development of cultural capital.
  • Instil curiosity for worldviews and cultures beyond what is familiar.
  • Promotion of tolerance and mutual understanding that encourages moral progression enabling pupils to be courteous members of The Hereford Academy and community.
  • Develop transferable skills, such as, interpretation, evaluation and how to communicate opinions and beliefs effectively in a respectful and appropriate manner.
  • Become reflective practitioners to make informed ethical choices.

This curriculum is focused on having connected knowledge, whereby content is continuously developed and built upon throughout each year. Pupils will start with the foundations and skills that can be transferred as they progress throughout their school life.

Our curriculum offers a wide range of opportunities to engage in discussion and express personal opinions and beliefs. There are also numerous activities where pupils can experience Religious Studies on a physical level through trips, religious visitors, food, festivals and other activities.


KS3 provision summary


Religious Studies at Key Stage 3 is deliberately designed to engage learners into thinking about the importance and role of religion in our world today. We aim to enlighten pupils to the various cultures and beliefs that are evident around us. The KS3 provision sets out to inspire and encourage challenge in all pupils.


Year 7

When pupils arrive in year 7, they begin with an investigation into the importance of studying Religious studies. This sets out the structure and clarity for the journey of learning.

Within year 7, pupils will explore the foundations of the top six world religious and the basic beliefs about God and festivals. This will provide pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary for moving through the curriculum.

Towards the end of year 7, pupils will delve into the questions surrounding the meaning of life. Pupils will be able to apply what they have already learnt to the bigger questions about the purpose of life and how we create meaning to life. This unit will allow pupils to think on a philosophical level and consider both religious and non-religious views when forming their overall views.

This unit will be built on throughout the whole RS curriculum and will encourage pupils to ask deeper and meaningful questions about life, religion and culture.


Year 8

Year 8 is a great opportunity for pupils to move from simply knowing about religions, to understanding the impact of religions. Pupils will use their knowledge from year 7 about the top six religions and apply it to the first unit of prejudice and discrimination. Within this unit, we will explore the effects religion had on historical figures such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

Throughout year 8, we will explore themes about where we get our ideas of right and wrong from. We will then move on to an in depth exploration of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism and what influences their moral decisions. A common theme throughout this aspect will be looking at the role of Women within these units.


Year 9

Year 9 allows pupils to showcase their ability to think deeper about the bigger questions of life. The year will be begin with two units on ‘The Sanctity of life’ looking at religion from a thematic approach. Throughout these units, pupils will be considering questions such as; should the death penalty be brought back in the UK? Should animals have the same rights as humans? Are we responsible for looking after the planet?

During the second term, we will explore the purpose and responsibility of evil and suffering in the world. This unit will provide pupils the opportunity to explore both religious and non-religious views about evil and suffering.

This will enable pupils to move onto the final themes where we will be exploring evil and suffering of the Holocaust. We will look at this from a religious perspective where pupils will be considering God on trial for the horrors of the Holocaust as well as the effect on the Jewish religion afterwards.




KS4 provision summary


At Key stage 4 we teach the AQA Religious Studies A curriculum.  All pupils are entered for the RS GCSE.


We have opted for the following units:

Religion one- Christianity

Religion two- Buddhism

Theme one- Crime and punishment

Theme two- Religion, peace and conflict

Theme three- Relationships and families

Theme four- Religion, human rights and social justice


As a subject, we have chosen these particular units as they enable pupils to engage with contrasting religions, have a well-balanced curriculum, have relevance for the 21st century as well as being both challenging and stimulating.


Pupils will study both religions in the first year of teaching the GCSE. We have chosen Buddhism in contrast with Christianity as it is an opportunity for pupils to further explore and engage with a religion that is unique, exciting and has been previously explored on a basic level in KS3. Buddhism is a great contrast to Christianity, especially when exploring the role of a God since there is no God in Buddhism. By choosing Buddhism, we have the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of eastern and western traditions and cultures.


Towards the end of the first year of GCSE RS, pupils will begin studying the themes and will continue in year 11.

These themes have been deliberately chosen to build on pupils prior knowledge from KS3 and enhance their understanding about the world we currently live in.

Theme 1- Crime and punishment

Exploring the reasons why people commit crime, how those crimes should be punished, capital punishment, forgiving criminals and religious attitudes.

Theme 2- Religion, peace and conflict

Exploring reasons for war, the effects of war, religious responses to victims of war, weapons of mass destruction and pacifism.

Theme 3- Relationships and Family

Exploring gender roles, human sexuality, the nature and purpose of marriage, same-sex marriage and religious attitudes in the 21st century.

Theme 4-Religion, human rights and social justice

Exploring social justice and human rights, prejudice and discrimination, religious freedom, disability and race, poverty and giving to the poor.





Miss B Vincent –

Mr S.P Tudor –

Mr E Snelgrove –

Extra-curricular activities


Exam information and any revision support

AQA Religious Studies A




Out of School Learning

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