Soham Village College

Religious Studies

Religious Studies


KS3 - Year 7

World Religions (Autumn Term)

To start this term we will be taking a look at the main facts about the six main World Religions, with focus for the rest of the term being on Christianity. We will be looking at what Christians mean when they talk about 'God' and where these beliefs come from. Included in this will be a brief study of the Bible; how to find your way around it and the different interpretations it can have. The term will end with a look at the festival of Christmas, both the Biblical facts and how it is celebrated today.

Words you will need to know this term:

Belief, Fact, Symbol, Founder, Trinity, Eternal, Old Testament, New Testament, Books, Chapters, Verses, Prophecy, Advent, Christmas, Commercialisation

Jesus (Spring Term)

This term we will be concentrating on the person of Jesus, the founder of Christianity. We will be looking at his ministry - what he taught (parables) and what he did (miracles). This will end with an in-depth study of the last week of Jesus' life - Holy Week. Particular reference is made to the festival of Easter and why the events remembered at this time are important to Christians today.

Words you will need to know this term:

Parable, Nature Miracle, Healing Miracle, Divinity, Humanity, Believe, Holy Week, Palm Sunday, Prophecy, Maundy Thursday, Passover, Eucharist, Betrayal, Crucifixion, Resurrection

Christian Worship (Summer Term)

This term we will be looking at different areas of Christian worship and the Church. This will include a look at how the Church started and the many ways Christians today worship. We will look at the layout of a church and think about why people pray. This term will end with a detailed study of why people chose and continue to choose to become monks and nuns.

Words you will need to know this term:

Holy Spirit, Pentecost, Disciple, Baptised, Worship, Prayer, Denomination, Preach, Congregation, Parish, Altar, Font, Pulpit, Lectern, Monk, Nun

KS3 - Year 8

Islam (Autumn Term)

This term we will be concentrating on Islam, the faith of Muslims. We will be studying Muslim beliefs and seeing how these beliefs affect the everyday lives of Muslims. We shall be looking at the Prophet Muhammed, the Mosque, the Qur'an and the Five Pillars of Islam. In addition, we shall be looking at the Muslim family and the contribution that Islam has made to the fields of medicine, maths and science.

Words you will need to know this term:

Allah, Idol, Qur'an, Wudu, Mosque, Mihrab, Mimbar, Minaret, Dome, Ramadan, Eid-Ul-Fitr, Hajj, Eid-Ul-Adha, Ka'ba, Ihram

Sikhism (Spring Term)

This term we will be concentrating on Sikhism, the faith of Sikhs. We shall be looking at how it was founded by Guru Nanak and how Khalsa was started by Guru Gobind Singh. We shall study the 5 articles which all Sikhs must wear or carry (the five K's) and what these mean for Sikhs. We will also look at Sikh worship and the special building - the Gurdwara. Finally we will look at the different ceremonies which Sikhs hold throughout their lives.

Words you will need to know this term:

Spiritual, Guru, Khalsa, Singh, Kaur, Kangha, Kara, Kirpan, Kaccha, Kesh, Gurdwara, Khanda, Humility, Betrothal, Pyre

Buddhism (Summer Term)

During this term we will study one of the great spiritual traditions of the world - Buddhism. We will look at the life of Siddhattha Gotama (the Buddha) and how he achieved "Enlightenment". We will look at his teaching of the Middle way and the Noble Eightfold Path. We will end with a look at Buddhism today - how the community is organised and the Buddhist way of life.

Words you will need to know this term:

The Buddha, Enlightenment, Nirvana, Samsara, Ascetic, Quest, Dhamma, Karma, 4 Noble Truths, Noble 8-Fold Path, Meditation, The Middle Way, Sangha, Sanskrit, Lotu

KS3 - Year 9

Moral Issues (Autumn Term)

During Year 9 you will be looking at a range of moral issues including the environment and animal rights. In preparation for this, you will spend the Autumn term exploring what influences our ideas of right and wrong, as well as focussing on the Christian moral code. You will also learn the correct way to evaluate a moral issue.

Words you will need to know this term:

Influence, Moral, Immoral, Amoral, Conscience, Moral Code, Free Will, Morality, Ten Commandments, Sabbath, Adultery, Forgiveness, Empathy, Consequences, Evaluate

Beliefs & Environment (Spring Term)

During the Spring term you will be concentrating on two areas: how does a person's beliefs affect their actions and the Environment. For the first area you will look in depth at the lives of three people, discovering how their strong beliefs have shaped their lives. Within the area of the Environment you will look briefly at some of these global problems and then concentrate on the religious responses to these issues.

Words you will need to know this term:

Influence, Conscience, Mystery, Evolution, Big Bang Theory, Environment, Greenpeace, Racism, Pacifism, Responsibility, Deforestation, Ozone Layer, Attitudes, Global Warming, Acid Rain

GCSE Religious Studies

Click the logo or link below if you would like to view the full course specification from the Exam Board website.

Exam Board Qualification Specification
AQA Exam Board - GCSE Religious Studies (4050) GCSE Religious Studies A 8062

The new syllabus offered at GCSE is more wide ranging than in previous years, offering a broader understanding of 2 religions, as well as studying a range of moral and philosophical issues. The aim of the RE GCSE is to build on the skills they have learnt in KS3, such as evaluating moral arguments and understanding issues from several points of view.  This ability to be able to understand many sides to an argument makes the RE GCSE ideal as a starting point for many careers, such as journalism, law, the medical profession and teaching.

The topics covered are divided into the following two categories:

1. A study of Christianity and Buddhism
This section looks in depth at the core beliefs of both Christianity and Buddhism.  The course looks at the key beliefs and teachings of these two religions, along with their worship and festivals.

2. Religious, philosophical and ethical studies
This topic covers 4 areas of study:
• Religion and life: this looks at the origins and value of the universe and human life.
• The existence of God and revelation: this looks at the philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God and the nature of the divine and revelation.
• Religion, peace and conflict:  this looks at religion, violence, terrorism and war, along with religion and belief in 21st century conflict.
• Religion, crime and punishment:  this looks at religion, crime and the causes of crime, along with religion and punishment.

There is a strong emphasis in both of these sections on evaluating issues, where students will need to be able to express their opinions, as well as understanding other points of view.  These are obviously invaluable skills which are needed in a wide range of fields.


Assessment in Religious Studies is not tiered, so all students take the same exam papers and are able to achieve the highest grade possible for them.

There is no coursework. 100% of the mark is based on two written examinations, with 50% of the marks allocated to each paper.  These will all be sat in the June of Year 11.

Other Information

The GCSE classes are taught in mixed ability groups.

For more information please speak to Ms K Stevenson