Religious Studies

The principal aim of RS in both the Kent Syllabus and at OPGS is:

To engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.

The aims of RS

The threefold aim of RE elaborates the principal aim.

  1. Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
  • describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals
  • identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews
  • appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
  1. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
  • explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities
  • express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues
  • appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.
  1. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that they can:
  • find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively
  • enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all
  • articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.

Foundation Years

Year 7

  • The Island – introduction to religious practices
  • What is so radical about Jesus?
  • What is good and what is challenging about being a teenage Sikh/Buddhist/Muslim today?

Year 8

  • Does religion help people to be good?
  • Should religious buildings be sold to feed the starving?
  • Is death the end?
  • How can people express the spiritual through music and art?

Keystone Year

  • Do we need to prove God’s existence?
  • Why is there suffering in the world?
  • Is religion a power for peace or a cause of conflict in the world?


Edexcel Beliefs in Action B

Qualification aims and objectives

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:

  • develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and non-religious beliefs, such as atheism and humanism
  • develop their knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, teachings, and sources of wisdom and authority, including through their reading of key religious texts, other texts, and scriptures of the religions they are studying
  • develop their ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject
  • engage with questions of belief, value, meaning, purpose, truth, and their influence on human life
  • reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they have learnt and will contribute to their preparation for adult life in a pluralistic society and global community
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of two religions
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key sources of wisdom and authority including scripture and/or sacred texts, where appropriate, which support contemporary religious faith
  • understand the influence of religion on individuals, communities and societies
  • understand significant common and divergent views between and/or within religions and beliefs
  • apply knowledge and understanding in order to analyse questions related to religious beliefs and values
  • construct well-informed and balanced arguments on matters concerned with religious beliefs and values.

Area of Study 1 – Christianity


This area of study comprises a study in depth of Christianity as a lived religion within the United Kingdom and throughout the world, and its beliefs and teachings on life, specifically within families, and with regard to matters of life and death.

There are four sections:

  • Christian Beliefs
  • Marriage and the Family
  • Living the Christian Life
  • Matters of Life and Death

Area of Study 2 – Islam


This area of study comprises a study in depth of Islam as a lived religion within the United Kingdom and throughout the world, and its beliefs and teachings on life, specifically about the issues of peace and conflict, and crime and punishment.

There are four sections:

  • Islamic Beliefs
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Living the Muslim Life
  • Peace and Conflict

A Level

Aims and learning outcomes


The OCR A Level in Religious Studies will build on the knowledge, understanding and skills established at GCSE (9–1). Learners will be introduced to a more advanced approach to Religious Studies, and will develop a deeper understanding of the beliefs, teachings and philosophy they study.


OCR’s A Level in Religious Studies will encourage learners to:


  • develop their interest in a rigorous study of religion and belief and relate it to the wider world
  • develop knowledge and understanding appropriate to a specialist study of religion
  • develop an understanding and appreciation of religious thought and its contribution to individuals, communities and societies
  • adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion
  • reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in the light of their study.


Philosophy of religion

Learners will study:

  • Ancient philosophical influences (Plato and Aristotle)
  • The nature of the soul, mind and body
  • Arguments about the existence or non-existence of God (Cosmological, Teleological and Ontological Arguments)
  • The nature and impact of religious experience
  • The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • Ideas about the nature of God
  • Issues in religious language


Religion and ethics

Learners will study:

  • Normative ethical theories (Natural Law, Situation Ethics, Utilitarianism and Kantian Ethics)
  • The application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance (Euthanasia and Business Ethics)
  • Ethical language and thought
  • Debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
  • Sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.


Developments in Christian thought

Learners will study:

  • Augustine’s teachings on human nature
  • Death and the afterlife
  • Knowledge of God’s existence
  • The person of Jesus Christ
  • Christian moral principles
  • Christian moral action
  • Religious pluralism
  • Gender
  • The challenge of secularism
  • Liberation theology and Marx