Head of Department:Mrs M Wilson
Qualification:GCSE in Religious Studies

Programme of study

The Religious Studies GCSE will develop students’ knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, teachings and practices. They will focus on Catholic beliefs but also compare them to non-religious beliefs such as humanism and atheism. Students will develop the skills to construct a well informed and balanced argument including their own beliefs and questions. Students will be given the opportunity to reflect on their own values and how they can contribute to the local and global community.

How is the course structured & assessed?

The course consists of three externally examined units.

Students will be examined on the course at the end of Year 11. Papers 1 and 2 are both 1 hour 30 minutes and worth 90 marks each. Paper 3 is 1 hour and is worth 60 marks.

Paper 1: Foundational Catholic Theology – 37.5% of overall mark

Origins and Meaning: Students will study the different creation accounts and evaluate their importance. They will analyse different forms of art work showing God’s creation and understand how Religion and Science can work together.

Good and Evil: Students will debate the problem of evil and suffering in the world alongside the existence of God. They will evaluate different philosophical responses and form their own views.

Paper 2: Applied Catholic Theology– 37.5% of overall mark

Life and Death: Students will study the Catholic Beliefs on life and death and how these beliefs impact on society. They will link their own beliefs to Bible teachings, modern day art work and moral issues.

Sin and Forgiveness: Students will study the difference between crime and sin and the different forms of punishment in the legal system. They will evaluate the 

importance of forgiveness and redemption for Catholics.

Paper 3: Judaism – 25% of overall mark

Students will study Judaism with a focus on the nature of God, worship and practices, and daily life.

What can these qualifications lead to?

A GCSE in Religious Studies demonstrates the ability to think critically and to be able to evaluate arguments and other differing opinions, in addition to developing respect, understanding and knowledge of the world in which we live. It leads on well to our Sixth Form A Level Philosophy and Ethics course. It is regarded by employ- ers, colleges and universities as a subject with academic rigour and high-order critical thinking skills. Tradition- ally it has led to careers in education, law, media, and social work.