Religious Studies

Head of Department - Ms G Heron

Lower School

Skill Development

Concepts are frameworks or tools for making sense of the world of human experience. In RS we follow the Hampshire Agreed Syllabus: Living Difference, which follows a concept based, cycle of enquiry, putting the student at the centre of the cycle. This enables students to progressively develop the capacities to interpret, evaluate and respond to differing values and beliefs. This is achieved through extending their thinking and analytical skills. We introduce the students to the specific RS skills of knowledge, understanding and evaluation from Year 7 and progressively build on these.        

Additional Information

Enrichment opportunities are available in each year and include visits to the Shri Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir (pictured above), a Sikh Gudwara, Winchester Cathedral and Churches, Regents Park/Southampton Medina Mosque, Rome (pictured above) and talks by a Holocaust survivor and an ex-prisoner. We also run a ‘Question Time’ style debate for Year 11 GCSE students with guest panellists.

Outline of Subject

RS helps to support students in developing their own coherent patterns of values and principles, and to foster mutual understanding between students of differing religious and cultural backgrounds. Student are encouraged to interpret and respond to a variety of concepts, beliefs and practices within religions and to their own and others’ cultural and life experiences.    

Assessment Styles

A range of formative and summative assessment styles are used in RS. Formative assessment is ongoing throughout lessons and includes questioning, peer assessment, exit cards, learning ladders, whole class/group/paired/ discussions and tasks, and home learning tasks in a variety of forms. Summative assessment in RS takes into account formative assessment and, in addition, there will be a specific piece of work assessed each term in line with GCSE skills, the Hampshire Agreed Syllabus and school policy.              

Upper School

Exam Board: AQA Religious Studies A

Outline of Subject

RS GCSE covers two of the major world religions and four contemporary ethical themes, ensuring students have a diverse choice of intriguing subjects to explore. Students will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues. Students will also gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture.

Course Content

Skill Development

Students will develop knowledge and understanding of religion and beliefs including: beliefs, practices, sources of authority, influence on individuals, communities and societies, and similarities and differences within and/or between religions and beliefs. They will also develop skills of analysis and evaluation as they consider aspects of religion and belief, including their significance and influence. In addition, students will develop critical thinking skills, the ability to work with abstract ideas, leadership and research skills.


Component 1 - Study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices: Christianity and Islam, is assessed in a 1 hr 45 minutes written exam paper (50% of the final GCSE grade). Component 2 - Religious, philosophical and electrical studies: Religion and Life, Relationships and Families, Peace and Conflict, and Human Rights and Social Justice is assessed in a 1 hr 45 minutes written exam paper (50% of the final GCSE grade).

Additional Information

A trip to Rome is offered to students. RS GCSE is a recognised Humanities subject and qualification, recognised by colleges and employers. It is useful for all students, in particular, those who hope to work in medicine, with the public or in the media, or who are interested in people centred subjects or philosophy.

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