“The means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.” (Martin Luther King)

Religious Education Curriculum Statement

We believe every young person has the right to high-quality Religious Studies and that the skills they develop such as explaining, critical thinking, evaluating and debating; as well as having a hugely positive impact on many other areas of life and learning. 

The aim of Religious Studies at The Oaks Academy is to educate pupils about different faiths, traditions, and cultures and for those pupils interested may want to build their faith and relationship with God. We also prepare pupils to tackle ethical dilemmas such as relationships, crime, war, abortion, and environmental issues. Due to the frequent coverage of religion and religious concerns in the media, religious education is now more important than ever. We are reminded of extremism, war, energy, climate, and the critical role that religious education can play in dealing with these issues. In order for students to comprehend our ever-changing society they must be able to analyse religious topics and determine their importance in the modern world. From the students' first day in class RE provides pupils with important insights into the many beliefs & individuals. It promotes growth as well as knowledge of persistent moral, social, spiritual, and cultural issues.

National Curriculum 

- Develop contextual knowledge of the main six religions. 
- Understand Ethical topics and how religion responds to issues of the day.
- Develop skills of Identifying, Explaining and Evaluating.
- To focus in detail on two world religions namely Christianity, a theistic tradition; and Buddhism, an atheist tradition.    

Exceeding Ambition 

At The Oaks Academy we exceed the Local curriculum for KS3 and the National Curriculum for KS4 by emphasising the importance and significance of Religious Belief and cultural awareness. Pupils also get to apply religious beliefs to their day-to-day lives and give opinions on beliefs and practices. 
Students are enriched through creative writing, pictures, videos, visitors, visits and each other, especially when debating the ethical topics on the Thematic paper regarding Relationships and Families, Life Issues, Peace and Conflict and Crime and Punishment. 
We also have a project combining all humanities subjects focusing on the local area of Crewe, its history and regeneration.

Here's our Curriculum Road Map for RE:


To promote academic learning by delivering lessons that are enjoyable, challenging and engaging. Across Key Stage 3 we ensure a breadth of learning is provided as pupils study the six major religions and ethical issues before the depth of learning narrows as they progress towards and into Key Stage 4 focusing on Christianity, Buddhism and Thematic studies. Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all our pupils by focusing on building and retaining knowledge, developing key skills and improving literacy through extended writing. We teach pupils how to think, question, explain and evaluate before drawing justified conclusions. We promote a class climate of respect; nurturing pupils to take pride in their learning and to show respect to the teacher and to each other. Pupils are given teacher feedback to help them make progress and acknowledgement is given to celebrate their work showing that effort is valued, and resilience promoted. The Religious Studies curriculum is accessible for all Students including SEND and EAL pupils through effective planning and differentiation. We provide cultural enrichment in lessons, homework’s and through the provision of memorable experiences, visits and trips as we strive to prepare our pupils for life as productive members of society.

Implementation: - What does learning look like? 

In Year 7 and 8

- In year 7 students are introduced to, and in some cases building on, the main six religions in two sections; Semitics religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; then the Indian Religions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Within these lessons pupils develop skills and concepts such as recalling knowledge, explaining and evaluating. Skills such as debating and giving a justified opinion built into the curriculum. 
- In year 8 students are given deeper exposure to two religions, the theistic Christianity and the atheist Buddhism. We learn the Early life of the Buddha and his choices that lead him to search for Enlightenment then explore the practice of Meditation and how it can benefit people.  There is extended writing opportunities and creative opportunities to learn about Buddhist teachings. Christianity is more familiar to our pupils, and we explore the main beliefs in the Christian faith and Holy Week with market-place activities and video clips about the last week of Jesus’ life before his resurrection.

By Year 9

By year 9 all students would have developed basic Christian and Buddhist knowledge which helps them to apply religious beliefs to ethical issues as we start the AQA GCSE syllabus.  We begin with Relationships and Families which links in well with the PSHCE curriculum exploring key issues of marriage, contraception and families and gender equality.  The Crime and Punishment section is engaging as we look at events that shock and engage pupils such as Oscar Pistorius and apply religious belief to determine how justice should be acted out; and we explore the Charlston church shooting case to allow pupils to develop investigating skills before evaluating the arguments for and against Capital Punishment.  Peace and Conflict topic allows us to explore the film of Hotel Rwanda where pupils are shocked that genocide is still present in the world and how institutions like the United Nations respond to conflict. Life Issues tackles the issues of Creation and how we use and abuse the planet.  This section also tackles the controversial issues of Abortion and Euthanasia. It is here that pupils build on their debating skills and learn to argue but also accept opposing views. Year 9 sees the introduction of GCSE style summative assessments to prepare pupils for final GCSE exams.

When young people choose this subject:

When Pupils choose to pick Religious Studies as a GCSE option, they will be doing the AQA Religious Syllabus 9-1 specification. Pupils will complete two papers:

●    Paper 1- Christian Beliefs and Practices 
-    Buddhist Beliefs and Practices

●    Paper 2- Relationships and Families 
-    Life Issues
-    Peace and Conflict 
-    Crime and Punishment


The Religious Studies curriculum is high quality, well thought out, sequenced, and is planned to demonstrate progression. The progress students make is gauged through quality formative assessment and Quality summative assessment each half term. We also have regular knowledge recall tests, low stakes assessments as well as effective teacher questioning. Impact is also measured through the quality of class discussions and contributions students are able to make.

End of unit and half termly summative assessments are administered and tracked to measure the progress made by students over time. To get more meaning from the data, trackers will be used in Smid for all summative assessments. This data forms the basis from which student weaknesses can be identified and then addressed through intervention as well as aiding teachers in adapting their lessons and teaching approaches. The department also has a clear marking policy in line with the schools marking policy but further tailored to be subject specific. Marking is embedded into the Religious Studies curriculum to support student progress. Teachers provide written feedback to students which they respond to in order to make further progress. 

Cultural Capital Opportunities linked to Personal and Character development 

Pupils in Religious Studies will take part in trips to sacred buildings a Mosque, Church, Gurdwara and Buddhist Temple.  This gives awareness of other cultures, builds bridges between communities and breaks down those barriers to prejudice in society. We also take pupils in year 8 and 10 to All Saints Church for a Christmas and Holy Week tour.  This involves pupils forming little groups on a carousel where they get a small speech about different aspects of Christian festivals.
Pupils will develop their academic skills of explaining, critical thinking, evaluation and reaching a justified conclusion. This mirrors, basically, the dissertation style of work many students will go on to do in further and higher education. Due to some of the controversial topics we deliver pupils have to learn how to respect each other’s viewpoints without being rude or offensive or taking offense. One of our greatest British values is free speech, but pupils learn that free speech has limits when it causes hate or fear.
Students can experience religion in practice through the extra-curricular Muffin Club, where Hope Church leaders come in once a week at lunch time to talk to pupils about God in a safe loving environment. This helps young learners to see what real evangelism consists of. 


Home – RE: Online

GCSE Religious Studies – BBC Bitesize