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Sir Jonathan North College

Sir Jonathan North College

Religious Studies


Religious Studies (RS) provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality. It explores issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops students’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, and other principal religions, traditions and world views that offer answers to these challenging questions. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances students’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.

RS encourages students to develop their sense of identity and belonging. It enables them to flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society and global community. RS has an important role in preparing students for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables students to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. It promotes discernment and enables students to combat prejudice.

At Sir Jonathan North Religious Studies is compulsory throughout Key Stage 3 and 4. 


Religious Studies at Sir Jonathan North encourages students to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions, while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning. It challenges students to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses.

Until the autumn half term of Year 7 students are taught in mixed ability tutor group classes. Thereafter students are taught in ability groups until the beginning of Year 9. At the beginning of Year 9 all students begin their Religious Studies GCSE.

Programme of Study

Year 7

  • Autumn 1 - Who do you think you are?
  • Autumn 2 - The Island
  • Spring 1 - Judaism - history and beliefs
  • Spring 2 - Judaism - the Holocaust
  • Summer 1 - Turin Shroud Investigation
  • Summer 2 - Turin Shroud Investigation

Year 8

  • Autumn 1 - Christianity - beliefs and practices
  • Autumn 2 - Christianity - The Church
  • Spring 1 - Islam - beliefs and practices
  • Spring 2 - Hinduism - beliefs and practices
  • Summer 1 - Sikhism - beliefs and practices
  • Summer 2 - Sikhism - equality

Year 9

  • Autumn 1 - Issues of Life and Death, Origin of the universe
  • Autumn 2 - Issues of Life and Death, Religion vs. Science
  • Spring 1 - Issues of Life and Death, Sanctity of Life
  • Spring 2 - Issues of Life and Death, life after death and funeral rites
  • Summer 1 - Issues of Relationships, Nature and purpose of marriage
  • Summer 2 - Issues of Relationships, Gender prejudice and discrimination


The two year Eduqas GCSE Religious Studies course uses thematic topics to explore the way we make decisions and investigate different views on ethical dilemmas which impact on society today. Issues such as relationships; life after death; good and evil and human rights are investigated. In Year 11 students study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity and Islam.

Religious Studies provides opportunities for learners to understand more about the world, the religious challenges it faces and their place within it. Following this GCSE course will deepen understanding of religions and their effect on society. It develops students' competence in a wide range of skills and approaches and enables students to become religiously informed and thoughtful, engaged citizens.

At Sir Jonathan North GCSE Religious Studies is compulsory. Students have 2 lessons per week and follow the two year Eduqas GCSE Religious Studies course. The course has three components:

  • Component 1: Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World (50% of final mark)
  • Component 2: Study of Christianity (25% of final mark)
  • Component 3: Study of Islam (25% of final mark)

The GCSE programme of study culminates in three exams at the end of year 11.

The teachers within the Religious Studies department encourage all students to think critically, listen empathetically and write in a clear and concise manner- all valuable skills for later life. Students are encouraged to develop their own sense of identity and belonging enabling them to flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society and global community.

Programme of Study

Year 10 Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World

  • Issues of relationships: Family relationships, sexual relationships, marriage, changes in relationships and issues of equality
  • Issues of life after death: The world, the value of life, beliefs about death and the afterlife, issues about sanctity and quality of life and medical ethics
  • Issues of good and evil: Good, evil, suffering, crime and punishment and forgiveness
  • Issues of human rights: Human rights, racial prejudice and discrimination, issues of wealth and poverty, issues of social justice and religion in the twenty-first century Britain

Year 11

  • Christianity - Beliefs and teachings: the nature of God, Creation, Jesus Christ, Salvation, the afterlife
  • Christianity - Practices: Forms of worship, Sacraments, Pilgrimage, The Church in the local community, the worldwide Church
  • Islam - Beliefs and teachings: the nature of God, Creation, Holy books, Risalah, Akhirah
  • Islam - Practices: the Five Pillars of Islam, Greater and Lesser Jihad, festivals and commemoration, Sunni and Shi’a beliefs and practices