30 Shiphay Lane, Torquay TQ2 7DY
T: 01803 613215

Y7-11 Absence Line: 01803 653 750

30 Shiphay Lane, Torquay TQ2 7DY
E:   T: 01803 613215
Y7-11 Absence Line: 01803 653 750

KS4 Religious Studies

KS4 Overview

In Ethics and Values, we aim to engage students with topical issues, evaluating religious and non-religious responses to them.

The GCSE we study is AQA Religious Studies A. We focus on Judaism, Christianity and four themes: relationships and families; religion and life; crime and punishment; and human rights and social justice.

We want students to develop the following skills and attitudes:

  • critically evaluate religious and non-religious beliefs.
  • explain the reasons for diversity within and between religions.
  • explain how beliefs impact a person’s life.
  • engage with questions about the meaning and purpose of life

justify their opinions about a range of ethical issues. 

Building on KS3 and preparing for KS5…

Our GCSE builds on the knowledge of Christianity and Judaism studied at KS3, particularly the unit on Jesus in Y7 and the unit on anti-Semitism in Y9. The themes that are studied build on what we have studied at KS3, in particular in relation to crime and punishment, relationships, animal rights, wealth and poverty and environmental issues. We introduce the topics of abortion and euthanasia in both the GCSE and Ethics and Values as these are age appropriate for KS4. Students develop the ability to write an evaluative essay which provides a strong foundation for A level RS.

KS4 Assessment

In lessons we have low stakes quizzes to recap prior learning, to assess what students have learnt in the lessons and to address any misconceptions. We use a variety of methods including key word bingo, true/false quizzes, and Kahoot. In addition, we practice exam type questions which might be self or peer marked.

At the end of each unit, we complete a GCSE style assessment which is teacher assessed. Students respond to feedback to improve their answers and to make progress targets. 

KS4 Content

Y10 Content Autumn

Relationships and Families – In this unit we study religious (primarily Christian) and non-religious views on: sex before marriage, adultery, the purpose of marriage, attitudes towards homosexuality, divorce, family life, polygamy and gender equality. 

Y10 Content Spring

Jewish beliefs – In this unit, we look at some key Jewish beliefs including beliefs about God, covenants with God, key moral principles, the problem of evil, life and death and the sanctity of life.

Human Rights and Social Justice - In this unit we study religious (primarily Christian) and non-religious views on social justice, human rights, discrimination (racial, gender, positive), wealth, poverty and exploitation. 

Y10 Content Summer

Jewish practices – In this unit we cover the importance of the synagogue for Jews, kosher dietary laws, festivals, rites of passage  and worship.

Y11 Content Autumn

Crime and Punishment - In this unit we study religious (primarily Christian) and non-religious views on the aims of punishment, the causes of crime, prison, corporal punishment and capital punishment

Christian beliefs – In this unit we study key Christian beliefs such as the nature of God, the problem of evil, the life and teachings of Jesus, life after death and salvation. 

Y11 Content Spring

Christian practices – In this unit we learn about rites of passage, festivals, pilgrimage, evangelism, persecution of Christians, how Christians help the community (foodbanks, street pastors), and worship.

Religion and Life   - In this unit we study religious (primarily Christian) and non-religious views on abortion, euthanasia, animal rights, environmental issues and life after death.  

Y11 Content Summer

Revision for exam.

Exam Board and website link:

AQA Religious Studies A

AQA | Religious Studies | GCSE | Religious Studies A

Details of external assessment:

There are two papers, each one hour and forty-five minutes and each worth 50%

Skills assessed:

  • knowledge of key Jewish and Christian beliefs and the reason for diversity within each religion.
  • Understanding of how a person’s religious beliefs might influence them.
  • Knowledge of religious teachings and how they might be interpreted in different ways.
  • Evaluation of beliefs or ethical issues, including the ability to reach a justified conclusion.


Paper 1 - Judaism and Christianity.

Four sections: Jewish beliefs; Jewish practices; Christian beliefs; Christian practices.

Paper 2 – Thematic studies

Four sections: relationships and families; religion and life; religion, crime and punishment; religion human rights and social justice. 

Useful links & resources for KS4:

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