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Religious Studies

The aims of Religious Education as taken from the Oxfordshire Agreed Syllabus are as follows:

  • To be aware of and respond to life experiences and the questions they raise.
  • To know and understand religious beliefs and practices.
  • To evaluate the significance of religious concepts, beliefs and practices by being able to express personal opinions based on the use of appropriate evidence and argument.
  • To encourage qualities of empathy, non-prejudice, open mindedness and enquiry.
  • To provide an environment in which individual commitments may be expressed, discussed and examined critically and constructively.

Religious Education is not nurturing, it is not intended to teach a particular faith to a pupil; that is the role of the family and the faith community. It should promote a tolerant understanding of, and a respect for religious believers and those of the various life philosophies in our multicultural society. 
At the Marlborough School we offer students the opportunity to study the six major world religions throughout KS3. At KS4 the GCSE in Religious Studies focuses on Christianity and Islam.


Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8, 9)

At Key Stage 3, students explore a variety of religious beliefs, philosophical concepts and ethical issues.

Year 7 begin the year with an exploration into religious responses and Western philosophical ideas into the existence of God, moving onto Christian beliefs and practices, Hinduism, the Five Pillars of Islam, and ending the year with Buddhism.

Year 8 begin the year with Sikhism, the different beliefs and perspectives surrounding the person of Jesus, key concepts within Islam and Judaism, a unit on ethical issues and how Christianity may respond to these, and different religious beliefs in life after death.

Year 9 begin the year explore different religious and philosophical perspectives on the issue of evil and suffering, before beginning RE GCSE after Christmas.


Key Stage 4 (Years 10, 11)

Religious Studies is a compulsory subject at Key Stage 4.

During Year 10 and 11 students study Eduqas GCSE Religious Studies, Route A, focusing on Christianity, Humanism and Islam.

  • Paper 1 - Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World:
    1. Issues of life and death: science and religion, creation, abortion, euthanasia, beliefs in life after death, funerals.
    2. Issues of good and evil: morality, justice, treatment of criminals, prison chaplains, death penalty, forgiveness, evil and suffering.
    3. Issues of relationships: families, views and nature of marriage and relationships, divorce, adultery, gender equality.
    4. Issues of human rights: social justice, human rights, Oscar Romero, prejudice and discrimination, Martin Luther King, Islamophobia, wealth and poverty, Christian Aid.
  • Paper 2 - Study of Christianity:
    1. Beliefs and teachings: nature of God, creation, incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, salvation, the Bible, conscience, eschatological beliefs.
    2. Practices: worship, prayer, sacraments, pilgrimage, festivals, role of the Church in local, national and international communities, Tearfund, persecuted Christians.
  • Paper 3 - Study of a World Religion (Islam):
    1. Beliefs and teachings: foundations of faith (Six Articles of Faith), the Qur’an, nature of Allah, prophethood, the life of Muhammad (PBUH), angels, free will and predestination.
    2. Practices: the Five Pillars of Sunni Islam, the Ten Obligatory Acts of Shi’a Islam, jihad, festivals.

More details in KS4 brochure


Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form)

Religious Studies (Eduqas).

This course is made up of three components:

  • Christianity.
  • Philosophy or Religion.
  • Religion and Ethics.

During this A Level, students will undertake an in-depth and broad study of Christianity covering themes ranging from religious figures and sacred texts to practises that shape religous identity. We well also focus on the existance of God and the use of religious language. Finally, we will study fundamental ethicals issues such as ethical language, free will and determinism.


Departmental Team

Mrs E Hoyland (Subject Leader)

Miss C Fraser

Mrs T Griffin

Mr W Westlake