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Red Kite Learning Trust


Religious Studies

Overall Religious Studies Intent: 

  • To engage students in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address. Students develop the skills to appreciate different cultures and societies through knowledge and understanding of diverse religious and non-religious beliefs and practices. 
  • Students think critically and analytically about personal and controversial issues. 
  • Students have the confidence to develop and articulate their own independent judgements. 

Key strengths of the curriculum

  • Curriculum is planned to enhance cultural capital with focus on religious and non-religious worldviews, and thematic units at GCSE allowing for discussion of contemporary moral issues. 
  • By the end of Year 8 all students in the school will have completed a detailed study of the six major world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism and a range of non-religious worldviews.
  • Curriculum is planned chronologically with Judaism preceding Christianity and Islam in Year 7 and Hinduism preceding Buddhism and Sikhism in Year 8. This allows a comparison between the religions and an insight into the ways Judaism and Hinduism influenced the other Abrahamic and Eastern religions. 
  • RS lessons are a safe space for students to ask questions and discuss personal beliefs. 
  • Thematic Unit including controversial and challenging topics saved for Year 10 and 11 to allow deeper level of investigation.  
  • Key Stage 3 covers religion and worldviews, preparing students for GCSE with the use of evaluation questions. 

Key strengths within Religious Studies

  • Knowledge and enthusiasm of the four subject specialists within the department. 
  • Consistency of delivery, marking, feedback and assessment. 
  • Strong pastoral responsibility within the department. Teachers care about students and understand their academic and pastoral duty.
  • RS is a compulsory full GCSE and students have a high level of enthusiasm for the content and delivery of the course (particularly at years 10 and 11).  Behaviour is also very good in lessons due to positive staff relationships and the engaging nature of the course. 
  • This positivity and enthusiasm for the subject is reflected in the number of students who opt to study RS at A Level. 
  • Continuous review and evaluation of the RS curriculum linked to current research on religion and worldviews. 

REACH values in Religious Studies

RESPECT in RS means…

Appreciating the various religious, philosophical and ethical beliefs in the world.

Understanding that each of these systems has equal importance and significance.

Listening to the opinions and beliefs of others in the class with an open mind.


Examining the world in an open minded, analytical and creative way.

Evaluating major ethical and philosophical concepts.

Justifying a personal opinion on unanswerable questions.

ADVENTURE in RS means…

Developing the skills of negotiating, building relationships, empathising, evaluating and questioning.

Having the confidence to give an opinion on a controversial or personal topic.

Having the courage to challenge opinions you disagree with in an amicable way.


Creating a safe, nurturing and academically challenging environment where beliefs, practices and issues are discussed.

Appreciating the complexity, diversity and evolving challenges faced by religion in the modern world.

Having the commitment to stick to your point of view when others disagree.

HONESTY in RS means…

Thinking independently, being open minded and disagreeing agreeably about major issues.

Giving an honest opinion, even when others may disagree.

Curriculum overviews


Harrogate Grammar School is part of Red Kite Learning Trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 7523507, registered office address: Red Kite Office, Pannal Ash Road, Harrogate, HG2 9PH

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