Curriculum Intent

Religious Studies

At Nottingham Emmanuel School, we desire that all learners come to understand and value the centrality of faith in our world. We aim to teach a Religious Studies curriculum that has powerful knowledge at its core, is academically challenging, culturally rich and relevant to all as a community. We want learners to view Religious Studies as an academic subject with rigorous demands that align with the demands of other Humanities subjects.


It is our hope that through the study of RS, all learners develop a sense of identity and can evaluate their personal beliefs whilst reflecting on the beliefs of others. They will develop an understanding of core concepts that fall under the three pillars of thought which have shaped the society that we live in today, namely: theology, philosophy and ethics. These core concepts will allow learners to cyclically explore what people believe in, how these beliefs are expressed and how, in turn, this impacts the way in which people live. Thus, our course enables learners to become religiously literate whilst also building curiosity about the world that we live in.


Each unit of work is underpinned by foundations of beliefs that are outlined in religious and secular sources of authority. We think it is important to use these texts as a foundation upon which to build, so that learners can start to unpick the role of interpretation in discerning religious beliefs. It is also important that we teach students to be critical interpreters who can form their own views whilst appraising the scriptures presented. We want learners to gain a deeper understanding of how texts can be manipulated over time, but we also want them to recognise how these texts can still be relevant in society today. Through gaining this knowledge, we can promote tolerance, dignity and respect for others whilst also allowing students to understand how their own beliefs may shape their worldviews, morality and identity. Our RS curriculum prepares all for life in modern Britain, celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion.


As well as this, our intent for all learners is that they can develop their skills of evaluation through encouraging them to formulate arguments in an academic and empathetic way. These discussions are key for our multi-cultural, ethnically diverse, pluralist society to function in a way that leads to harmony, peace and mutual respect for all.



Edexcel GCSE in Religious Studies B (1RB0)

 Paper 1: Area of Study 1 – Religion and Ethics (Paper code: 1RB0/1B)

  • Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • 50% of the qualification, 102 marks


 Content overview: Students study all four content sections based upon Christianity.

  • Beliefs
  • Marriage and the Family
  • Living the Christian Life
  • Matters of Life and Death

Paper 2: Area of Study 2 – Religion, Peace and Conflict (Paper code: 1RB0/2C)

Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes
50% of the qualification, 102 marks

Content overview: Students study all four content sections based upon Islam.

  • Beliefs
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Living the Muslim Life
  • Peace and Conflict

Assessment overview:

  • Both papers include short open response, and extended writing questions.
  • They also assess spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) and use of specialist terminology.






OCR A-Level in Religious Studies (H573)

Paper 1: Philosophy

Written examination: 2 hours
1/3 of the qualification, 120 marks

 Content overview:

  • Ancient Philosophical Influences
  • Soul, Mind and Body
  • Arguments for the existence of God
  • Religious Experience
  • The Problem of Evil
  • Nature or Attributes of God
  • Religious Language

Paper 2: Ethics

Written examination: 2 hours
1/3 of the qualification, 120 marks


Content overview:

  • Natural Law
  • Situation Ethics
  • Kantian Ethics
  • Utilitarianism
  • Euthanasia
  • Business Ethics
  • Meta-ethical theories
  • Conscience
  • Sexual Ethics

Paper 3: Development in Christian Thought

Written examination: 2 hours
1/3 of the qualification, 120 marks


Content overview:

  • Augustine’s teaching on human nature
  • Death and the afterlife
  • Knowledge of God’s existence
  • The Person of Jesus
  • Christian Moral Principles
  • Christian Moral Action (Bonhoeffer)
  • Religious Pluralism
  • Gender
  • The Challenge of Secularism
  • Liberation Theology and Marx


Assessment overview:

  • All three papers require students to write extended responses which assess their knowledge, application and evaluation skills, as well as their ability to make informed and justified judgments.


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