Beliefs & Life and Religious Studies

Curriculum and Staffing

Students will explore Religious Studies throughout their time at Waingels in the topic of Belief and Life in KS3 and KS4 and discretely in the Pastoral and Enrichment curriculum in KS5. We welcome all students to consider Religious Studies at GCSE and A Level.  


Beliefs & Life 


The Beliefs and Life programme of study is taught throughout KS3 and KS4. Our curriculum reflects our values of Respect, Kindness, Resilience and Price and is ambitious in its promotion of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of all of our students. It encompasses PSHCE education including the compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) (Link policy). It also reflects the Locally Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education and any emerging needs of our school community.  

The Belief aspect of the curriculum focuses on religious education where we promote equality and diversity through our enquiry-based approach to the major world religions as well as Humanism. We also explore philosophical and ethical ideas through class discussion and debate. Our aim is to allow students to develop their awareness of the various cultures and beliefs of the world, the UK and the local area and within these framework students are also encouraged to challenge and explore their own beliefs and values. 

The Life aspects of the curriculum focuses on PSCHE and RSE and is taught with a focus on three key themes. These are Relationships, Health and Wellbeing and Living in the Wider World. Each theme is relevant and tailored for the specific year group. This curriculum will help them to develop and enhance their personal awareness, have a greater appreciation for other cultures, values and beliefs; and equip our students with the life skills they need when entering the wider community. 

In addition, students will take part in ‘drop-down’ days where they have more intensive sessions for example in Year 10 we run a Safety in Mind, Body and Attitude (SIMBA Day) during the summer term and opportunities to hear from external organisations on topics such as knife crime and drugs safety. 

The Belief and Life programme of study at KS3 and 4 and the Enrichment Programme at KS5 are core subjects of study and are compulsory for all students. 


Key Stage 3 (Year 7, 8 and 9)

Students have 4 lessons per fortnight in Belief and Life.  

In Year 7 students begin with ‘The Island’, an immersive experience where students are encouraged to use their imagination and work together to discuss and understand key questions. This unit lends itself to the study of anthropology and ethics and enables students to questions why there is religion in society and what purpose it serves. Through this topic students will also learn about the importance of relationships and community and their personal identity within this.  

Students will study the religions of Islam, Buddhism and Christianity in year 7 incorporating art and storytelling in to their learning experience. 

Reflecting our Life themes students will learn about boundaries and appropriate behaviours, prejudice and discrimination as part of Relationships; Puberty, mental and physical health and wellbeing, recognising what poor health looks like and how to maintain good health in Health and Wellbeing; and politics, British values and financial basics in Living in the Wider World.  

In Year 8 students begin by studying the unit of Peace and Conflict, exploring the impact of religion and ethics through historical and contemporary examples of peace and conflict. This is followed by an in-depth study of Hinduism, and Humanism where students will explore different perspectives on big philosophical questions. In the summer term students will also explore a number of religions through Art. In Relationships students will learn about romantic relationships, where they will revisit the concept of consent in this context and managing conflict in relationships. They will also look at the impact of vaping, drugs, stress and screen time on wellbeing and how to live in a healthy way in Health and Wellbeing and will explore first aid, and social action in Living in the Wider World.  

In Year 9 students explore a range of ethical and philosophical concepts and theories. They will rely on discussion to share ideas on some Big Questions and apply ethical ideas to thought experiments and real life scenarios. In Relationships students will understand more about the laws around sex, contraception and sexual health. In Health and Wellbeing they will learn more about the long and short term impact of drug taking and how to manage peer pressure and other forms of influence. In Living in the Wider World students will learn about child on child abuse, including cyberbullying as well as financial and political education.  


Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and 11)  

Students have 2 lessons per fortnight in Belief and Life.  

In KS4 students explore Human Rights, Social Justice, Crime and Punishment and Medical Ethics. In each unit of study they will explore a range of religious and secular views on topical issues. They will be encouraged to become critical thinkers, evaluating the views of others and reflect on their own views on the themes. In both Year 10 and 11 students will revisit the themes of Relationships, Health and Wellbeing and Living in the Wider World at a greater depth.  


Key Stage 5 (Year 12 & 13)

At KS5 Religious Studies is taught at KS5 discretely through the Pastoral Curriculum and Enrichment Programme. The PSHCE themes continue to be taught at KS5 within the Enrichment programme which continue to be tailored and relevant to the year group.  

In addition to the core study of Belief and Life students can also opt to study GCSE & A Level Religious Studies which will explore the themes of the core curriculum at greater depth. For more information please see below the Religious Studies Curriculum.

Students can also opt for Citizenship at GCSE and Politics at A Level to further explore their interests in some of the Belief and Life themes such as politics, law making, human right and crime and punishment. For more information about Citizenship and Politics please visit the Subject Information Booklet here

For full details of the curriculum we have designed for our students go to : (link curriculum pages) 



Lead Teacher: Ms J Bonney, Head of Social Sciences

Mrs R Abery

Mr J Brown 

Miss G Herron 

Miss L Percival- 2 i/c Social Sciences

Ms A Robinson

Mrs C Ward- Assistant Headteacher


Religious Studies 

GCSE Religious Studies 

The Religious Studies GCSE is perfect for any student who takes an interest in world issues, ethical debates and learning about the views of others. It allows students to develop their understanding of religion, ethics and philosophy as well as developing their transferrable skills such as analysis, evaluation and critical thinking. It will compliment any subject selection and provides an excellent foundation for further study in a wide range of fields and any career.  

At Waingels we follow the Eduqas Specification (Link) which allows us to cover the following topics:  here

  • Study of Christian beliefs and practices 

  • Study of the beliefs and practice of one world religion. The religion is chosen by the class. In 2021-2022 students have opted for Buddhism.  

  • Ethical and Philosophical Themes which include: 

  1. Relationships (marriage, sexuality, divorce and attitudes to gender)  

  1. Life & Death (euthanasia, abortion, environmental issues and the idea of the soul)  

  1. Good & Evil (free will, justice, sin, suffering and good vs. evil)  

  1. Human Rights (the concepts of human rights, poverty, wealth, crime, examples of punishment, death penalty and discrimination). 

The GCSE Religious Studies course is assessed through 100% examination at the end of Year 11 across 3 exam papers (Component 1: Themes, Component 2: Christian Beliefs and Practices, Component 3: World Religion Beliefs and Practices).  


Careers & Future Study 

Religious Studies actively develops communication skills and encourages debate through analytical and evaluative thinking on a variety of traditional, abstract and contemporary issues. Religious Studies also encourages an academic writing style which is useful in cross curricular studies and compliments many A Levels, apprenticeship schemes, degrees and future employments. Through the study and understanding of beliefs, practices and ethics in Religious Studies, students can enter careers such as (but not limited to): 

Law, Education, Medicine, Health Care, Politics, Business, Public Services. 


A Level Religious Studies 

A Level ‘Religious Studies: Philosophy and Ethics’ is a very popular option at Waingels due to its engaging yet challenging nature as a subject. The subject encourages students to question and investigate key issues in traditional and contemporary Philosophy, Ethics and Theology. We follow the OCR specification. More details of this can be found here

A Level Religious Studies explores the responses to life’s most fundamental questions, helping students to reflect on their own beliefs and their place in the world. The course contains three components; Philosophy of Religion, Religion & Ethics, Developments in Christian Thought. The course will give you the opportunity to explore and challenge basic philosophical and ethical concepts and thinkers. Students will also develop skills to examine arguments in a critical way to the highest academic standard. The course is perfect for students of all beliefs and none, who seek to understand the world around them in an open-minded way.  

The Religious Studies A Level course compliments all other KS5 subjects for example through its exploration of ethics is Business and Medicine, and its reflection Psychological, Sociological and Historical concepts within the theories explored. It provides an excellent platform for students to go on to study Law, Philosophy, Business, Psychology, Medicine, Policing & Theology to name a few. 



Lead Teacher: Mrs Claire Ward- Assistant Headteacher

Mr J Brown 

Miss G Herron 


Knowledge Organisers