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Religious Studies

Subject Overview

Religious Studies at Northgate School is distinctive in providing opportunities for students for the thematic studies of religion and religious and faith responses to fundamental questions of life, with reference to two or more of the major world religions. It is flexible in the number of religions to be studied in order to accommodate the wide range of demands and personal circumstances of individual students. Religious Studies is accessible to students of any religious persuasion or indeed none. Religious Studies will develop students’ interest in, and enthusiasm for, a study of religion and its relation to the wider world and local community. It will develop students’ knowledge, skills and understanding of religion as a concept by exploring the significance, impact of beliefs, teachings. Sources, practices, ways of life and forms of expressing meaning. During lessons students will be given opportunities to express their personal responses and informed insights on fundamental questions about identity, belonging, meaning, purpose, truth, values, commitments and the ‘zest in life’. Students are given opportunities to study aspects of one or more religions, including textual, historical, ethical and philosophical perspectives. A wide choice of topics will be offered weekly, allowing students to study and respond to the relevance of religion to issues of morality, questions of meaning, lifestyle and choices with reference to one or more of the major world religions and in response to personal needs. It also provides opportunities for cross curricular work in tracing the links between religion, Citizenship, General Studies and Personal, Social and Health Education including Sex and Relationships. Lessons may be altered to reflect the current needs of any students and to accommodate to any current affairs. The course will be offered to students who are considered to have appropriate previous knowledge to be able to manage the course and the exam. Guest speakers will be invited and may also alter the lesson focus and content. There are no coursework requirements. The programme will be taught with an emphasis on: Religion and Life Issues, Worship and Key Beliefs as well as improving students’ ability to compare beliefs and practise the ability to present an informed argument in regards to contemporary issues both orally and in writing.


Topic Overview

Autumn Term

Spring term

Summer term

Religion and animal rights

  • Animals versus humans
  • Do animals have rights?
  • Religious beliefs about animals
  • Wild animals
  • Useful animals
  • Animals for food
  • Should people eat meat?
  • Animals in sport
  • The fur and the ivory trades
  • Animal experiments

Religion and early life

  • The miracle of life
  • When does life begin?
  • Quality of life
  • Abortion and the law
  • Rights
  • Arguments for and against abortion
  • Western faiths
  • Eastern faiths
  • Applying religious teachings to real life
  • Alternatives to abortion


Religion and prejudice

  • What is prejudice?
  • Types of prejudice
  • Other types of prejudice
  • Religious attitudes to prejudice
  • Western faiths
  • Eastern faiths
  • Responses to prejudice
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Martin Luther King
  • Desmond Tuto

Religion War and Peace

  • The causes of war
  • Peace, Justice and the sanctity of life
  • Pacifism
  • Religions and peace
  • ‘Just War’ and ‘holy war’
  • Religions and war
  • Victims of war
  • Religious believers who have worked for peace
  • Keeping the peace in times of terror
  • Weapons of mass destruction

Places of worship

  • The money spent on religious buildings
  • Places of worship in Buddhism
  • Places of worship in Christianity
  • Places of worship in Hinduism
  • Places of worship in Islam
  • Places of worship in Judaism
  • Places of worship in Sikhism
  • The value of religious buildings
  • Places of worship in the community


  • Worship
  • Days of worship
  • Aids to worship and prayer
  • Prayer aids
  • Buddhist worship Christian worship
  • Hindu worship Muslim worship
  • Jewish worship
  • Sikh worship

Origins and beliefs

  • Beginnings: Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism
  • Beginnings: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
  • Beliefs about God
  • Buddhist beliefs
  • Christian beliefs
  • Hindu beliefs
  • Muslim beliefs
  • Jewish beliefs
  • Sikh beliefs
  • The soul and the afterlife

Practices and belonging

  • Introduction: Buddhist and Christian behaviour codes and duties
  • Hindu and Muslim behaviour codes and duties
  • Jewish and Sikh behaviour codes and duties
  • Dietary laws
  • Prayer and meditation
  • Rites of passage: birth and initiation ceremonies
  • Rites of passage: marriages and funerals
  • Key festivals: Hinduism and Islam
  • Key festivals: Judaism and Sikhism


Examination Board

AQA Religious Studies B –Religion and Life Issues (40552), Worship and Key Beliefs (40556)  – Full course

Learning beyond the classroom

Visits will be arranged in the local area (Autumn term and Spring term) to places of worship within the major faith groups. A visit will be taking place during the Spring term to Edgware Community Birth clinic to see how they cater for a variety of people of different faiths. Students are also encouraged to visit a places of worship in their own time to make valuable observations. Students may wish to attend London based events or talks in their own time.

Progression Pathways and Careers

Religious Education at Northgate School will enable students to express their informed ideas clearly and confidently, work confidently within a group, develop their self-presentation skills by giving them opportunities for discussion, giving a presentation; develop their perseverance by providing them with opportunities to review, re-evaluate and revise. Students will be encouraged to relate these essential skills to their future employment and listen to the views of others and respect and adhere to the laws within the UK both at home and general employment laws.

There are opportunities in teaching Religious Education, many job roles exist in the community relating to religious organisations.

Useful Links

AQA Religious Studies B ‘Religion and Life Issues’

AQA Religious Studies B ‘Worship and Key Beliefs


For further details Contact

Mr Soren Jensen           email: sjensen1.302@lgflmail.org