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Wright Robinson College

GCSE Religious Studies


The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:

  • develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and non-religious beliefs, such as atheism and humanism
  • develop their knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, teachings, and sources of wisdom and authority, including through their reading of key religious texts, other texts, and scriptures of the religions they are studying
  • develop their ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject
  • engage with questions of belief, value, meaning, purpose, truth, and their influence on human life
  • reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they have learnt and will contribute to their preparation for adult life in a pluralistic society and global community
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of two religions
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key sources of wisdom and authority including scripture and/or sacred texts, where appropriate, which support contemporary religious faith
  • understand the influence of religion on individuals, communities and societies
  • understand significant common and divergent views between and/or within religions and beliefs
  • apply knowledge and understanding in order to analyse questions related to religious beliefs and values
  • construct well-informed and balanced arguments on matters concerned with religious beliefs and values.

What will I study?


Student will take the Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Religious Studies course.

Over the course of 2 years students will be studying two main religions, Christianity and Islam.

The units covered are: Unit 1 Religion and Ethics (Chrisitanity)

1 Christian Beliefs

2 Marriage and the Family

3 Living the Religious Life

4 Matters of Life and Death

Unit 2 Religion, Peace and Conflict (Islam)

1. Muslim Beliefs

2. Crime and Punishment

3. Living the Religious Life

4. Peace and Conflict

Students will have 4 lessons per fortnight in year 10 and 5 lessons in year 11. Students will sit two 1 hour 45 minute exams at the end of year 11.

Curriculum in Year 10


Topic 1: Christian Beliefs
The Trinity:

  • The creation of the universe and of humanity
  • The Incarnation: the nature and importance of the person of Jesus Christ as the
  • The last days of Jesus’ life: the Last Supper, betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion,
  • The nature and significance of salvation and the role of Christ within salvation
  • Christian eschatology: divergent Christian teachings about life after death
  • The problem of evil/suffering and a loving and righteous God
  • Divergent solutions offered to the problem of evil/suffering and a loving and
  • Righteous God

Topic 2 Muslim Beliefs
The six Beliefs of Islam:

  • The five roots of ‘Usul ad-Din in Shi’a
  • The nature of Allah
  • RiSalah: the nature and importance of prophethood for Muslims
  • Muslim holy books (kutub)
  • Malaikah: the nature and importance of angels for Muslims
  • al-Qadr: the nature and importance of Predestination for Muslims
  • Akhirah: Muslim teachings about life after death

Topic 3 Living the Christian life

  • Worship
  • Sacraments
  • Prayer
  • Pligrimage
  • Religious celebrations
  • The Church

Topic 4 Living the Muslim Life

  • Ten Obligatory Acts
  • Shahadah
  • Salah
  • Sawm
  • Zakah and khums
  • Hajj
  • Jihad
  • Celebrations


How we assess:

Autumn Term Year 10 Spring Term Year 10 Summer Term Year 10
Overview  Students will be assessed on their thematic change and continuity study of crime and punishment in Britain from 1000 AD-Present.  Students will be assessed on their depth study of Early Elizabethan England. Students will be assessed on their study of Whitechapel, Early Elizabethan England and Crime and Punishment.
Content Students will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding, with questions focusing on
similarity and difference, and change and continuity. This may include turning points, significance, extent of, and causes or consequences of change.
Students will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding with questions focusing on key
features and causation. They will have to explain concepts such as change,
continuity, consequence, similarity, difference and significance.

For the historic environment paper students will be expected to pick out key features and carry out detailed source analysis.


Students will also complete a longer exam to assess their learning across the three topics studied this year.


Curriculum in Year 11


Topic 5 Crime and Punishment – Islam

  • Justice
  • Crime
  • Attitudes to good evil and suffering
  • Punishment
  • Forgiveness
  • Treatment of criminals
  • Death
  • Penalty

Topic 6 Marriage and the Family – Christianity

  • Marriage
  • Sexual
  • Relationships
  • Families
  • Support for family in the local parish
  • Family planning
  • Divorce and remarriage
  • Equality in the family
  • Gender prejudice and discrimination

Topic 7 – Peace and Conflict Islam

  • Attitudes towards peace
  • Role in peace making
  • Attitudes to conflict
  • Pacifism
  • Just War theory
  • Holy War
  • Weapons of Mass destruction
  • Issues surrounding Conflict

Topic 8 – Matters of Life and death Christianity

  • Origins of the universe
  • Sanctity of Life
  • Origins and value of human life
  • Abortion
  • Death and afterlife
  • Non- Religious arguments against life after death
  • Euthanasia Natural world


How we assess:

  Autumn Term Year 11 Spring Term Year 11

Final GCSE examinations

Overview Students will be assessed on their period study of The American West. Students will be assessed on their modern depth study of the civil rights movement in the USA and the Vietnam War.

There are three external exams:

Content The assessment will focus on the concepts of
consequence and significance. They will also be expected to write a narrative account of how and why specific events unfolded. 
This will assess their ability to explain causation of events in either the Vietnam War of the civil rights movement. They will also be assessed on their ability to analyse sources and evaluate historical interpretations of either the Vietnam War of the civil rights movement.

Paper 1

British Thematic Study with Historic Environment: Crime and Punishment in Britain, C1000-present and Whitechapel,c1870-c1900: crime and policing in the inner city. Exam 1hr 15 mins – 30% of final grade

Paper 2

Period Study and Depth Study: American West 1840-1890 and Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88 Exam 1hr 45mins – 40% of final grade

Paper 3

Modern Depth Study: USA 1954-75, Conflict at home and abroad. Exam 1hr 20 mins – 30% of final grade