Porthcawl Comprehensive School / Ysgol Gyfun Porthcawl

Religious Studies

Mrs L Cartwright (Head of Department)

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Term 1 – Worship and Ritual

  • Worship and Ritual – general overview
  • Hinduism
  • Idea of God in Hinduism
  • Hindu worship – at home and in the mandir
  • *In weeks 3/4, pupils will work on a DCF project within the Humanities faculty. The focus will be on the theme of ‘Mexico'

Term 2 – Worship and Ritual

  • Christian worship
  • Significant meals
  • The Last Supper
  • Holy Communion

Term 3 – Journey of Life

  • Christian Infant Baptism (comparisons made to adult baptism)
    The Hindu Naming Ceremony
    Ideas about life after death (Christian and Hindu)
  • Christian Funerals
    Hindu Funerals

Ways in which parents can help

  1. Check planners to ensure pupils have completed any homework.
  2. Assist pupils with their revision for tests and exams.
  3. Don't reinforce any prejudices they may have about religion and encourage open minds.

Useful Websites

  1. Google "Hinduism" with specific topic.
  2. Google "Christianity" with specific topic.
  3. BBC Religion
  4. Hwb

Useful Books/Magazines/Publications

  1. The Encyclopedia of Religion

Year 8

Term 1 – Journey of Life

  • Christian Infant Baptism (comparisons made to adult baptism)
  • The Hindu Naming Ceremony
  • Ideas about life after death (Christian and Hindu)

Term 2 – Journey of Life

  • The Day of the Dead
  • Christian Funerals
  • Hindu Funerals

Term 3 – The Environment and Religion in the Media and the Arts

  • Concepts of freedom and slavery
  • Introduction to the Passover

Useful Websites

  1. Church Wales
  2. BBC Religion
  3. Google "Hinduism" or "Christianity" with specific topic

Useful Books/Magazines/Publications

  1. Current newspapers/magazines
  2. The Encyclopaedia of Religion

Year 9

Term 1 – Freedom and Slavery

  • The importance of the Sedar Meal
  • The relevance of religious festivals
  • Rastafarianism

Term 2

  • Prejudice and Discrimination
  • The Holocaust
  • Martin Luther King
  • Human Rights

Term 3: Full GCSE Course: Our World

  • Ultimate questions e.g. How did the world begin?
  • Personal beliefs about Creation.
  • The Christian Creation Story – literal and non-literal.
  • The Hindu Creation story.
  • Scientific theories of creation.

Key Stage 4

Religious Studies GCSE – (Full Course)

"Religious Studies has helped me to think more about my own life than any other subject" - Year 13 Student

"I've learnt more about life through doing Religious Studies than any other subject in school" - Year 12 Student

Choosing a GCSE subject should involve a consideration of how the subject can prepare you for adult life. I'm sure any parent reading this would want their child to be as informed as possible about issues with which they will inevitably have to deal when they're out on their own in the "real world". Religious Studies is an invaluable subject in personal development and preparation for life beyond school.

Have you heard any of these strange ideas that people have about taking Religious Studies?

  • You've got to be religious to take Religious Studies.
  • It's not accepted as an equal qualification with other subjects.
  • It's really only a subject for girls.
  • You can't do much with it as a qualification except be a vicar or teacher.


  • The more people with different beliefs (including no belief) the better. Lessons would be so boring if everyone thought the same thing.
  • It's considered to be an equal qualification with all other subjects by all universities and employers. (In fact it's often seen as an advantage because you've shown that you have an open mind on a wide range of issues. We know this from students who have been to university interviews.)
  • Since when have the death penalty, war and sex only been subjects girls talk about?
  • Many past pupils who've taken Religious Studies are now doctors, journalists, working in television, lawyers and actors as well as teachers, social workers, in the police - and these are just a few of the career options available. In fact, some employers make a point of looking to see if someone has a Religious Studies qualification.
  • What other subject is increasing in popularity throughout the UK when the numbers in other subjects are falling?


The GCSE course looks at a wide variety of issues that are relevant to everybody's lives from the viewpoint of Christianity and Hinduism e.g.:

Life after death; creation and the Big Bang; evil, the devil and suffering; sex before marriage, love and divorce; abortion and euthanasia; war and peace in today's world; the death penalty ...and plenty more.

Religious Studies is very different from when your parents were in school - not just in what you learn but also in the way you'll be learning. Many parents are pleasantly surprised at how interesting the subject is and we often hear "I wouldn't mind joining in the lessons" at Parents' Evenings.

Religious Studies GCSE Short Course

Those students who do not opt to take Religious Studies as a full course will have the opportunity to work towards a short course qualification in their statutory lessons.

Course Issues

This course covers a range of relevant issues from the view points of Christianity and Hinduism including

  • Abortion and euthanasia
  • The death penalty
  • War and peace
  • Test tube babies
  • Plenty more

Students will sit one examination at the end of Year 11.

Key Stage 5

KS5 - Religious Studies

Christianity, Philosophy and Ethics

Course Details

Qualification Level: AS & A Level
Awarding Body: WJEC
QAN Ref. No. - AS Level: 601/5391/X
QAN Ref. No. - A Level: 601/5345/3

Course Content

The course has a 5 part structure (2 units at AS and an additional 3 for the full A Level). The 2 Units at AS are; An Introduction to Christianity (which includes looking at the life of Jesus, the nature of God and celebration of religious festivals), and an Introduction to Religion and Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion (which includes looking at ethical theories and religious responses to issues such as sexual orientation, marriage and sex outside of marriage, arguments for the existence of God, and evil and suffering).

At A2, students develop their understanding of the above topics in more depth. The two units are split into three, with pupils studying Christianity, Ethics and Philosophy respectively.

Assessment Procedure

The AS units will be assessed at the end of Year 12 and the full A Level at the end of Year 13. Pupils will sit two exams in Year 12 and three exams in Year 13.

Entry Requirements

Students need to have achieved a minimum of a C grade at GCSE Religious Studies in order to be able to access the course, and a minimum of Grade C at English Language GCSE.


Students have a suitable foundation for progression to higher education courses, vocational qualification and direct entry to employment. It not only has particular relevance to careers in the caring professions, such as nursing, social work, and teaching, but in any job where you interact with people.

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