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Religious Education

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Religious Education at The Deanery aims to ensure that all students become religiously literate and will give them the tools so that they may ‘live life in its fullness’ (John 10:10).  

RE at The Deanery will comprise of three academic disciplines: Theology, Philosophy and Social Science.  We aim for all of our students to become religiously literate and empower them with the education and skills needed to become good citizens of our world.  RE will contribute to the character development of all our students and will encourage them to develop spiritually and to work with each other to build a community of shared values.  At Key stage 3 all students will follow a tailor made Religious Education curriculum for our students and our school, which includes content from our Swindon locally agreed syllabus and the NATRE Understanding Christianity resource.  This follows the Church of England requirements for the study of Christianity, but also enables students to have a rich and diverse understanding of many different worldviews, belief systems and cultures.  RE in years 7 to 9 provides a solid foundation for GCSE study and beyond.  At GCSE (years 10 and 11) students will study the AQA GCSE Religious Studies A qualification.

Spirited arts 4Spirited arts 1

Spirited arts 3

(NATRE Spirited Arts competition entries '22)

RE curriculum vision 

  1. Every student will know about and understand Christianity as a diverse global living faith through the exploration of core beliefs using an approach that critically engages with biblical text.

  1. Every student will gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the worldviews and religions studied. 

  1. Every student will engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience.

  1. Every student will recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individual and societies in different times, cultures and places. 

  1. All students will be able to explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways of living, believing and thinking. 

RE curriculum intent 

  • To provide students to with opportunities to reflect upon their own beliefs and ideas about themselves, their place in our world and with others. 

  • To engage students in high-quality academic study which will enable them to become religiously literate and hold well-balanced conversations and religion and worldviews. 

  • To enable students to interact with other worldviews and faiths, and allow them to explore how these beliefs impact the lives of others in our communities and the wider world. 

  • To ensure that all pupils have a solid foundation for GCSE study and beyond. 


Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Term 5

Term 6

Year 7



The ‘Big story’ – Where did Christianity come from?


Christianity & Judaism

God - If God is Trinity, what does this mean for Christians?



What is good/challenging about being a teenage Muslim in Britain today?



Creation - Should Christians be greener than everyone else?


Christianity & Hinduism

History of Christianity – How did Christianity survive?


Christianity & Judaism

Religious Expression through Art and Music


Christianity, Islam & Judaism

Year 8



People of God – Does the world need prophets today?


Christianity & Judaism

Should religious buildings be sold to feed the starving?


Sikhism & Islam

Incarnation – Why do Christians believe Jesus is God on earth?



Should happiness be the purpose of life?



Does religion help people to be good?


Humanism & Judaism

Gospel - What is so radical about Jesus?



Year 9



Do we need to prove God’s existence?


Various – Inc. Humanism & Buddhism

Is religion a power for peace or a cause of conflict?


Islam & Sikhism

The fall – Why are people good and bad?



Saving the world - What kinds of salvation do Christians believe in?



Is death the end?  Does it matter?


Humanism & Christianity

Wisdom – What do we do when life gets hard?


Christianity & Sikhism

Year 10


Islam: Beliefs and teachings Islam: Beliefs and teachings Islam: Practices Christianity: Beliefs and teachings Christianity: Beliefs and teachings Christianity: Practices

Year 11


Theme E: Religion, crime and punishment Theme A: Relationships and families Theme F: Religion, human rights and social justice Theme D: Religion peace and conflict Revision and exams  



Knowledge Organisers

Year 7 

Year 7 Term 1 - The Big story

Year 7 Term 2 - If God is Trinity, what does this mean for Christians?

Year 7 Term 3 - Islam

Year 7 Term 4 - Should Christians be greener than everyone else?

Year 7 Term 5 - A history of Christianity

Year 7 Term 6 - Religious expression through art and music

Year 8

Year 8 Term 1 - People of God

Year 8 Term 2 - Should religious buildings be sold to feed the starving?

Year 8 Term 3 - Why do Christians believe Jesus was God on earth?

Year 8 Term 4 - Buddhism

Year 8 Term 5 - Does religion help people to be good?

Year 8 Term 6 - What's so radical about Jesus?

Year 9

Year 9 Term 1 - Do we need to prove God's existence?

Year 9 term 3 - Why are people good and bad?

Year 9 Term 4 - Salvation

Year 9 Term 5 - Is death the end?

Year 9 Term 6  - Wisdom: what do we do when life gets hard?

Key resources and websites

GCSE pre-learning and pre-reading document for Year 9

BBC Bitesize Revision 1

BBC Bitesize Revision 2

A-Z of Religion and Beliefs (video series by the BBC)


Education Quizzes

Oak Academy - Key stage 3 (Please note: not everything we study will be available here, but Oak Academy provides excellent lessons for the foundations of religious beliefs)

Oak Academy - Key stage 4 Please note: not everything we study will be available here, but Oak Academy provides excellent lessons for the foundations of religious beliefs)

My Jewish learning

Suggested reading list

Liked what we have been studying in class?  Want to learn more?  Or challenge yourself further?  Have a look at some of these suggested reading titles below.  And if you've read something that you think we should include on our list, please let your RE teacher know.

If you'd like to borrow a copy of any of these books, please see Mrs Gallagher.

Title and author



Great for…

Sophie’s world by Jostein Gaarder


One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home from school to find in her mailbox two notes, with one question on each: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" From that irresistible beginning, Sophie becomes obsessed with questions that take her far beyond what she knows of her Norwegian village. Through those letters, she enrols in a kind of correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre, with a mysterious philosopher, while receiving letters addressed to another girl. Who is Hilde? And why does her mail keep turning up? To unravel this riddle, Sophie must use the philosophy she is learning—but the truth turns out to be far more complicated than she could have imagined.

Everyone – Year 7 and beyond.


This book addresses key philosophical questions that we have all asked at one time or another, and introduces us to key Philosophers from our past.

The lion, the witch and the wardrobe  by C S Lewis


Four adventurous siblings (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie) step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.  C S Lewis was a famous Theologian who wrote many works about his faith and God.

Everyone – Year 7 and beyond.


As well as a fictional story, this book explores the key Theological beliefs in Christianity about salvation, sacrifice and good vs evil.

The pig that wants to be eaten by Julian Baggini


Is it right to eat a pig that wants to be eaten? Are you really reading this blurb, or are you in a simulation? If God is all-powerful, could he create a square circle? Here are 100 of the most intriguing thought experiments from the history of philosophy and ideas - questions to leave you inspired, informed and scratching your head, dumbfounded.

Everyone – Year 7 and beyond.


The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten offers one hundred philosophical puzzles that stimulate thought on a host of moral, social, and personal dilemmas.

The God delusion by Richard Dawkins


The God Delusion is a 2006 book by British evolutionary biologist, ethologist Richard Dawkins.  In The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator, God, almost certainly does not exist, and that belief in a personal god qualifies as a delusion, which he defines as a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence.

Parts of this book link to topics we study in Years 9, 10 and 11 and also A-Level.


This books is for anyone wanting to critically examine the theistic arguments for the existence of God, specifically from a scientific and atheist worldview.

The sage train by Nicky Hansell


Written for teachers, students and anyone who has wondered how we make our important decisions, The Sage Train brings philosophy to life and helps students remember and evaluate. Most importantly, it tells stories – and makes cold and abstract theories accessible and fun.

Best suited for KS4 and A-level.


This is for budding philosophers who are interested in philosophical and ethical theories.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel


Life of Pi is a story about struggling to survive through seemingly insurmountable odds.  This story explores the nature of reality and belief (or disbelief), as well as the nature of religious belief.  This novel is also a film.

Best suited for KS4 and beyond.

Philosophy for teens by Sharon M Kaye and Paul Thomson


What is love? Is lying always wrong? Is beauty a matter of fact, or a matter of taste? What is discrimination?  The answers to these questions, and more, are examined in Philosophy for Teens: Questioning Life's Big Ideas, an in-depth, teenager-friendly look at the philosophy behind everyday issues.

Everyone – Year 7 and beyond.


Each chapter includes discussion questions, thought experiments, exercises and activities, and community action steps to help students make reasoned, informed decisions about some of life's greatest debates.

Examining life's big ideas and discovering their own opinions has never been easier.

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret by Judy Blume


Life isn't easy for Margaret. She has moved away from her childhood home, she's starting a new school, finding new friends – and she's convinced she's not normal. For a start, she hasn't got a clue whether she wants to be Jewish like her father or Christian like her mother. Everyone else seems really sure of who they are. And, worst of all, she's a 'late developer'. She just knows that all her friends are going to need a bra before she does. It's too embarrassing to talk to her parents about these things. So she talks to God instead – and waits for an answer . . .

KS3 and lower end of KS4.


A coming of age classic novel that will appeal to younger readers.

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn


This novel examines the hidden cultural biases driving modern civilisation and explores themes of ethics, sustainability, and global catastrophe. Largely framed as a Socratic conversation between two characters, Ishmael aims to expose that several widely accepted assumptions of modern society, such as human supremacy, are actually cultural myths that produce catastrophic consequences for humankind and the environment.

Year 9 and beyond.


This novel tackles ethical and philosophical questions that are still as relevant today as they were when this novel was written in 1992.