Religious Education (RE)

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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.

Curriculm map - Year 7

Curriculm map - Year 8

Curriculm map - Year 9

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.

  2. 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. 

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

  4. 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. 

  5. 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?



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



History of Christianity How did Christianity survive?


Christianity & Judaism

The life of Muhammad - Where did Islam come from?



Justice - What is so special about being a Sikh?



God’s chosen people - What does it mean to be Jewish?



Year 8



People of GodDoes the world need prophets today?



Living in 21st century Britain - What is good/challenging about being a teenage Muslim in Britain today?



The worldwide ChurchDo all Christians believe the same thing?



CreationWhat lessons can we learn from Hinduism about our environment?



Gospel - What is so radical about Jesus?



Express yourself -Religious Expression through Art and Music


Christianity, Islam & Judaism

Year 9



Fact or fiction - Do we need to prove God’s existence?


Various – Inc. Humanism & Buddhism

Morality - Does religion help people to be good?



Happiness - Should happiness be the purpose of life?



The fallWhy are people good and bad?



Afterlife - Is death the end?  Does it matter?


Humanism & Christianity

WisdomWhat do we do when life gets hard?








As a Church of England Academy, we believe that it is important for all of our learners, regardless of their faith or non-faith, to understand the value of differing faiths and worldviews and to be knowledgeable about and sensitive towards people of faiths (or non-faith) other than their own. For this reason, GCSE Religious Studies (RE) is compulsory for all students. 

At GCSE all students study AQA GCSE Religious Studies A.  Religious Studies allows learners to develop and grow their skills of enquiry and evaluation, and allows us to ask those big questions in the context of our lives and the lives of our worldly neighbours.  Religious Studies enables learners to engage with the beliefs and cultures of others and will develop those skills needed to work well with others.  This is a subject which helps us to make sense of how the world works and helps learners to engage with others in a positive and understanding way.  Students will learn how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture, and develop valuable skills that will help prepare them for further study.

GCSE Religious Studies (RE) is valued and viewed in high regard by colleges, sixth forms and employers as learners are gaining much sought-after skills of enquiry, analysis, critical thinking and debate.  It also demonstrates a certain level of literacy due to the extended writing, argument and justification that is expected.    

The GCSE is comprised of two papers:

Paper 1 = a study of two religions.  Beliefs, teachings and practices in Christianity and Islam.  

Paper 2 = a study of four ethical themes: 

Theme B - Religion and Life

Theme D - Religion, peace and conflict

Theme E - Religion, crime and punishment

Theme F - Religion, Human Rights and Social justice

Each exam (paper) will last 1hr 45mins.  

Further information about the AQA GCSE RS specification can be found here: AQA - RE at a glance 

The 2024 examination dates are as follows:

9th May AM - Paper 1 (Study of religions)

16th May PM - Paper 2 (Thematic studies)


There are a number of GCSE revision materials available, both online and in book format.  Should you wish to purchase a revision guide to assist your revision, we recommend the following.  These are easily available to purchase online

AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Christianity and Islam Revision Guide - AQA GCSE Religious Studies A (Paperback)

OUP AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Christianity and Islam Revision Guide - AQA GCSE Religious Studies A

ISBN:  9780198422839


RACIR41 - GCSE Religious Studies: AQA A Christianity & Islam Revision Guide (with Online Ed)

CGP GCSE Religious Studies: AQA A Christianity & Islam Revision Guide

ISBN: 9781789085709

Our GCSE Journey

Knowledge Organisers

Home Learning

Key Resources and Websites

SENECA learning Useful for GCSE, this site uses quizzes and interactive learning to recall key information and can be used easily on your phone.  Plus, it's free!

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 - 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.

Suggested Reading List




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.

Great for…

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.




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.

Great for…

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.




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.

Great for…

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 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.

Great for…

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.




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.

Great for…

Best suited for KS4 and A-level.
This is for budding philosophers who are interested in philosophical and ethical theories.




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.

Great for…

Best suited for KS4 and beyond.




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.

Great for…

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.




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 . . .

Great for…

KS3 and lower end of KS4.
A coming of age classic novel that will appeal to younger readers.




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.

Great for…

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.

At The Deanery CE Academy we promote a diverse, inclusive and community approach to Religious Education. However, parents are legally able to withdraw children from Religious Education and collective worship.  Whilst this is discouraged, any parents wishing to enforce the right to withdrawal should contact the Head Teacher to discuss any concerns they may have with regards to the school’s Religious Education policy.

Contact Us

Happy to answer any questions


  • Peglars Way, Wichelstowe, Swindon, SN1 7DA

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