Religious Studies


Religious Studies has changed significantly over the last twenty years. Not so long ago it was about understanding Christianity from a Catholic or Protestant point of view.
Today it attempts to teach about religion (with or without the idea of God) and other beliefs (like atheism) and how these impact on life as a whole. With globalisation and migration and with the world experiencing a variety of conflicts based on tribal and cultural misunderstandings and hatred, it is increasingly important that young people have a more enlightened view of others.

The RS team’s aim is

-          to enthuse students to consider perspectives other than their own
-          to develop students’ ability to express their views and that of others
-          to develop the ability to explain and discuss 

Facilities / Resources

RS is one of three subjects taught within the Humanities Faculty. The faculty has five large classrooms, each classroom has an interactive smart board; the RS department also has a large range of religious artefacts used to further enthuse students and bring RS to life. 

Key Stage 3

In Year 7 you will study four units:

-          Life after Death
-          Christianity
-          Celebrations
-          Planet Earth

In Year 8 you will study four Units:

-          Human Rights and Inspirational People
-          War and Religion
-          Suffering
-          Islam

Key Stage 4

You will study Religious Studies & Citizenship once a week for one hour. 

In Year 9 you will study six Units:

-          Believing in God
-          Problems of Evil
-          Ethics and Conflict
-          Philosophy, Religion & Popular Culture
-          Behaviour, attitudes and lifestyles
-          Decisions on Life 

All units will be focusing on students’ ability to think about questions of meaning, in order to consider perspectives other than their own and to develop empathy, values and critical thinking.

Most lessons are linked to Citizenship, PSHE, Geography and History. It also gives opportunities to develop English skills by learning to explain and discuss. 

In Year 10/11 you will study six units:

-          Religion and Relationships
-          Religion, Sport and Leisure
-          Religion and Work
-          Religion and a multicultural society
-          Religion and Identity
-          Religion and Human Rights
-          Religion and Medical Ethics
-          Religion and Animals
-          Religion and War

The course gets you to think about key modern day issues. Some of them will have directly affected you, or you will have direct experience of them. Some you will know through other people’s experience. Some you may only know through the media. Keep in mind that you already have  knowledge about these issues. The course is directly linked to Citizenship and has other links with Geography, History, PSHE and English


Links to Enrichment There are many videos on Religion and Sport, religion and multiculturalism, religion and human rights.


Citizenship (linked to RS)


What is Citizenship?
Citizenship helps young people to participate in public life. We hope to make our students responsible citizens who are confident in their ability to make a positive contribution to society.

At The Vale Academy Citizenship, is present throughout the whole academy curriculum, taught as part of curriculum subject lessons e.g. RS, Geography, History and Maths; and in the ethos and culture of The Academy and ‘The Vale Way’. Students are encouraged to participate fully and become active citizens – via for example the student council where students can become involved in the decision-making processes of The Academy, or as a peer mentor. Citizenship has close links to the Every Child Matters agenda and to the Duty to Promote Community Cohesion. Citizenship education:

  • explores a series of deep and meaningful concepts and processes around justice, democracy, rights and responsibilities
  • builds upon young people's knowledge, skills and conviction to have an effective role in public and political life
  • helps young people take action to change their communities for the better

Key Stage 3

 In KS3 citizenship is taught through a variety of curriculum subject areas, covering topics such as:

  • Democracy and Justice
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Working as a cohesive community
  • Money management

Outside speakers are also brought in to cover areas such as The magistrates, Police, and how parliament is operated. 

Key Stage 4

In KS4, RS and Citizenship are combined to deliver much of the national curriculum citizenship requirements, with some elements being taught discreetly by other curriculum areas.
Y11 have the opportunity to take part in the National Citizenship Scheme and to work with students from other local schools on community projects. 

Whole Academy Enrichment days are also put aside to further embed a deeper understanding of topics covered during lessons, tutor and assemblies.