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Religious Education

Vision Statement:

Religious Education gives us a knowledge of the world around us and changes it into something more accessible. Our vision is to enable students to develop enquiring minds and a love of learning. Religious Education develops in us a perspective of looking at life and an empathy for others. It helps us build opinions and have points of view on things in life so that we can become an integral part of a multi faith and multi-cultural society.

Staffing and Role:

Mrs Brooker Head of RE
Ms Swan Teacher of RE

Curriculum in detail - KS3

All students in years 7 and 8 have one lesson of Religious Education a week and will study a unit of work every half term, covering a variety of themes, concepts and traditions/cultures of religion as shown below:

  Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Year 7

Introductory Unit

  • Religion
  • Sacred
  • Symbol

What does it mean to live a life as a Christian?

  • Agape
  • God
  • Church

Can mediation help people overcome suffering?

  • Suffering (Dukkah)
  • Community (Sangha)
  • Enlightenment
Year 8

Inspirational People

  • Community
  • Justice
  • Hope

Christianity II

  • Forgiveness
  • Reconciliation
  • Atonement

What does it mean to be a Muslim in the UK today?

  • Peace (Islam)
  • Community (Umma)
  • Struggle (Jihad) 

Students following Living Difference III, the agreed RE syllabus

Living Difference III is the Agreed Syllabus for religious education (RE) in Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. It builds on an approach to religious education, enriched by philosophical and theological enquiry, as well as current research, used in Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton since 2004. Living Difference III is evidence of the ongoing, fruitful partnership between Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton, and now the Isle of Wight, in relation to religious education.

The approach to Religious Education emphasises a process of enquiry into concepts. Students have the opportunity to respond from their own experience before being introduced to the way others appreciate things. Religious Education offers students the opportunity to live in someone else’s shoes, develop evaluation and reasoning skills and to make a judgement about why something is important for someone else as well as to discern what may be important for themselves. Living Difference III identifies three groups of concepts:

  • concepts common to all people
  • concepts shared by many religions
  • concepts distinctive to particular religions.

Curriculum in detail - GCSE

Students can opt to study GCSE Religious Education (AQA exam board) from Year 9 which is timetabled as 5 lessons per fortnight. There are two areas to learn about in preparation for the GCSE examination. Thematic Studies which covers: Crime and Punishment, Peace and Conflict, Religion and Life and Relationships and Families and Components which covers: Christian and Islam Beliefs, Teachings and Practices.

Core RE

Alongside the subject’s contribution to pupils’ mental, cognitive and linguistic development, RE offers distinctive opportunities to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. RE lessons at Testbourne offer a structured and safe space during curriculum time for reflection, discussion, dialogue and debate. Lessons also allow for timely and sensitive responses to be made to unforeseen events of a religious, moral or philosophical nature, whether local, national or global.

Our curriculum for Year 10 CORE RE is as follows

Term 1:

  • Concept of evil and suffering including moral and natural evil.
  • How the world was created and how and why suffering exists.

Term 2:

  • Genetic engineering, cloning and Stem Cell research including moral and ethical reasoning as well as religious perspectives towards these concepts.

Term 3:

  • Festivals and miracles whereby a wide variety of festivals will be explored and the rationale and philosophy behind each is explored and discussed. In addition, we explore what constitutes a miracle and how thy may or may not explain phenomenon in the world.


GCSE specifications

Exam board: AQA

  • Specification A 8062A (Non textual studies)
  • Thematic Studies
  • Theme A: Relationships and families
  • Theme B: Religion and Life
  • Theme D: Religion, peace and conflict
  • Theme E: Religion, crime and punishment
  • Components: The studies of religions
  • Christianity – Beliefs and Teachings
  • Christianity – Practices
  • Islam – Beliefs and Teachings
  • Islam - Practices

Specimen papers and mark schemes for Religious Studies Components Islam and Christianity are available for download from the AQA website

Resources to support my child

AQA revision guides, workbooks, and flash cards: ensure that you purchase materials for the correct components we explore (Christianity and Islam) . Opportunities to buy revision guides through the school are available to students and their parents early in year 10.

BBC Bitesize: ensure that students use content aimed at the correct level for their year and key stage.

School GCSE Pod: As a department, we utilise this site and set assignments for our students to enhance their subject knowledge

AQA website: This offers students an opportunity to look at question structure and mark schemes so regular practise of knowledge application  and skills can be enhanced outside of the classroom too

TCS SharePoint – Students (Student Portal) – The RE department will source materials to support the learning of themes and components to help consolidate learning. Downloadable content and other revision media are available here. Within these areas Students will find some useful resources particularly for GCSE revision, details of which will be communicated to parents and students at the appropriate time prior to the summer examinations. Students will need to use their school ICT username and password to access TCS SharePoint and Teams. 

How can I support my child at home?

Wider learning: watching the News, The One Show, The Big Question and Country File will help develop a more informed response to issues we explore and help develop reasoning skills.

Debating skills are a very good tool in RE so discussing issues at home will help develop those skills and help inform learning

  • Encourage your child to read around the subject - looking at Religious articles in the news or reading interesting books around specific areas we explore, such as Anne Frank’s diary.
  • Promote the extra curricula activities we have on offer within the RE Department such as Amnesty International, Debating and Film club - these are a great way for students to develop key skills in a different context.
  • Ensure your child is using their revision guide to prepare for unit tests and exams.
  • Check they are doing their homework, ask to see it.
  • Test their key words and meanings, and ensure they have memorised them correctly for each unit.
  • Encourage the weekly production of mind maps or revision cards, and completion of practice exam questions.
  • Students should make use of mark schemes to check any practice papers or exam questions they have completed so that they can identify where they have gained and lost marks - a great deal can be gained from unpicking questions and understanding what marks are awarded for.

Extra-curricular activities

We offer two debating clubs one for KS3 and one for KS4

Amnesty International club

KS3 and KS4 film clubs where we watch films that support the topics we cover in the syllabus

Further information

For more details, please contact Mrs Brooker, Head of Religious Education, at: