Curriculum Specification -
Years 10 & 11 Religious Studies GCSE

(Beliefs, Teachings & Practices/Philosophy & Ethics)
SYLLABUS:  Religious Studies (9-1) AQA A (8062)

As a skill set, with life beyond Brookfield in mind, this course will build up students as great empathisers (an increasingly valuable attribute in today's world and in understanding human behaviour), develop their skills in clear communication and research and strengthen the way they can debate and contextualise different viewpoints. GCSE RS should particularly be given serious consideration for any student keen on pursuing a career in teaching, charity work, community-based care roles, government and policy making, medical professions, management/human resources, or a legal profession.


Component 1:  The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices

Component 2:  Thematic studies

What is assessed:
Beliefs, teachings and practices of two major world religions – we have opted for:


  • Key Beliefs (God, Creation, after life)
  • Jesus Christ, sin and salvation
  • Worship and festivals (Bible, prayer, sacrament, pilgrimage, celebration)
  • Church in the community (local/ worldwide action)


  • Key Beliefs (Allah, Judgement Day, Angels)
  • Authority – Prophets, The Qur’an, Imams
  • Worship – Faith, prayer, Jihad
  • Duties – Fasting, Charity, Pilgrimage, festivals

What is assessed:
Four religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes – we have chosen:

Theme B: Religion and life

  • Origins and value of the universe
  • Origins and value of human life

Theme C: Existence of God and Revelation

  • The arguments for and against the existence of God
  • Personal and General experiences of God

Theme D: Religion, peace and conflict

  • Violence, terrorism and war
  • WMDs, peace and response to war

Theme E: Religion, crime and punishment

  • Crime and the cause of crime
  • Aims and types of punishment

How it is assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 96 marks (plus 5 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG))
  • 50% of GCSE

How it is assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 96 marks (plus 5 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG))
  • 50% of GCSE


  • Each religion has a common structure of two five-part questions of 1, 2, 4, 5 and 12 marks.
  • Each religion is marked out of 48.


  • Each theme has a common structure of one five-part question of 1, 2, 4, 5 and 12 marks.
  • Each theme is marked out of 24.

AQA’s new GCSE (9–1) in Religious Studies specification will encourage learners to:

  • Develop the ability to construct well argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject
  • Engage with questions of belief, value, meaning, purpose, truth, and their influence on human life
  • Reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they have learnt and contribute to their preparation for adult life in a pluralistic society and global community
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of religions and non-religious beliefs
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, teachings and sources of wisdom and authority, including through their reading of key religious texts, other texts, and scriptures of Christianity and Islam
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Islam and Christianity
  • Understand the influence of religion on individuals, communities and societies
  • Understand significant common and divergent views within religions and beliefs

As this examination has no coursework the students will be continually assessed throughout the course. The final grade will be determined by a series of external examinations as detailed earlier. 

In each of these papers students will answer a selection of questions on each of the topics to assess their knowledge, understanding and evaluation skills. These questions will always follow a set structure, the skills and techniques are well rehearsed in lessons prior to this.


There are no additional curriculum costs – traditionally the Philosophy and Ethics Department have provided revision resources/books for free, and many of the resources are also available on Edulink or YouTube.

The Department is always looking at opportunities to provide enrichment to its GCSE groups and have previously conducted trips to Southampton University and Film Trips in association with GCSE Citizenship. Costs are kept to a minimum, and price varies on numbers involved, but will typically be between £10 - £25.

Enquiries to:

Mrs C. Wartnaby – Learning Leader: Religious Studies