The King's (The Cathedral) School




The school’s vision is of an inclusive school (and global) community, where 

…just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

The Religious Studies department teaches all six of the major world religions, as these are all represented within our school community. We wish to value all members of our community equally and for them to value and appreciate all of their peers.

Looking wider, we want Religious Studies to give students tools to understand the world they live in, considering not only how our present has been shaped by responses to the sublime in the past, but also what it means to be human today. We want them to be aware of the world beyond the milieu in which they live, and to understand how the influence of religion on human affairs is clearer and more direct in the great majority of contemporary societies, our own secular society being exceptional. We also want them to see how religion and belief affect our lives here in the UK, and how people with and without religious commitments find meaning and fulfilment in a society that has largely lost the metanarratives we once shared. 

We want students to have a broad-minded approach to life’s biggest questions. As well as understanding many different viewpoints, our aim is that they become more comfortable with ambiguity and with questions that can never be fully resolved. We intend for their own ideas to be challenged, and in the process their personal faith (or non-faith) commitments to become clearer to them, better articulated, more considered, and more confidently held.


The first phase (Years 7 and 8) gives students a broad overview of the six major world religions. The second phase (Years 9, 10 and 11) offers an in-depth study of Christianity, Islam, and of philosophical and ethical questions.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 & 8)

Given the very large number of our feeder primary schools, we can make no assumptions about prior learning in Religious Studies. The first term of our curriculum in Year 7 serves as an extended period of assessment and induction into our focus and approach to the subject. We aim to level the playing field between students with different degrees of prior knowledge, as well as to introduce philosophy and ethics, which are new areas of learning for the vast majority.

In keeping with the aim for students to have balanced and informed conversations about religion, we teach all six major world religions, while respecting the expectation that half or more of available teaching time will be dedicated to Christianity.

We combine theological and religious studies approaches, aiming to give a high-level overview of how different religions are practised, alongside the most significant theological/theoretical beliefs underpinning them.

In the case of Christianity, we additionally show students some of the diversity amongst the principal denominations found in the UK, again through the lenses of practice and of belief. We seek to show how differences in practice are the result of differences in theological approach. We do this by comparing Catholic and Baptist doctrine through a discovery of their places of worship.

Throughout the year, we expect to visit three contrasting churches (including the Cathedral) and the largest of the Peterborough mosques. This sets students up well for the GCSE years.

Christianity is ‘interleaved’ with the other religions, ensuring that learning about this core religion is refreshed often. We study Judaism early in Year 7 given the influence the history and world-view of the Jewish people had on the formation of early Christianity.

GCSE (Years 9, 10 & 11)

In keeping with our mission as a Church of England school, Religious Studies is a core subject, and all students take it as a full GCSE. We follow the OCR specification, which has a relatively pronounced focus on discursive writing and evaluation of theological and religious ideas.

All exam boards require the study of two religions. We opt for Christianity and Islam, being the religions with the largest followings in the school. Study of beliefs and practices of these religions constitutes one of the two papers at GCSE.

The second paper provides an introduction to Philosophy and Ethics, through a study of Christianity. Thus, Christianity is at least 50% of the course, being 25% in its own right, and a major part of the Philosophy & Ethics paper.

Paper 1

Paper 2



Christianity and its interaction with







We have three considerations for sequencing material:

  1. How familiar is the material to the average student before they reach us?
  2. How can we interleave material to ensure that it is refreshed often?
  3. How abstract is the material, versus material that is more concrete?

All else equal, younger minds are better suited to concrete facts and older students to more abstract thinking. We begin with Christian belief, as this is by now thoroughly familiar to students. 

We move on to the practice of Islam, as this is both relatively familiar (through media, etc) and also concrete. We then revert to Christianity for the details of Christian practice. 

We study the beliefs of Islam last in the Paper 1 sequence, which includes (in the OCR specification) some highly abstract questions of philosophical theology.

This lays the ground well for the bulk of the philosophy and ethics, in the second paper, which we leave until the middle of Year 10 when students are best able to think in abstract terms. This paper offers continuous opportunities to review and rehearse key Christian ideas.

Key Stage 5

A-Level Religious Studies

Subject to timetable blocking, all students have the opportunity to follow a two-year A-Level in Religious Studies. We adopt the OCR course here, too. Again, this is because of the emphasis placed on extended discursive writing: we believe this gives the best opportunity for students to develop their own ideas and to become confident in justifying these. 

Students follow:

  1. Developments in Christian Thought
  2. Philosophy
  3. Ethics

With minor amendments for specialist expertise in particular topics, each paper is the responsibility of a different teacher. Provided they follow the three principles outlined in the GCSE section, each teacher is free to determine the most effective sequence for these topics. 

Statutory RE

In the ‘Research Studies’ sessions allocated to the department we take advantage of students’ developing political sense to examine the relationship between religion and politics in the UK and other societies. We feel this is particularly relevant in an Anglican school, and the ‘King’s’ school at that.

Students also examine a topical moral issue chosen by the teacher responsible for the group.


GCSE Religious Studies

Average Points Score









 A-Level Religious Studies

Average Points

A level A*-B %

A-Level Number



80% of candidates







Directly-related Destinations 2022
(12% of students)

Related Destinations 2022
(further 12% of students)

Theology, Philosophy & Ethics (Durham)

Classics & Philosophy (Birmingham)


Art History


Religious Studies at King’s is taught in fulfilment of aims and objectives of the Church of England for religious education in schools. Our overall intent is to fulfil the mission entrusted to us in a way that is credible, academically rigorous, and attentive to the needs and backgrounds of the students we teach. 

This ‘Context’ section gives the architecture of accountability that underpins our curriculum.

Church of England Education Office - Statement of Entitlement 

Religious Education in a Church School should enable every child to flourish and to live life in all its fullness (John 10:10). It will help educate for dignity and respect, encouraging all to live together. Such an approach is offered through a commitment to generous hospitality, being true to our underpinning faith, but with a deep respect for the integrity of other religious traditions (and world-views) and for the religious freedom of each person.

Diocese of Peterborough Board of Education - Vision Statement

To provide all the children and young people with an excellent education in every area of the curriculum and in every aspect of their personal development, so that they are able to lead a fulfilling life and are equipped to make the world a better place. We want pupils to leave school with a rich experience and understanding of Christianity and other world faiths, aiming to make sure our pupils appreciate the biblical basis and Christian beliefs that underpin Christian values.

Aims and Purposes

In line with the Church of England Statement of Entitlement, the aim of RS at King’s is "to enable students to have balanced and informed conversations about religion and belief".

This principal aim incorporates the following aims of Religious Education in Church Schools as taken from the "Church of England Statement of Entitlement 2019". For pupils to:

  • 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;
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and world-views, appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and world-views being studied;
  • Engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience;
  • Recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places;
  • Explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways of living, believing and thinking.

Appropriate to their age at the end of their education in Church schools, the expectation is that all pupils are religiously literate and, as a minimum, pupils are able to:

  • Give a theologically informed and thoughtful account of Christianity as a living and diverse faith;
  • Show an informed and respectful attitude to religions and non-religious world-views in their search for God and meaning;
  • Engage in meaningful and informed dialogue with those of other faiths and none;
  • Reflect critically and responsibly on their own spiritual, philosophical and ethical convictions.

Department Staff

Mr Edward Bainton (ETB): Head of Religious Studies Department
Mrs Amy Jones (ACJ): Teacher of Religious Studies
Miss Ikra Kouser (IK): Teacher of Religious Studies
Miss Maria Bajkowski (MCB): Teacher of Religious Studies