The King's (The Cathedral) School


Religious Studies is a subject where we debate the fundamental questions of life - does life have meaning? Why are we here? Is there a God? Is there life after death? Religion is all around us in today’s world and students at King's study a variety of religions as well as various Philosophy and Ethics topics to help them consider the world around them and consider whether there is a spiritual element to life.

"Knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do"

Potter Stewart

All students study RS until the end of Year 11 and students may then opt to take the A-Level RS Philosophy and Ethics course.

Students at King's study for the OCR GCSE full course and will study philosophy and ethics topics based on a study of Christianity. Students will also consider alternative religious and non-religious viewpoints to the issues studied.


In Years 7 and 8 students are taught five of the six major world religions and will develop the skills necessary at GCSE.

Year 7

  • Introduction to Religious Studies at King's - This topic considers questions such as why we study RS, what we study in RS, and various religious symbols
  • Judaism
  • The Christian Way
  • Hinduism and Creation – includes a project on Creation and the Environment

Year 8

  • Buddhism
  • Who is Jesus and did Jesus save the world?
  • The Church

Regular Trips

Year 7 – Trips to Coventry and Ely Cathedral to aid our understanding of different key Christian beliefs

Year 8 - Trip to Catholic and Baptist churches to aid our study of different denominations in Christianity

Various other events have also been held in the past to help students learning, such as the Anne Frank exhibition, the Bible Exhibition and the GSUS project.

Year 9 into KS4

All students at King's study for the OCR GCSE full course. We teach the GCSE course over three years, starting from the beginning of Year 9.

Our studies are split into three sections:

Christianity – Beliefs, Teachings and Practices (25%)

Students will study Christian beliefs about: the nature of God; the concept of God as a Trinity of persons; Biblical accounts of Creation; the problem of evil and suffering and a loving and righteous God; Jesus Christ; the Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension; the concept of salvation; as well as eschatological beliefs and teachings.

Students will explore Christian practices, including: worship; the sacraments; the role and importance of pilgrimage and celebrations to Christians; the role of the church in the local community and living practices; mission; and the role of the church in the wider world.

Islam – Beliefs, Teachings and Practices (25%)

Students will explore Muslim beliefs about: the core beliefs in Islam; the nature of Allah; prophethood (Risalah); books (Kutub); angels (Malaikah); eschatological beliefs and teachings; as well as life after death (Akhirah).

Students will learn about Islamic practices, including: the importance of practices; public acts of worship; private acts of worship; Hajj; Zakat/Zakah; Sawm; festivals/special days; and the concepts of Greater and Lesser Jihad.

Religion, Philosophy and Ethics in the Modern World from a Christian Perspective (50%) – Students will consider different Christian responses to: relationships and families; men and women; the existence of God (the question of God, the nature of reality, and experiencing God); violence and conflict; peace and peace making; forgiveness and reconciliation; challenges for religion; dialogue within and between religious groups; and dialogue between religious and non-religious groups.

Year 9

  • Christianity Beliefs, Teachings & Practices
  • Islam Beliefs, Teachings & Practices
  • Visit to a Mosque to aid their study of Islam

Year 10

  • Relationships & Families
  • Dialogue
  • Peace & Conflict

Year 11

  • Existence of God
  • Course Revision


Students may opt to take the two year course of Religious Studies A-Level, where they will study for the OCR A-Level.

Students can expect to be taught in smaller groups and using a wide variety of teaching styles and resources. Topics covered over the two years include:

Philosophy of Religion:

  • Philosophical language and thought: including the ideas of Plato and Aristotle, as well as the Soul, Mind and Body problem.
  • The Existence of God: the Cosmological, Teleological and Ontological arguments, and their criticisms.
  • God and the World: Debates surrounding religious experience and the problem of evil.
  • Theological and Philosophical Developments: regarding the nature and attributes of God.
  • Religious Language: consideration of different ways of using language to discuss God and the problems of this.

Religion and Ethics:

  • Normative Ethical Theories: Natural Moral Law, Situation Ethics, Kantian Ethics and Utilitarianism.
  • Applied Ethics: to the issues of euthanasia and business ethics.
  • Ethical Language: meta-ethical theories.
  • Significant Ideas: Aquinas’ theological approach to ethics and Freud’s psychological approach to the development of ethics.
  • Developments in Ethical Thought: regarding sexual ethics.

Developments in Christian Thought:

  • Insight: Augustine’s teaching on human nature, as well as theological perspectives on death and the afterlife.
  • Foundations: Knowledge of God’s existence and the person of Jesus Christ.
  • Living: Christian moral principles and Christian moral action (studies through the example of Dietrich Bonhoeffer).
  • Development: Religious pluralism - its impact on theology and society.
  • Society: the influence of gender on society and theology.
  • Challenges: the challenge of secularism; liberation theology (including the impact of Marxism on liberation theology).

Year 12

  • Philosophy: Philosophical Language and Thought, The Existence of God, God and the World
  • Ethics: Normative Ethical Theories - Religious Approaches, Normative Ethical Theories - Applied Ethics
  • Developments in Christian Thought: Insight (Augustine, The Afterlife), Foundations (Knowledge of God and Jesus), Living (Christian Morality)

Year 13

  • Philosophy: The Nature of God, Religious Language
  • Ethics: Meta-Ethics, Conscience, Sexual Ethics
  • Developments in Christian Thought: Pluralism, Theology and Society - Gender, Theology and Society - Secularism, Liberation Theology and Marx

Students have access to a wide range of resources including books and journals both in classrooms and the Library. In the past, students have attended the Annual Religious Studies Sixth Form Conference in Cambridge. Also, we regularly have a guest lecturer visit during the year.

Department Staff

Mrs Amy Jones (ACJ): Head of Religious Studies Department
Mr Julian Holland (JSH): Acting Head of Religious Studies
Mr Edward Bainton (ETB): Teacher of Religious Studies
Miss Ikra Kouser (IK): Teacher of Religious Studies