Departments & Subjects

Our mission is to work with parents and the local community to provide a broad curriculum and a creative approach to learning. Our intent is to enable all students to fulfil their unique potential and make the world a better place through their informed choices and actions.

Our curriculum meets the requirements of national guidelines and explicitly intends to support students to become :


Religious Studies

Mrs Reece

We welcome all students to lessons in Religious Studies. With religion and religious issues frequently topping the news agenda, Religious Studies has never been more relevant, engaging and challenging.

At The Arnewood School students in Religious Studies gain valuable insight into the diverse beliefs, ethics and opinions of Britain today. It helps with personal development, supporting and engagement with the spiritual, moral and social questions that arise in their lives and the communities they live. Religious Studies also provides students with insight that can work to challenge stereotypes, promote cohesion and tackle extremism.

Religious Studies is taught to all students at key stage 3 and 4. Some students will opt for the full course GCSE at key stage 4. We also offer an A Level course for further study. Workshops, trips and an active interactive engagement in lessons is important to us and we encourage students to be part of all of these.

Religious Studies KS3
  • To enable students to develop the skills, insights, and understanding needed to understand a diverse society.
  • To give students the tools needed to understand and relate to people whose beliefs, values and viewpoints may be different from their own.
  • To encourage pupils to explore how human beings make sense of their existence and the world around them, whilst also giving them opportunity to explore the meaning, purpose, and value of their lives.
  • To promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and to prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of the present and the future.

Our approach is in accordance with the Hampshire Agreed Syllabus ‘Living Difference’ and we aim to engender a spirit of enquiry and interest in our pupils rather than fostering any particular religious standpoint.

Year 7
Year 8
  • Autumn Term – Students study the foundation of religion through an experiential unit on ‘The Island’. Following this, students study the concept of the ‘sacred’ with an independent enquiry of their own on this concept. Students complete the introductory unit with a study on ‘belief’.
  • Autumn Term – Students study a cycle of learning on what it means to be human with an investigation into the concept of the soul.
  • Spring Term – Students study key concepts in Buddhism in a cycle of learning: Impermanence and Sangha. This concludes with a focus on the story of Aung San Suu Kyi as an example of Buddhist practise in a contemporary setting
  • Spring Term – Students complete a study on what it means to be a Muslim looking at concepts such as: Identity, Tahweed, Jihad, and Ummah.
  • Summer Term – Students study key concepts in Judaism in a cycle of learning: covenant, Israel, remembrance and mitzvah.
  • Summer Term – Students focus on the key concepts of Christianity: Incarnation, Resurrection, Agape, and Forgiveness. Following this, students complete an independent enquiry on a chosen person e.g Martin Luther King or Corrie Ten Boom.


Key assessment details

Religious Studies is an academic subject and a high standard of work is expected from pupils. Homework is set regularly and pupils’ progress is closely monitored through class work, assessments, and records of achievement. There are six assessments in the year with a different focus of skill in each one.


Religious Studies KS4
  • To develop a passion and interest in religion, philosophy and ethics
  • To develop student knowledge and understanding of religions and non-religious beliefs, such as atheism and humanism
  • To provide opportunities for students to engage with questions of belief, value, meaning, purpose, truth, and their influence on human life
  • To challenge students to reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they have learnt
  • To encourage students to deepen their understanding of the relationship between people
  • To develop student’s ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments.

During the three year GCSE course students will engage in three main areas of study:

Component 1
Component 2
Component 3
  • Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World (50% of qualification)
  1. Issues of Relationships
  2. Issues of Life and Death
  3. Issues of Good and Evil
  4. Issues of Human Rights
  • The study of Christianity: Beliefs and Teachings; Practices (25% of qualification)
  • The study of Buddhism: Beliefs and Teachings; Practices (25% of qualification)



In years 9 and 10 students will complete regular assessments of GCSE questions and key concepts. In each year there will be a written examination internally marked. In Year 11 students will sit a formal mock examination in late autumn alongside continued regular assessments. The final GCSE examination will be in May/June of year 11

Final Examination
  • Component 1: 2 hour examination – assessment through a series of compulsory questions focusing on knowledge, understanding and evaluation of the identified themes listed above
  • Component 2: 1 hour examination – assessment through a series of compulsory questions focusing on knowledge, understanding and evaluation of aspects of Christianity
  • Component 3: 1 hour examination – assessment through a series of compulsory questions focusing on knowledge, understanding and evaluation of aspects of Buddhism