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Year 11 Religious Studies

GCSE Religious Studies


This specification covers the content laid down by the Department for Education (DfE) subject content for GCSE Religious Studies.

Students should consider different beliefs and attitudes to religious and non-religious issues in contemporary British society. They should be aware that the religious traditions of Great Britain are, in the main, Christian, and that religious traditions in Great Britain are diverse. They include Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, as well as other religious and non-religious beliefs such as atheism and humanism. This knowledge may be applied throughout the assessment of the subject content.

Specification at a glance

Exam Board: AQA

Specification Code: 8062






3.1 Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings

and practices

Students study the following:

·         Christianity

·         Judaism




1 hour 45 mins



How it's assessed

•• 96 marks (plus 5 marks for spelling,

punctuation and grammar (SPaG))



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.


Component 2: Thematic studies


What's assessed

Either four religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes or two religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes and two textual studies themes.


Religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes:

·         Relationships and families.

·         Religion, peace and conflict.

·         Religion, crime and punishment.

·         Religion, human rights and social justice.




1 hour 45 mins



How it's assessed

•• 96 marks (plus 5 marks for spelling,

punctuation and grammar (SPaG))



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.

What did my child study in Year 10?

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term

Thematic Unit:  Crime and Punishment


  • Crime and punishment
  • Reasons for crime
  • Attitudes to lawbreakers and different types of crime
  • Three aims of punishment
  • Religious attitudes to suffering and causing suffering to others
  • The treatment of criminals - prison, corporal punishment and community service
  • Religious attitudes to forgiveness
  • Religious attitudes to the death penalty


Thematic Unit: Relationships & families


  • Religious teachings about human sexuality
  • Sexual relationships before and outside marriage
  • Contraception and family planning
  • Religious teachings about marriage
  • Divorce and remarriage
  • The nature of families
  • The purpose of families
  • Religious attitudes to gender equality

Study of Religions; Judaism Beliefs & Teachings

  • The nature of God: God as One
  • The nature of God: God as creator
  • The nature of God: God as lawgiver and judge; the divine presence
  • Life after death, judgement and resurrection
  • The nature and role of the Messiah
  • The Promised Land and the covenant with Abraham
  • The covenant at Sinai and the Ten Commandments
  • Key moral principles in Judaism
  • Sanctity of life
  • Free will and mitzvoth

Study of Religions; Judaism  Practices


  • The importance of the synagogue
  • Interior features of a synagogue
  • Worship in Orthodox and Reform synagogues
  • Daily services and prayer
  • Shabbat in the synagogue
  • Shabbat in the home
  • Worship in the home; the written and oral law
  • Ceremonies associated with birth
  • Bar and Bat Mitzvah
  • Marriage
  • Mourning for the dead
  • Dietary laws
  • Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
  • Pesach






Christianity Beliefs & Teachings


  • The nature of God          
  • God as omnipotent, loving and just       
  • The Oneness of God and the Trinity

What will my child study during Year 11?

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term

Christianity Beliefs & Teachings continued

  • Different Christian beliefs about Creation
  • The incarnation and Jesus, the Son of God
  • The crucifixion
  • The resurrection and ascension             
  • Resurrection and life after death   
  • The afterlife and judgement
  • Heaven and hell               
  • Sin and salvation
  • The role of Christ in salvation


Christianity Practices

  • Worship
  • Prayer  
  • The sacraments
  • Celebrating Holy Communion
  • Pilgrimage
  • Celebrating festivals
  • The role of the Church in the local community
  • The place of mission and evangelism
  • Church growth 
  • The importance of the worldwide Church
  • Christian persecution
  • The Church’s response to world poverty


Revision of Judaism Beliefs & Teachings and Practices (See Year 10)



Thematic Unit: Peace and Conflict

  • Introduction to religion, peach and conflict           
  • Violent protest and terrorism Reasons for war
  • Nuclear war and weapons of mass destruction            
  • The just war      
  • Holy war and religion as a cause of violence
  • Pacifism and peacemaking               
  • Religious responses to victims of war


Thematic Unit: Religion and Life

  • The origins of the universe
  • The value of the world  
  • The use and abuse of the environment, and pollution
  • The use and abuse of animals
  • The origins of human life
  • Abortion
  • Euthanasia         
  • Death and the afterlife









How will my child be assessed and how will I know how well they are doing in Religious Studies in Year 11?

The Religious Studies course during Year 10 and 11 is a unit based course (see above for list of units). At the end of each unit in Year 11 students will complete an End of Unit Assessment in class lasting approximately 25 minutes and worth 24 marks made up of previous GCSE questions. The test will be notified via Satchel with some revision materials published to support preparation. Students will be given a percentage score with the GCSE grade (according to current grade boundaries) to show the standard of their work. Students will sit a formal Mock exam in the Sports Hall during which they will complete Paper 1 Study of Religions: Christianity and Judaism units.  The extra revision and assessment of both Judaism units is to compensate for prior learning that took place during school closures. This will be marked to exam board standards and a grade awarded. The marks/grades gained throughout the year will be used to provide a predicted grade.

What homework will my child be expected to do in Year 10 in Religious Studies?

Students will be set weekly homework that they will be expected to spend around 1 hour completing. The homeworks will be a variety of tasks that will primarily be:

  • Completion of classwork with further research and note-making
  • Completion of past GCSE questions with a focus on timing in preparation for GCSE.
  • Revision for tests
  • Online revision/quizzes using sites such as SAMLearning/GCSEPod/Seneca Learning
  • Video learning
  • Online research
  • Learning of key terminology

How can I support my child to do well in Religious Studies during Year 10?

  • Ensure they complete their homework properly
  • Support them by ensuring they have somewhere suitable to work, away from distractions but with online access to the textbook etc.
  • Buy a revision guide (order forms available to download via this website)
  • Support them to revise and prepare properly for each test
  • Encourage them to keep up to date with current affairs, is an appropriate daily online newspaper for secondary school age students.

My child is struggling during the course, what additional help is available to help them keep up?

  • Students should be encouraged to seek assistance from their teacher when they are struggling with any concept.
  • Students can access the digital textbooks to help with revision.
  • After school revision sessions will be available.
  • Revision books can be purchased to assist with understanding.

What work did students complete during the school closures that they may not fully understand?

  • Study of Religions: Judaism Beliefs and Teachings.
  • Study of Religions: Judaism Practices

How will we support those students who were unable to work properly during the school closures and have gaps in their knowledge/understanding?

  • After school revision sessions will be available.
  • Additional focus on these units in lesson and through assessment in the Autumn Term.

What changes have been made to the exams to take into account the disruption due to the pandemic?

This section will be completed once the decisions have been made by the exam board