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Religious Studies

Learning Journey & Sequencing Rationale

As Religious Studies Teachers at Harrow High, we want our learners to be critical thinkers who are able to formulate their views taking into consideration different views and beliefs. We want learners to develop an enquiring mind where they will analyse different interpretations of beliefs. Through the lessons teachers want to encourage and develop the key attitudes including; curiosity and wonder, commitment, fairness , respect, self –understanding, open- mindedness, critical mindedness and enquiry. We want our learners to be effective communicators, we believe developing the skills mentioned will benefit learners during their journey at school but also within their future lives.   

Religious Studies is taught over three years. There are four themes and two religions covered over the three years. In Year 9, learners cover Religion, Crime and Punishment, Islam Beliefs and Practices and Religion and Life. In year 10 learners cover Christianity Beliefs and Practices and Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice and then finally in year 11 learners cover Religion and Relationships and Families. The remaining two terms are spent revising the content delivered over the three years.

Rationale for Sequencing

Year 9

Year 9 begins with a study of Religion and Crime and Punishment, representing the key concepts in how religion will be applied to different aspects of crime and punishment. This initial unit is a well-designed introduction which also links to Citizenship which learners will have covered as part of Personal Development in year 8.

 We then move on to Islam Beliefs and Practices this in comparison to Christianity learners appear to gasp better. As such this is taught before Christianity to enable learners to develop understanding on how to answer 4 mark, 5 mark and 12 mark questions applying knowledge.  With a sound base of understanding the requirements of 2, 4, 5- and 12-mark questions, it becomes desirable to challenge learners by next moving onto Religion and Life, this will give learners an opportunity to apply knowledge.

Year 10 and 11

Learners will move onto Christianity at the start of year 10, by this time learners have gained good understanding in how to answer questions and how to apply previous and new knowledge as well as justifying their own opinion using religious teachings. This also gives learners an opportunity to find similarities between Islam and Christianity.

Much of the teachings they learn as part of Islam in year 9 and Christianity in year 10 can be applied the final two units; Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice and Religion, Families and Relationships.

For example, within Christianity they learn key Christian concepts such as ‘Love thy neighbour’ this can then be applied to areas taught in both the last two units covered at the end of year 10 and start of year 11.

After the first term learners a revision package is then delivered, enabling learners to recap all the topics and for any new learners to catch up what they may have missed out on.  



unit overview - religion and relationships

Subject: Religion and Relationships


  • Analyse religious text
  • Developing skills to examine various interpretations religion and what they mean.
  • Organisation of work via learning essay writing skills.
  • Developing communication skills via reading answers.
  • Developing a range quotes that could be used from knowledge organisers.
  • Developing exam skills to answer the exam questions.
  • Comparative skills when looking at different religions.


Throughout this topic learners will: 

Analyse the impact of sexuality

Examine different views regarding contraception and sex outside/ before marriage.

Explain religious views regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage.

Examine the religious views regarding gender equality.

Examine the purpose of a family and role of different family members.


This is a theme within the GCSE specification. This theme was chosen as it covers aspects of Sex and Relationships Education. Throughout this theme learners are encouraged to think about risks, this includes the risks associated with different forms of contraception.

Learners are given opportunities to discuss and formulate different arguments regarding different sexualities as well as their views regarding marriage and divorce.

As part of the theme, learners look at gender equality and why equality is important. We feel this promotes equality and tackles certain examples of stereotypes. Learners are given an opportunity to look at examples of countries where gender inequalities still exist. The theme addresses the difference between cultural beliefs and religious teachings giving learners as opportunity to clarify any confusion.

By the time learners reach year 11 they are aware of human sexuality and many become curious about relationships as such we felt it was a good theme to be taught in year 11.

We believe learners will gain knowledge they need in terms safety and religious teachings. We believe this will encourage learners to stay safe going on into their adult lives.

knowledge organisers

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments, and calculations.

We encourage all pupils to use them by doing the following:

  • Quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • Practise spelling key vocabulary
  • Further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the unit.