Religious Education

Beliefs & Culture


Intention Summary: ‘To explore what it means to exist as a human being in today’s world’

  1. To allow students to consider the ‘big questions’, ethical philosophical and spiritual, for themselves and so develop their own sense of purpose, meaning and place in the world. To allow them space to respond as unique individuals to the plurality within the classroom and society in relation to these questions
  2. To develop acceptance of difference and diversity and an awareness of the form our society takes and so leave as effective participants in a plural democracy
  3. To leave Park with a qualification in R.E demonstrating secure knowledge and understanding of the issues and worldviews studied

RE “…entails teachers bringing children and young people first to attend to their own experience and that of others, to engage intellectually with material that is new and to discern with others what is valuable with regard to living a religious life or one informed by a non-religious or other perspective...” (Living Difference III, The Agreed Syllabus for Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight 2016)

At Park Community School, we aim to help students to develop a curiosity regarding the world around them, to attend to issues important in exploring what it means to exist as a human being in the world today. R.E offers students the opportunity to explore questions of meaning for them as individuals, and to develop a greater sense of personal identity and purpose, a greater sense of their place in the world and what that world should be like.

Park Community School encourages students to value themselves and others, respecting different religions, cultures and attitudes. RE is not about promotion of a particular view but about challenging assumptions and exploration of life’s questions in relation to, and in collaboration with, others.

“Religious education in Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight intends to play an educative part in the lives of children and young people as they come to speak, think and act in the world.”

(Living Difference III, The Agreed Syllabus for Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight 2016)

Students are encouraged to reflect on a range of individual, school, local, national and world issues in order to develop a vision for their future and the future of others. It is our hope that our students recognise the importance of their own creativity in improving the quality of life not only for themselves but also for future generations.

Additionally, RE allows the development of rigorous, critical and analytical thinking and argumentation in the evaluation of particular concepts and ways of experiencing the world. Therefore, we aim to foster students’ ability to reason, to avoid making assumptions or taking information at face value.

The school provides Religious Education for all students in accordance with the agreed Hampshire syllabus called ‘Living Difference III’. This gives students the opportunity to explore a range of religious traditions, cultures and worldviews alongside developing their own in response to these. While a variety of perspectives will be investigated including secular traditions such as Humanism, the curriculum is mainly Christian based. This is to reflect the national and local character of religious belief, and to acknowledge the role that this religious tradition has had in underpinning the development of British values, laws and attitudes.

The way in which such worldviews are explored acknowledges that such questions can be answered in a number of qualitatively different ways. These include subscription to a set of propositional beliefs, to follow certain practices and traditions, and to have a particular way of existing or being in the world.

Additional Aims:

  • Developing a broader cultural capital
  • The promotion of SMSC
  • The promotion of British values in line with government requirements
  • Developing resilience to radicalisation and extremism in accordance with the ‘Prevent Duty’ 2015


KS3 aims to offer an introduction to a selection of faith traditions and worldviews. This is achieved through the study of Judaism, Islam Christianity and Humanism. It also aims to enable students to begin to develop their sense of personal identity and their sense of meaning and purpose in the world. In particular this is a focus for ‘The Island’, ‘Being Human’ and ‘Humanism’ units. Units of work follow the ‘Cycle of Enquiry’ process as set out in Living Difference III.

KS4 follows the AQA (A) specification and all students are entered for the exam. The religions studied are Buddhism and Christianity. The teaching of the GCSE aims to give an in-depth awareness of the beliefs and practices of these two faith traditions alongside an analytical and evaluative exploration of four themes chosen for their importance to students lives and general awareness of the societies and communities we are a part of.

The Cycle of Enquiry

The KS3 curriculum follows a three-year course taught using the ‘Cycle of Enquiry’. Learning is driven by conceptual analysis and so each worldview explored will be taught around a selection of important concepts within this tradition. KS4 follows this pedagogy where appropriate in line with the content required for examination.


Year 7

The Island

Key Concepts: Survival; Community; Rites of Passage; Law; Sacred; Tradition.

This unit aims to introduce students to a selection of concepts important to human beings and to explore their own responses to these. To allow students to begin to explore what is important in society and how we should live.


Key Concepts: Torah; Remembrance; Israel.

An introduction to core Jewish beliefs with an overarching key question of ‘what does it mean to be Jewish?’.


Key Concepts: Islam; Umma; Jihad; Tawheed; Shirk; Islamophobia.

An exploration of key Islamic concepts alongside challenging misconceptions and tackling controversial issues.

Being Human

Key Concepts: Religion; Spirituality; God; Truth; Equality; Care.

This units builds on the themes of ‘The Island’ and continues to explore what matters in life to human beings.

Year 8


Key Concepts: Incarnation; Grace; Reconciliation; Authority.

This unit introduces key Christian beliefs about Jesus and some core differences in interpretation of these beliefs.


Key Concepts: Rationalism and Naturalism; Moral Values; Humanity; Mortality; Secularism.

This unit provides and introduction into core Humanist concepts and so continues to build on ‘The Island’ and ‘Being Human’ in exploring what it means to be a human being.

Year 9

Religion, Peace and Conflict

  • Teachings about peace, justice, forgiveness and reconciliation
  • Violence and violent protest
  • Holy War
  • Terrorism
  • Reasons for war
  • Just War theory
  • Pacifism and peace-making
  • Weapons of mass destruction
  • Responses to victims of war

Buddhism: Beliefs and Teachings

  • The life of the Buddha
  • Dhamma
  • Dependent arising
  • The Three Marks of Existence
  • The Four Noble Truths
  • Human Personality
  • Human Destiny
  • Branches of Buddhism

Christianity: Beliefs and Teachings

  • The nature of God
  • The Problem of evil and suffering
  • The Trinity
  • Creation
  • Afterlife
  • Incarnation
  • Crucifixion, resurrection and Ascension
  • Salvation and Atonement

Year 10

Religion, Relationships and Families

  • Marriage and Divorce
  • Sexual relationships, cohabitation contraception and family planning
  • Same-sex relationships
  • Role and nature of families
  • Same-sex parents and polygamy
  • Gender equality

Religious Practices: Buddhism

  • Places of worship
  • Types of worship
  • Meditation
  • Death and mourning rituals
  • Festivals
  • Metta and karuna
  • The Five Precepts and the Six Perfections

Religious Practices: Christianity

  • Forms of worship
  • Prayer
  • Sacraments
  • Pilgrimage
  • Festivals
  • The Church in the local community
  • Mission, evangelism and church growth
  • The role of the worldwide church in working for reconciliation and dealing with persecution

Religion, Crime and Punishment

  • Good and evil intentions
  • Reasons for crime
  • Types of crime
  • Aims of punishment
  • Treatment of criminals
  • Attitudes to forgiveness
  • The Death penalty

Year 11

Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice

  • Prejudice and discrimination in religion and belief
  • Sexism and homophobia
  • Human rights and responsibilities
  • Social Justice
  • Racial prejudice and discrimination
  • Attitudes to wealth and poverty
  • Charity


Students leave us with a broader cultural capital, a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world around them and the ability to question others and develop their own informed points of view. They leave us having more deeply explored their own personal sense of meaning, purpose and place within society and the wider world. They leave as more critical, creative and reflective thinkers, able to articulate their vision for the society in which they live. Students will leave with a GCSE demonstrating their achievement and progress in this, and more prepared for life in modern Britain.