Religious Education at Alder Community High School is taught according to the Tameside Agreed Syllabus. Religious Education is not designed to indoctrinate students to a particular religion or belief. It involves learning about different faiths, beliefs and practices and how this might influence a chosen lifestyle. It allows students to learn how to think and talk about their own beliefs and values and analyse and evaluate the responses of other people to important moral issues with a religious dimension.

Our schemes of work and lesson plans seek to ensure that students explore the beliefs and practices of World Faiths as well as their own responses to questions about the meaning and purpose of life. Such lessons are planned to reflect the fact that religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking into account the teachings and practices of the other principal religions represented in the country.

Religious Education contributes dynamically to children and young people’s education in school by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.

  • In RE, students learn about and from religions and worldviews in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
  • They learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response, and to agree or disagree respectfully.
  • Teaching therefore should equip students with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.
  • It should develop in students an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society, with its diverse religions and worldviews.
  • Students should gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence. They should learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.

It is a statutory requirement for schools to teach Religious Education but parents/carers have the right to remove their child from some or all the Religious Education lessons. 

Religious Education Curriculum Information

Year 7

Students study Judaism in the Autumn Term, Christianity in the Spring Term and Islam in the Summer Term. Each unit builds on that which has been learned at Key Stage 2, encouraging tolerance and understanding for those of a different faith or background from oneself. Students study the history, background and features of each of these faiths, learning not only about them but also from them.

Year 8

Students study Hinduism in the Autumn Term, Sikhism in the Spring Term and Spirituality through Music and Art in the Summer Term. Each unit looks at the beliefs of each community and how those beliefs are put into practice. Students relate what they have learned about to their own lives and the influences, religious or otherwise, that they may have.

Year 9

In Year 9 students focus on religious, moral and contemporary issues. In the Autumn Term they study Buddhism. In the Spring Term they study issues relating to evil and suffering and how this can lead to none belief in God. In the Summer Term students question the existence of God, looking at arguments for and against his existence, which links into one of the units studied at GCSE. Throughout the year students are encouraged to develop their own opinions on each topic, to listen to the views of others and to express them in a mature and focused way. At least two religions are studied alongside the themes in the spring and summer term, as well as any similarities and/or differences with their own point of view.


GCSE Religious Studies

Students can opt to study Religious Studies at GCSE. We follow the AQA Syllabus A, focusing on Christianity and Islam. The course is made up of two components: Christian and Muslim Beliefs and Practices and Thematic Studies:

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices

  1. A study of Christianity:

Christian Beliefs and Teachings

  • The nature of God; issues relating to God as omnipotent, loving and just, and the Trinity.
  • Creation.
  • Jesus Christ; beliefs about Jesus, his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.
  • Salvation.
  • Afterlife


Christian Practices

  • Forms of worship
  • Prayer
  • The sacraments; the role of Baptism and the Eucharist
  • Pilgrimage
  • Festivals
  • The role of the Church in the local community
  • Mission and Evangelism
  • The Worldwide Church
  • Christian persecution
  • The Church’s response to poverty


  1. A study of Islam:

Muslim Beliefs and Teachings

  • The nature of Allah
  • Key beliefs of Sunni Islam and Shi’a Islam
  • Angels
  • Predestination
  • Life after death
  • Prophethood and Adam
  • Ibrahim
  • Muhammad and the Imamate
  • Holy books


Muslim Practices

  • The five pillars, ten obligatory acts and the Shahadah
  • Salah
  • Sawm
  • Zakah
  • Pilgrimage
  • Jihad
  • Festivals

Component 2: Thematic Studies (from a Christian and Muslim perspective)

Theme 1: Relationships and families

  • Family relationships
  • Sexual relationships
  • Marriage and Divorce
  • Gender equality


Theme 2: Religion and Life

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


Theme 3: Existence of God and revelation

  • The Design argument
  • The First Cause argument
  • Miracles
  • Arguments against the existence of God
  • Revelation and enlightenment
  • Different ideas about the divine


Theme 4: Crime and Punishment

  • Reasons for crime
  • Attitudes to lawbreakers and different types of crime
  • Suffering and causing suffering in others
  • Aims of punishment
  • Corporal punishment and community service
  • Forgiveness
  • The death penalty


Two exams:

Component 1 = 1 hour and 45 min (50% of the qualification)

Component 2 = 1 hour and 45 min (50% of the qualification)



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