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GCSE Religious Education

GCSE Religious Education

Head of Department: Miss A Moloney
GCSE Specification: AQA 8063YA Specification B (9-1)


Course Outline

This two-year course prepares all pupils for a GCSE examination in Religious Studies.  It provides candidates with the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of Catholic Christianity through a specific focus on the teachings of the Church (50%). Candidates will also look in depth at Judaism (25%) as recommended by Diocese of Westminster and Ethical Themes including Family Life, Gender Equality, and The Sanctity of Life (25%). The strong focus on Catholicism and our in-depth study of another Religion will enable the College to fulfil the demands of the ’Religious Education Directory’ (2023 version) issued by the Catholic Hierarchy of England and Wales And endorsed by the Diocese of Westminster.

It aims to help the pupil to:

  • Acquire knowledge and develop an understanding of the beliefs, values and traditions of Catholic Christianity.
  • Consider the influence of these beliefs, values and traditions.
  • Consider religious and other responses to moral issues.
  • Identify, investigate and respond to fundamental questions of life raised by religion and human experience, including questions about the meaning and purpose of life.
  • Challenge pupils to reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they have learnt.
  • Understand the influence of religion on individuals, communities and societies.
  • Apply knowledge and understanding in order to analyse questions related to religious beliefs and practice.


The specification does not presuppose faith.  Its content should strengthen the understanding and faith of those who do believe and help those without faith to appreciate the reasons for religious belief according to the belief and practice of Catholicism.


Course Structure

Paper 1: Catholic Christianity – 1hr 45 min (50%)

  • Beliefs and Teachings; nature and purpose of God, the Jesus as the Word of God, Passion Narrative, the nature of Salvation, Problem of Evil and Suffering.
  • Practices of Roman Catholicism; Seven Sacraments, liturgical worship, non-liturgical worship. The worldwide Church, Vocation.
  • Sources of Wisdom and Authority; Origins of scripture, the Magisterium of the Church, Role of the Church. Jesus as a role model, the importance of Mary, sources of personal and ethical decision making.
  • Forms of Expression and Ways of Life; Pilgrimage, the purpose of symbolism and imagery, the use and purpose of objects of devotion.


Paper 2: Judaism – 50 mins ( 25%)

  • Beliefs and Teachings; The nature of the Almighty, nature and purpose of the Messiah, the covenants with Moses and Abraham, the nature and sanctity of human life, the problem and responses to evil and suffering.
  • Practices; The Tenakh, Talmud and the Torah, the Synagogue, Jewish prayer, Worship, Religious ceremonies, Shabbat, Festivals.


Paper 3:Ethical Themes A & C – 50 mins (25%)

  • Religion, Relationships and Family Life
  • The Theology of the Body
  • Gender Equality
  • Marriage, Divorce and Annulment
  • Human Dignity and Religious Freedom
  • Human Rights
  • Wealth and Poverty
  • The Work of CAFOD and Christian Aid
  • Prejudice and Discrimination




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