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About Us

Religious studies is about knowing what you think, and being able to explain yourself in light of the views of others. We encourage pupils to be open-minded, seek knowledge and be critical in order to make informed choices. We respect a child’s right to learn with an open mind and give them the tools to think for themselves, questioning how we know what we know

The underlying philosophy of our approach is two-fold, firstly that every human being has a belief system of one kind or another, and secondly that we can draw on the resources and experiences of our students who come from a variety of faith communities and backgrounds.

Religious Studies is taught in dedicated lessons by subject specialists. The principle of ‘spiral learning’ is in operation so that students are learning skills and being introduced to knowledge and concepts that will be developed throughout their studies at AVA.

The Religious Studies Team

Curriculum Leader: Ms K Hanmer

Details to follow.

Teacher of Religious Studies: Mrs A McCalla

Details to follow.

Teacher of Religious Studies: Miss K Miller

Details to follow.


Key Stage 3

Students will study each of the Big Six religions through KS3. Students will also have the chance to explore inspirational religious people, sacred journeys and places, and ask big philosophical questions like- how can God and suffering exist at the same time?

Key Stage 4

Core RE
Each student at AVA will take RE as a timetabled subjected once every two weeks. The Core RE course looks at a range of religious, ethical and philosophical issues, we look at ethical dilemmas, examine philosophical ideas and religious responses to these too. We aim to develop analytical and critical thinking skills for each student and to also provide students a place to ask the big questions we have in this world.


Students will be following the AQA Religious Studies A course. Students will investigate two religions: Christianity and Islam and will explore beliefs, teachings and practises as well as philosophy and ethics components.


  • Nature of God
  • Incarnation, resurrection, salvation and ascension of Jesus.
  • Death and the afterlife
  • Types of worship including prayer and Holy Communion
  • Festivals
  • Pilgrimages
  • The importance of the worldwide church and the role of the church in the local community.


  • Nature of God
  • Key beliefs in Sunni and Shi’a traditions
  • Angels
  • Life after death
  • Importance of the prophets including the life of Muhammad
  • Holy Books
  • The five Pillars – which include prayer, charity and pilgrimage
  • Festivals

Philosophy and Ethics components:

  • Religion, Peace and Conflict
  • Religion, crime and Punishment
  • Religion, human rights and social justice.
  • Relationships and families

The aim of the course is to:

  • Develop critical students who are able to understand, analyse and evaluate a range of religious ideas and views.
  • develop students ability to construct well-argued, well-informed essays demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject
  • reflect on and develop students own values, belief, meaning, purpose, truth and their influence on human life
  • Introduce students to philosophical and ethical concepts and consider their importance in the world today.

Students will be assessed on a regular basis in the subject with mock exams in lessons and practice questions. At the end of Year 11 students will sit two external exams: one paper covers beliefs and practices for Christianity and Islam and paper 2 will be covering the philosophy and ethics components. Each exam will last 1 hour and 45 minutes.