Key Stage 4 and RE 16-19

All state-funded schools must teach RE to all students on roll, including all those in 14-19 education, unless withdrawn by their parents (or by themselves if aged 18 or over). 

It is important that teaching enables progression from the end of KS3, in ways that meet the varied learning needs of all students, who can reasonably expect their learning will be accredited.  These modes of accreditation include nationally accredited courses in RE such as GCSE and A level RS.  Good practice examples include many schools of different types where all students take GCSE RS or other accredited courses at 16.  Requirements are different in FE and sixth form colleges.

All students should extend and deepen their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, reflecting local, national and global contexts.  Building on their prior learning, they appreciate and appraise the nature of different religions and worldviews in systematic ways.

They should use a wide range of concepts in the field of Religious Studies confidently and flexibly to interpret, contextualise and analyse the expressions of religions and worldviews they encounter.  They should be able to research and investigate the influence and impact of religions and worldviews on the values and lives of both individuals and groups, evaluating their impact on current affairs.  They should be able to appreciate and appraise the beliefs and practices of different religions and worldviews with an increasing level of discernment based on interpretation, evaluation and analysis, developing and articulating well-reasoned positions.

They should be able to use some of the different disciplines of Religious Studies (e.g. textual study, philosophical and sociological approaches) to analyse the nature of religion.

More specifically, students should be taught to:

  • investigate and analyse the beliefs and practices of religions and worldviews using a range of arguments and evidence to interpret and evaluate issues and draw balanced conclusions
  • synthesise their own and others’ ideas and arguments about sources of wisdom and authority using coherent reasoning, making clear and appropriate reference to their historical, cultural and social contexts
  • analyse in a coherent and well informed way the forms of expression and ways of life found in different religions and worldviews
  • use different disciplines and methods by which religions and worldviews are studied to analyse their influence on individuals and societies
  • account for varied interpretations of commitment to religions and worldviews and for responses to profound questions about the expression of identity, diversity, meaning and value
  • argue for and justify their own positions with regard to key questions about the nature of religion, providing a detailed evaluation of the perspectives of others
  • enquire into and develop insightful evaluations of ultimate questions about the purposes and commitments of human life, especially as expressed in the arts, media and philosophy
  • use a range of research methods to examine and critically evaluate varied perspectives and approaches to issues of community cohesion, respect for all and mutual understanding, locally, nationally and globally
  • use ideas from phenomenological approaches to the study of religions and beliefs to research and present skilfully a wide range of well-informed and reasonable arguments which engage profoundly with moral, religious and spiritual issues.

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