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Exmouth Community College

Exmouth Community CollegeAcademy Trust

Key Stage 4

Our Key Stage 4 students are entered for the AQA Religious Studies GCSE (either the short course or the full course depending on the year group).  It is a thought provoking and challenging GCSE that will develop not only their knowledge and understanding of the world but also assist in improving their wider study skills.

Full course students cover the following areas of work:

  • The beliefs and  teachings  of Christianity
  • The practices  of Christianity
  • The beliefs and teachings of Islam
  • The practices of Islam
  • Religious, philosophical and ethical study of a number of themes including:
    • Crime and Punishment (for example, the treatment of criminals and the death penalty)
    • Religion and Life (for example, origins of the universe and animal experimentation)
    • Relationships and Families (for example, the nature and purpose of marriage, structure and nature of different types of families)
    • Religion, Peace and Conflict (for example, exploring whether or not war is ever justified and the ethical issues surrounding the possession and use of nuclear weapons.

Our short course students study half of these topics – The beliefs and teachings of Christianity, The beliefs and teachings of Islam, Relationships and Families and Religion Peace and Conflict.

We therefore study many modern issues so keeping up to date with current affairs by watching the news and documentaries would help students progress within the subject.

Within the Religion, Philosophy and Ethics Department, we aim towards and insist on every student reaching their full potential. We therefore implement a number of initiatives to support our students including regular catch up/booster sessions, student mentoring and extensive revision sessions in preparation for the final exams.

Year 9:

In September 2018, we started to deliver the full Religious Studies GCSE to all Year 9 students. All students in Year 9 study this course for two hours in Year 9 and one hour in Years 10 & 11. This will lead to two exams at the end of Year 11.

A short homework is set weekly to consolidate what students have learnt in lessons and to prepare them for their next lesson.  In order to ensure all students achieve their potential, it is essential we have parental support in ensuring the completion of the homework set. We also offer lunchtime support sessions to help with the completion of homework.

Instead of exercise books, students are provided with work booklets for each of the eight units of work they study. Included in these, is all the key information needed for each topic such as religious beliefs and teachings, ethical issues, key terms and quotes, practice exam questions, a variety of lesson tasks, revision activities and homework logs.  If these are lost by students we ask that they reprint the relevant booklet from the homework page on Class Charts.  If they are unable to do so, we will require a fee of £1 to cover photocopying costs of a replacement - this money will go back into our department’s budget.

Years 10 and 11:

The current Years 10 and 11 students remain on the legacy curriculum model within the department.  Students have previously been able to opt to take the subject as a full GCSE.   If they choose not to, they are entered for the short course qualification which they study during their one hour of compulsory core RPE a week.  These short course students take one exam at the end of Year 11.

Full Course students study this GCSE for two or three hours a week (depending on whether they have their lessons within the school day or as a twilight), in addition to their time in the compulsory core hour of Religion, Philosophy and Ethics.  This will lead to two exams at the end of Year 11.

GCSE Resources:

We have excellent resources within the department to support our students in their studies, however, these resources must remain in school.  Therefore, if your son/daughter would like to have access to textbooks outside of school, there are three excellent books which encompass the course content which can be purchased online:

  1. ‘AQA GCSE Religious Studies Specification A’ by Parry, Hayes and Butler (ISBN 978-1-471-86685-2).
  2.  ‘AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Christianity’ by Fleming, Smith and Worden (ISBN 978-0-19-837033-8). 
  3. ‘AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Islam’ by Fleming, Smith and Worden (ISBN 978-0-19-837034-5)