Religious Education


Ms Duhig - Head of Department
Mrs Adams - 2i/c

Statement of Intent

Famously it has been said that: “God is dead” but not at Barking Abbey school where nearly 90% of students have expressed a belief in some form of a divine being. Therefore the RE curriculum at Barking Abbey school intends to develop in students an understanding of a religious, ethical, moral understanding of the world as well as a secular/humanist of the world around them. This will involve the study of different religious and non-religious interpretations of the world as well as understanding how religious interpretations feed into ethical and moral reasoning on a wide range of issues in society and on the lives of individual students. Students are encouraged in this by exploring their own views and beliefs as well as understanding and respecting the beliefs and what is held sacred by others. At the same time students are encouraged to consider a range of ethical and moral issues in society and how a religious perspective of life influences an outlook on these matters.

By the age of 14 students are expected to have a grasp of the basics of a range of religions in terms of beliefs and practices. This in the main will focus on the six main religions found in the United Kingdom which are Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism Students will be able to use specialist vocabulary, identify differences within some religious traditions and relate religious teachings and beliefs to a number of moral and ethical issues such as the sanctity of life and forgiveness. Students are expected to be able to offer opinions, respect the views of others and as well as introducing religious perspectives.

By the age of 16 students are expected to make an in-depth study of two major religious traditions in the United Kingdom and the differences which exist within them. They study Islam with an emphasis on the Sunni and Shi’ah traditions and Christianity with an emphasis on the Catholic and Protestant traditions. At the same time they study a range of ethical issues and a range of religious perspectives on them. This will include issues such as prejudice, war and violence, relationships, crime and punishment and wealth and poverty. Students are encouraged to relate these themes and differences to their own lives and well as developing a societal and global view. They are also encouraged to understand that a humanist perspective also exists for many.

By the age of 18 students are expected to make a serious academic study of the Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and The Development of Islamic Thought with a view to meeting the criteria of the OCR course in Religious Studies.

Curriculum Content
Key Stage 3

All students at KS3 receive a single 55 minute of RE each week. The curriculum content is guided by the Barking and Dagenham Locally Agreed Syllabus. This Agreed Syllabus was recently revised by the Borough and the new version of it is in operation as of September 2020.The RE Department is currently revising its Schemes of Work in order to meet compliance with this.

Year 7 

Autumn term 

  • What is Belief? Including the 5 Pillars of Islam
  • Christianity

Spring term 

  • Sikhism
  • Birth ceremonies

Summer term 

  • Forgiveness
  • Heroes and inspirational leaders

Year 8 

Autumn Term 


  • Religion and Science
  • Judaism

Spring Term 

  • Miracles
  • Religion and women

Summer Term 

  • Life after Death
  • Religion and Extremism
Key Stage 4

The study of GCSE Religious Studies is offered as an option at KS4 and is a 3 year course of study. Students have two 55 minute lessons each week throughout the 3 years. The course followed is AQA Syllabus A:

The course involves a study of two modules over the course:

  1. A study of the beliefs and practices of two religions. The religions chosen are Christianity and Islam.
  2. Thematic Studies – Religious responses to a range of societal issues including Relationships, Crime & Punishment, War & Peace; Human Rights and Social Justice.
Key Stage 5

Students can elect to follow a 2 year A Level course in Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics). The course followed is run by OCR:

During the course students have to study 3 modules:

  1. The Philosophy of Religion
  2. Ethics
  3. Developments in Islamic Thought


Right of Withdrawal from RE

Under the 1944 Education Act parents/carers have the right to withdraw their child from the RE programme offered at Barking Abbey. In the first instant contact will need to be made with the Head of Department. The matter will be passes on to the Governors who will consider the request.

Please note that if a child is withdrawn from the subject it is still an expectation that the child remain in the lesson and will be set worker by the parent/carer which is in line with their prescribed belief system. This work will need to be submitted to the class teacher in advance of any use.