Religious Education

The Religious Education department at Dormers Wells High School follows the Ealing Agreed Syllabus and strives to create imaginative, engaging and challenging lessons for all year groups.

At Dormers Wells High School our aim is to give young people the opportunity to explore life’s big questions and to reflect upon the variety of different worldviews that exist and their truth claims. We are fortunate to have a school with one of the most religiously diverse cohorts in Britain and as such our young people enjoy learning about and from each other’s religious traditions, cultures and beliefs.  This increased understanding of ourselves and each other, nurtures a mutual respect and tolerance which is fundamental to a cohesive society, the pursuit of happiness and the development of The Self.

Ultimately, we want to encourage our young people to live an examined life, giving them the tools they need to move confidently as adults into an increasingly diverse and secular society [1] Sowing the seeds of the future. Ealing Agreed Syllabus 2014

During Religious Education lessons students will experience a variety of learning and assessment styles giving all students the chance to flourish in their particular area of excellence.

The Religious Education department aims to teach students to develop an understanding of the religious world we live in but also reflect on how our diversity of beliefs influences our actions in the world. Students are encouraged to consider their own view points on different issues and then reflect on why someone may hold a different opinion.

key stage 3

In accordance with the Ealing Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education the following topics are taught.

Hours of study: 2 hours over 2 weeks. 


  • Perspectives on Life after Death
  • Hindu belief and practice
  • Sikh belief and practice


  • Sources of authority in Judaism
  • The Qur'an and other sources of authority in Islam
  • Who was Jesus?


Hours of study: 1 hour over 2 weeks

  • Arguments for and against the existence of God
  • Religion and wider belief in contemporary culture


Students are expected to complete one formal assessment for each unit of work which will be assessed according to the school assessment policy. These pieces of work will take the form of a written assessment which consists of five GCSE style questions. There will be a coached 12 mark question for the mid-term assessment. 

Students will also be issued a list of key terms for every topic which can be found on Teams. Students will be expected to learn the spellings and perfect definitions of a set of terms every other week (Year 7 and Year 8). These will be assessed at the start of lessons. 

Throughout the year there will be assessment of students work carried out by teaching staff, both within class and as part of home learning activities. Students are also encouraged to access both trheir own and peers work on a regular basis. 

To support learning it is recommended that parent and carers:

  • Check planners and Teams for home learning tasks and submission dates
  • Engage in discussions about the questions that have been considered in Religious Education lessons
key stage 4

Studying Religious Education is a legal requirement and all students in Year 10 and 11 at Dormers Wells High School study Religious Education following the Beliefs and Values ASDAN Short Course. In addition students can opt to take an examined GCSE Full Course.


Hours of Study:  Year 10 and 11 - 6 hours over 2 weeks

At the end of the course students gain a full GCSE. Students will answer questions on  the following topics:



  • Chapter 1: Beliefs and Teachings
  • Chapter 2: Practices


  • Chapter 1: Beliefs and Teachings
  • Chapter 2: Practices

Part Two – Thematic Studies

  • Religion and Relationships
  • Religion, Peace and Conflict
  • Religion and Life
  • The existence of God and revelation


Each part has a one hour and forty five minute written paper.
Each paper is worth 50% of the final GCSE grade. These exams will be sat at the end of the two year course.

To support learning it is recommended that parent and carers:

  • Check planners, Teams and home learning progression.
  • Engage in discussions about the issues that have been studied in lessons.
  • Encouragement to read or watch the news as there will be something every day that relates to the course.


Students will create a portfolio of learning based on themes explored through stories (films). Students will study the following topics:

  • Freedom Writers - exploration of the parable of the Good Samaritan using Bibles. Themes relating to equality and love of one's neighbour. 
  • Groundhog day - exploration of Karma, reincarnation, enlightenment, the life well lived and human telos. 
  • Hacksaw Ridge - exploration of the absolute truth, pacifism as a response to war, jihad and conviction of beliefs influencing action.
  • The shack - exploration of of the Christian concept of the Trinity and how Christians respond to the problem of evil. 
key stage 5

A Level Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics) provides students with the exciting opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of world religions, explore the philosophy of religion, and religion and ethics. Ethics involves a study of a range of ethical theories and their application to contemporary moral issues. This rigorous A level offers an excellent preparation for university and is a demanding and richly rewarding course. It is highly reccomended for those wishing to apply for to Russell Group Universities. 

Exam Board: OCR

Year 1 Subject Content:

Philosophy of Religion

  • ancient philosophical influences
  • the nature of the soul, mind and body
  • arguments about the existence or non-existence of God
  • the nature and impact of religious experience
  • the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • ideas about the nature of God
  • issues in religious language

Religion and Ethics

  • Natural Law
  • Situation Ethics
  • Kantian Ethics
  • Utilitarianism
  • Euthanasia
  • Business Ethics

Development in Christian thought

  • Augustine's teaching on human nature
  • Death and the afterlife
  • Knowledge of God's existence
  • The person of Jesus Christ
  • Christian moral principles and actions

Year 2 Subject Content

Philosophy of Religion

  • The nature and attributes of God
  • Religious language
  • Religious language in the twentieth century 

Religion and Ethics

  • Meta-ethical theories
  • debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
  • sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs

Development in Religious Thoughts

  • Religious pluralism and theology
  • Religious pluralism and society 
  • Gender and society
  • Gender and theology
  • The challenge of secularism
  • Liberation theology and Marx

Career Opportunities / Routes

The skills acquired from studying A level Religious Studies allows students to compete for places at university with a significant advantage over other candidates. The course encourages a strong development of academic skills including communication, knowledge application and problem solving. These skills are required in a number of professions including law, politics, medicine, teaching and journalism.


Each unit is assessed with a timed 40 minute essay. This is deeply marked and time is given for improvements. A good example is also provided. 

The A Level exam consists of three papers. Students are given four questions and choose three to evaluate. 

Component 1: Philosophy of Religion

  • 33%

Component 2: Religion and Ethics

  • 33%

Component 3: Developments in Religious Thoughts

  • 33%