Religious Education

RE is a vital area of study. Central to RE lessons is the exploration of life’s really important questions. This gives pupils a platform to discuss and reflect upon issues such as – Does money make us happy? What happens when I die? How should serial murderers be punished? If God exists why is there suffering in the world? These are some of many moral, philosophical and spiritual questions that are discussed in RE.


We study the six global religions of Christianity, Islam,

Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism.


We believe it is important for all pupils, particularly those from North Devon, to appreciate the amazing diversity of

multi-cultural Britain. We also want them to be better informed about a wide range of current and religious affairs.


The Learning Process involves examples from the following:

• Discussion – pairs, small group and whole class. This is particularly useful in contributing to the development of pupils’ own beliefs and values.

• Artefacts

• Art work – allowing time for personal reflection

• DVDs

• Reading and note taking

• Empathy - small group work – contributing to a whole class project

• What’s in the news? Religious and current affairs.

• Time for personal reflection

• Visitors – religious leaders, community workers, police.

• Visits – This is a vital area of study which enables pupils to explore a variety of religions; particularly important in our multi-cultural society and in the light of some world events which may be based of religious ignorance and prejudice based on fear and stereotyping.


Units of work, Grouping of students, assessment and expected standards

Key Stage 3

All students are taught in mixed ability tutor groups.

Year 7

Pupils follow an Integrated Humanities programme which includes the study of

Year 8

• Authority link to Judaism, festivals, Moses and Ten Commandments

• Who cares? Christmas, homeless and Salvation Army

• Religion of Equality? – Sikhism

• Religion of Peace? Islam


Religion of Justice? Christianity


Year 9 (the start of GCSE study)

• Religion: Prejudice and Persecution – Martin Luther King

• The Jewish Experience – Holocaust

• Buddhism

• Truth and Spirituality


Religion and the media



There are three assessment points during each academic year. Each assessment is levelled. This is compared to an individual pupil’s Target Grade and feedback is given to enable pupils to take appropriate action. , Each is based upon the two attainment targets (AT1, Learning about religion, and AT2, Learning from religion), as outlined in the Devon Agreed Syllabus. Assessment for Learning (AfL) and Periodic Assessing of Pupils Progress (APP) have become backbones to this Key Stage, adding further depth to the learing processes taking place within the department.


The Examination Years

Units of work, Grouping of students, assessment and expected standards

The legal requirement in religious studies is satisfied by the single lesson of RS resulting in a short course GCSE qualification. A full course GCSE is also offered in this area of study – it is called “Beliefs, Values and Traditions".


“Beliefs, Values and Traditions”


This course will provide skills in making decisions about moral problems, and help pupils to become sure about their own beliefs and explain them clearly to others.

We will be discussing issues and attitudes to do with:

An ability to discuss ideas and listen to other’s views are very important on this course.  This will include:

Visiting Speakers - Police

• Salvation Army

• Capernwray

• Humanist


Days Out - Marriage Ceremony

• Baptist Ceremony


The course will help pupils develop their key skills in communication and information technology. Many of the topics under discussion are popular for GCSE candidates in their English orals.  Homework tasks are an integral part of the course.


The course prepares pupils to work and deal with people of different cultures and beliefs which can be useful for careers such as the Police, the Caring Professions, Journalism, Media and the Armed Forces. This full GCSE will be assessed by 2 x 1¾ hour written exam papers (no coursework). 


Home Learning Opportunities

Students develop learning skills through home learning, which is why tasks can include such things as internet activities, creative writing, reading or analysis of information.


Gifted & Talented Opportunities

Gifted and Talented in RE at Pilton Community College

RE teachers at Pilton Community College use the following as evidence to suggest that a child may be gifted and talented in RE.

• questions that young people ask in the classroom

• verbal responses to questions, tasks, visiting speakers, visits

• contributions to class discussions and debates

• classroom written assignments

• homework assignments

• level of interest and attitude in the classroom


The Qualifications Curriculum Authority webpage states that:


‘Pupils who are gifted in RE are likely to:

• show high levels of insight into, and discernment beyond, the obvious and

• ordinary

make sense of, and draw meaning from, religious symbols, metaphors, texts

and practices

• be sensitive to, or aware of, the numinous or the mystery of life, and have a

feeling for how these are explored and expressed

• understand, apply and transfer ideas and concepts across topics in RE and into

other religious and cultural contexts


In more general terms, they may also:

• have highly-developed skills of comprehension, analysis and research

• show quickness of understanding and depth of thought


QCA are not putting forward a definitive checklist, but rather are helpfully suggesting some guidelines that may help a teacher to identify a pupil as gifted and talented in RE.


In order to stretch the gifted and talented in RE pupils at Pilton Community College may well be asked to:

• Research a less well known belief system, such as Rastafarianism, or the New Age philosophy

• Compare the beliefs and practices of Muslims in different countries, not just in one particular area

• Open ended project work

• Choose some examples from the reading list

• Refer to and use original sources, e.g. reading the Biblical account of the resurrection of Jesus, not just looking at a paraphrase

• Be set an extension questions, such as ‘What might it mean to a Muslim to miss Hajj’ instead of ‘Why is it important for Muslims to go on a pilgrimage?’

• Using questions and tasks from later key stages

• Complete some individual project work, where each pupil has had an input into the subject area and methods of study. For example, an in depth study into their own faith community

• Complete a self assessment with pupils, so that they can identify their own learning needs

• Use target setting strategies so the gifted and talented have something specific to aim for










Respect  * Responsibility *  Resilience * Trust *  Kindness *  Courage

A specialist language college

Pilton Community College, Chaddiford Lane, Barnstaple, Devon  EX31 1RB.  01271 374381  email: