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John Milton Academy Trust

These schools are part of the John Milton Academy Trust. Click on the school's logo to visit their website.

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Powerful Knowledge

Students will study the following units under the AQA 8062 GCSE Religious Studies A specification:

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings & practices

Beliefs, teachings and practices of:

  • Buddhism
  • Christianity

Component 2: Thematic studies

Four religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes:

  • Religion and life including, abortion, euthanasia, animal experimentation
  • The existence of God and revelation including, visions, miracles, nature as general revelation
  • Religion, peace & conflict including, violence, weapons of mass destruction, pacifism
  • Religion, crime and punishment including, corporal punishment, death penalty, forgiveness

Students will study religious teachings, and religious, philosophical and ethical arguments, relating to these issues and their impact and influence in the modern world. They will gain awareness of contrasting perspectives in contemporary British society on all of these issues. They are encouraged to develop their:

  • knowledge and understanding of religions and non-religious beliefs, such as atheism and humanism
  • knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, teachings and sources of wisdom and authority
  • ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject
  • own values, belief, meaning, purpose, truth and their influence on human life
  • own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they have learnt and contribute to their preparation for adult life in a pluralistic society and global community.


The organisation and communication of knowledge and understanding of religious belief & practice  to reach substantiated conclusions lies at the heart of being a successful GCSE Religious Studies / Philosophy student. Socratic questioning is used extensively to build student confidence and their ability to speak fluently about the topics studied. Emphasis is placed on teaching students how to apply their knowledge to examination questions with a mixture of short and longer answer GCSE questions. Revision techniques are also heavily emphasised and taught to students to enable them to work productively at home.

School Context

The course is historically very popular and most years we have two or three GCSE groups. This amounts to around one third of the year group. Many of those students then continue with the subject at A level. Students are specifically prepared for the expectations of the GCSE course through their Year 9 introduction to Philosophy course.


The subject is formally assessed through two written examinations at the end of the course, each worth 50% of the final mark. Students are assessed in their ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of religion and beliefs, and in their ability to analyse and evaluate aspects of religion and belief, including their significance and influence.

In preparation for this, students are assessed on a lesson  by lesson basis through the principles of Rosenshine’s continuous recall through recap and frequent use of question and answer. At the end of each taught unit, students complete an assessment task which contributes to their Go4 Schools WAG & data drops, as well as the formal November mock examination.


Philosophy and Ethics is an excellent preparation for any career that involves framing an argument, expressing a point of view and developing students’ independent ideas.  Students will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues. They will also gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture. Students will develop analytical and critical thinking skills, the ability to work with abstract ideas, leadership and research skills. All these skills will help them prepare for further study and for the basis of desirable skills for flexibility in an ever changing workplace.

Taking into account all of the above past students have embarked upon careers in law, medicine, the police and the armed forces amongst others.