F06 Guidance: Support for teaching RE at Key Stage 4


It is highly recommended that any school/academy following the AMV Agreed syllabus should enter ALL pupils for a recognised national qualification in religious education / religious studies, such as the full or short course GCSE in Religious Studies.

This will ensure that they have accreditation and certification to signify their completion of 11 years of study in this subject. This will be a formal signifier to employers that they have followed a course of study where they have learnt about beliefs held by people living in the UK and so are equipped to work sensitively with others.

This will also safeguard their learning to ensure that they are religiously literate. It will also afford opportunities to become personally resilient and tolerant in marshalling their views and listening to the opinions of others so that they will be well equipped to take their place in Modern Britain.

However it has to be acknowledged that unfortunately not all schools / academies will allocate sufficient curriculum time for all students to follow a GCSE course. It is compulsory that all pupils while registered in state education be entitled to religious education.

Therefore AMV offers this support to teachers in designing a curriculum with the intention that the key questions explored will be those that engage young people. Religious Education at KS4 should primarily offer a space where students can develop their own beliefs and ideas about matters of belief, meaning, expression, identity and values whilst learning how to tolerate, understand, critically evaluate, debate well, and interpret and appreciate differing opinions.

In order to build a balanced curriculum offer, it is suggested that teachers choose AT LEAST ONE question from EACH of the six areas of enquiry that make up AMV for EACH year of the course.

Beliefs and Teachings

  • Can anyone claim to have “Truth”?
  • What is the meaning of Life? Why am I here?
  • Is there a God?
  • Does Science disprove God?
  • Is there life after death?
  • Do animals have souls?

Practices and Ways of Life

  • Does Religion make people violent?
  • Does Religion make people sexist or homophobic?
  • What does the media do to religion?
  • Has Bristol / Bath / Weston-Super-Mare / Haringey / The Isles of Scilly (your local area) fallen out of love with faith?

Forms of Expressing Meaning

  • What is spirituality? How do people express their spirituality?
  • Why do people worship God in such different ways?
  • Why do people argue about how to read the Bible / Qur’an / Bhagavad-Gita?
  • How have people expressed their beliefs about the after-life?

Identity, Diversity and Belonging

  • Does shopping, or acquiring things make me happy? Does it matter what I have and what I dress like?
  • Is it better to belong to some groups rather than others? How do we know if a group is good for us? Is isolation safer?
  • What makes people different from each other?
  • Why might someone change or convert to another religion or belief?

Meaning and Purpose

  • What is the Meaning of Life? What are you here for?
  • Is there any God beyond myself and my own reason?
  • Who am I? Will I change? What is the real me?
  • Why is there suffering and evil in the world?
  • How can I be happy?
  • Is your life decided by destiny: to what extent are we just a product of culture, history and genetics?

Values and Commitments

  • How can we work out what it means to be good?
  • Should animals have rights? Is it right to eat them?
  • Does it matter if…
    • some people are much poorer than others?
    • the world dies out?
    • asylum seekers are not welcomed?
    • people are trafficked , exploited or not given a living wage?
  • Should we “play God” with medicine? (genetic engineering, eugenics, euthanasia).

Other beliefs that may not have been explored at KS3

What does it mean to be a Pagan?

What does it mean to be a Rastafarian ?

What does it mean to belong to the Sunday Assembly?

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