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Welcome to Religious Studies Options Taster Session

Did you know? 

As people created more efficient systems of communication and more complex governments in early agrarian civilizations, they also developed what we now call religion.

We hope you enjoy the taster session!


Do I have to study Religious Studies for GCSE? 

At The Westgate School, Religious Studies is a compulsory subject for all students, in the same way English, Maths and Science are. 


How many exams are there? 

There are two exams, each worth 50% of the overall grade. The first exam is the religious paper, and the second is the themes paper. The themes paper is where you look at ethical issues from every day life and from around the world. 


Is there any coursework? 

There is no coursework. Religious Studies is completely exam based. 


Why do I have to do Religious Studies? 

The world which we live in is increasing multi-cultural. Whether you are religious or not, at some point in your life you will meet, and work with, people who do not share the same views/beliefs that you have. By studying Religious Studies, it allows you to understand why certain things are important to some people. As well as understanding why a person’s culture may effect the attitudes towards different situations. This ultimate allows everyone to become more tolerant and understanding of each other. 


Why do we take the GCSE in Year 10? 

All students start the GCSE in Year 9 and take the exam in the May/June of Year 10. Students take the GCSE in Year 10, because it gives them an insight and helps them to prepare for Year 11. It allows all students to see what it is like to revise and prepare for Mocks, and the actual GCSEs, as well as seeing what the months building up the exams are like. At The Westgate School, we believe this helps to reduce the stress and anxiety of students because they already know some of what to expect when taking the rest of their GCSEs in Year 11. 


What is the benefit of studying GCSE Religious Studies? 

First, you develop an awareness and understanding of people from different cultures who may hold different beliefs to you. Second, Religious Studies develops soft skills. Such as, the ability to explain, examine, analyse and evaluate. These skills are useful in careers such as lawyer, civil servant, social work, police force and a variety of jobs in businesses (i.e., Human Resources). 


What religions do you study at GCSE? 

At GCSE, we mainly focus on Christianity and Islam. The exam has two papers, a religious paper and a themes paper – the themes paper looks at ethical issues from everyday life and from around the world. In the religious paper you can only discuss Christianity and Islam. In the themes paper, you have to talk about Christianity but, you can also apply other religious knowledge from any of the other major world religions (Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and Sikhism). 


Are you trying to make people religious? 

No, all we want is for all students to come away with a greater understanding of different people’s beliefs and cultures. It does not matter whether someone has a religion or not.