Bury CE High School FOUNDED 1748

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Religious Studies

Religious Studies in Church of England Schools

As ‘schools of faith’ Church of England schools, including Bury Church of England High School, recognise the common search of all humanity; for ultimate truth and a relationship with the Divine. RS is key to fulfilling the purpose of a church school as described by the late Lord Runcie (when he was Archbishop of Canterbury): ‘to nourish those of the faith; encourage those of other faiths and challenge those who have no faith.’ Inspired by this statement, the North West of England dioceses set out that the principal aim of Religious Studies is to affirm and nourish, encourage and challenge all pupils on their spiritual journey.

In an Anglican school, the educational process is rooted in the Christian foundation of the school community. Therefore, all teaching, learning and planning take place within the ethos of the school community. Religious Studies lies at the very heart of the curriculum, reflecting and conveying the distinctively Christian character of the school community as reflected in the Anglican tradition.

The Principle aim of RS is as follows:

To engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as to develop responses of their own.

Within Bury Church of England High School the key focus of RS is to give pupils to opportunity to explore their own beliefs, values, motivations and ideas. Pupils are given the opportunity to consider thought provoking, challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God and ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.

Pupils have access to religious texts in order to explore their meanings, their beauty and their impact on the world. The beliefs and teachings of Christianity and other world faiths are taught so that pupils can understand, interpret and evaluate their teachings and articulately and coherently express their own personal beliefs.

Pupils are able to evaluate and assess beliefs and ideas, reflecting on the value of received wisdom and develop and express their own insights. In RS, pupils also have the opportunity to develop their own justified opinions whilst recognising the value of the opinions of others, examining religions and world views in local, national and global contexts.

RS has a key role in helping pupils to:

In order for these aims to be fulfilled, pupils are entitled to the highest standards of teaching and learning in Religious Studies. This will enable them to:

Teaching and learning in world religions and world views

Church schools such as ours have a duty to foster accurate and increasing understanding of world religions and world views. As a result pupils will gain greater insight into the world and the society in which they are growing up. They will also be able to appreciate the faith of others and develop a deeper understanding of their own beliefs and practices. These outcomes must contribute to building up harmonious relations within and between communities, promoting inclusion for all and combating the evils of racism. The principal aim for Religious Studies sets out that all pupils should be enabled to explore and grow in understanding of their own faith or philosophical stance.

Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4

Key Stage 3

In Year 7 pupils are taught RS for three hours a fortnight.

They study:

In Year 8 pupils study


All pupils are entered for GCSE Religious Studies a year earlier than their other GCSEs. Pupils sit their examination in Year 10.

Pupils will sit AQA Specification A. Assessment is purely via two examinations, with each paper lasting for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Topics covered include:

Paper 1: The Study of Religions: beliefs, teachings and practices.

Paper 2: Thematic Studies

Revision Resources

Year 11

In year 11, pupils study a General RS course designed by the department. This course provides a challenging look at some issues of contemporary debate within theology, including the philosophical arguments for God’s existence and also prejudice and discrimination. The syllabus is delivered during one hour per week throughout year 11.

RS Department News

In December 2019, Eleanor Catterall, accompanied by Mrs Stedman and her parents, travelled to London to be awarded First Prize in the national School's Bible Project Award competition. Eleanor had written an essay giving an eyewitness account of the resurrection of Lazarus. Despite tough competition from many schools nationally, Eleanor’s essay was recognised as being outstanding and was therefore awarded first prize. Eleanor, her parents and Mrs Stedman were given a tour of Westminster Abbey and her prize was presented by Baroness Cox.

Extra-Curricular Activities