Religious and Social Studies (RSS)


Religious and Social Studies (RSS) is concerned with the deep meaning that individuals and groups make of their experiences and how this helps them give purpose to their lives. The purpose of RSS is to help pupils to reflect upon the experiences and the mysteries of life and the contribution of religious and spiritual dimensions. RSS should enable pupils to:

  • Acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in the United Kingdom and particularly in Manchester;
  • Develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures;
  • Develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues, with reference to the teachings of the principal religions represented in the United Kingdom and thereby develop confidence in their own beliefs and values;
  • Enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:
    • developing awareness of the ultimate questions of life raised by human experiences, and of how religions can relate to them;
    • responding to such questions with reference to the teachings and practices of religions and other belief systems, relating them to their own understanding and experience;
    • reflecting positively on their own identity, beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their study;
  • Develop positive attitudes:
    • of respect towards other people who hold views and beliefs different from their own, and;
    • towards living in and contributing to an inclusive and caring community and a society of diverse religions.

Alongside these aims within this department we also teach a substantial amount of Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE).

The aim of this part of the curriculum is to provide children with age appropriate information, explore attitudes and values and develop skills in order to empower them to make positive decisions about their health-related behaviour.  The intent is that they will be equipped to be healthy and happy individuals, both physically and mentally.  


Currently in RSS students have 2 hours a fortnight in key stage three (KS3) and 5 hours a fortnight in key stage four (KS4).

At KS3 we teach the following core units:

Year 7:

  • Beginnings
  • Relationships and Sex Education
  • Creation
  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Rules for Living

Year 8:

  • Value of Life
  • Islam
  • Rich and Poor
  • Jesus
  • Relationships and Sex Education
  • Crime and Punishment

Year 9:

  • Islam
  • Sikhism
  • Evil and Suffering
  • Indigenous religions
  • Relationships and Sex Education
  • Human Rights

Throughout the KS3 curriculum, through the key performance indicators (KPIs), the students are assessed on their ability to retain knowledge, explain what they know and understand and evaluate key ideas. These skills all directly link to the GCSE curriculum. 

KS4 students will be completing The AQA Religious Studies A syllabus. This is assessed with two terminal exams at the end of year 11. 


Paper 1 – The study of religions: Beliefs, Teachings and Practices: Christianity and Islam

Students study four units: Christian Beliefs and Teachings, Christian Practices, Islam Beliefs and Teachings and Islam Practices.

Paper 2 – Thematic Studies: Christianity and Islam

Students study four units: Relationships and Families, Religion and Life, Religion, Crime and Punishment and Religion, Human Rights and Justice.


Students undertake formal assessment during the middle or at the end of each unit of work, in addition to an end of year exam. Each assessments models the GCSE style of paper. In KS4 students sit two summative exams where they are assessed on the number of units they have covered at that point in the year. These assessments allow the department to track the students’ progress and identify both knowledge and skills gaps. 

We strive to ensure that all students access further curriculum opportunities through RSS. We do this by offering them the opportunity to attend a mosque in KS4 and listen to a range of religious speakers. There is also an LGBT+ group run within the department. We have worked closely with the Proud Trust, We Stand Together and The Message to provide a variety of teaching and learning experiences. 

We aspire for all students to leave the academy with the skills, knowledge and understanding of the world that enables them to be healthy, responsible and thriving citizens. We aim for students to be inclusive of those with a religion and without and understand how to live and thrive in a multicultural society. In RSS we work with students to ensure they are competent in literacy by integrating literacy tasks into lessons. We hope all students leave the academy enabled to become global citizens who will make a positive contribution in a multi faith world. 

We hope to encourage students to visit the world in order to discover new and wonderful cultures. For students who wish to study in this area for GCSE, we aim to support students in fulfilling their potential, helping them to achieve the highest possible results, progress and attainment in both so that they are well equipped to pursue a future career in this area should they wish to do so. 



Teaching Staff

Mrs Thandi - Lead Teacher of RS

Ms Dowell - Teacher of RS

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