Religious Studies

a close up photo of a student working in class

KEHS enjoys a well-deserved reputation for religious tolerance and harmony between students from all backgrounds.

Our approach is educational (non-confessional), celebrating our school’s position near the heart of a city rich in religious and cultural diversity. With most faiths and none represented among our students and staff, we try to reflect this richness and make the most of it. Students and visitors from different religious and non-religious worldviews lead lessons and explain their position, and we foster links with local communities through visits to different religious institutions. We aim to instil attitudes of open-mindedness and acceptance which will encourage students to live and work positively in multi-faith Britain. 

In Year 7 students will begin with an introductory unit exploring the core concepts and ideas within religion. This is followed by an investigation of truth and authority and ultimate questions. The year ends with an engagement with the key beliefs, teachings and practices of Judaism. There is also the opportunity to explore Sikhism through an independent learning project. The exploration of religious, philosophical and ethical issues continues into Year 8. There is a focus on the religions of Islam and Hinduism as well as different philosophical and ethical issues. In Year 9 students will be given an opportunity to study more philosophical and ethical issues as well as Christianity and Buddhism.   

Students will also have the opportunity to visit different places of worship to help facilitate understanding of the different faiths. 

As part of GCSE Religious Studies, students will study two faiths as well as four different ethical and philosophical issues. The two religions that will be studied are the key beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity and Islam. The ethical issues include the investigation of the ethics of animal experimentation, abortion and euthanasia; whereas the philosophical issue explores different arguments surrounding whether humans have rights and if we are free.   

The emphasis throughout the course is the development of key skills such as evaluation, synthesis and application as well as the development of knowledge and understanding. Furthermore, it is a qualification that supports other subject choices, and which is valued by all universities as well as providing an excellent grounding for various career paths. 

A level Religious Studies is a rigorous academic subject which will hone a range of transferable skills including critical analysis, making judgements, evaluation, synthesis and the ability to carry out independent research. Students will consider a wide range of differing views and perspectives on human life, exploring key theological, philosophical and ethical ideas and concepts. The course also allows for the study of the work of Freud, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Plato and Dawkins to name but a few.  

The blend of religious, philosophical and ethical enquiry promises to be stimulating and to provide excellent content and transferable skills applicable to a wide range of university degrees.   

Future Careers

The analytical and evaluative skills developed in both GCSE and A Level Religious Studies make it an excellent choice for students interested in diverse fields such as Medicine, PPE, Law, Dentistry, Philosophy, Theology and the Arts.  

Beyond the classroom

In addition to many local visits, links with Birmingham University, and a wide range of visiting speakers, we have in the past, organised several subject-specific visits abroad (to Israel, Poland, China, the Czech Republic, Holland, Belgium, France and Egypt) to facilitate extended learning. The Department has also enjoyed great success in regional and national RS competitions. 

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