The Learning Space

Religious Education asks questions about the meaning, purpose and sheer diversity of existence. It lends itself to be delivered in many different ways. The Religious Education Department seeks to give all pupils, whatever their ability, a body of knowledge and toolkit of investigative skills. Armed with these, pupils will be better able to deal with the vast array of personal and community dilemmas they will face and to make better sense of the world without resorting to passive acceptance and prejudice.

The Staff Team

At Chipping Norton School, Religious Education is an increasingly popular subject, with strong uptake and results at both GCSE and A Level. Religious Education is taught by three specialists, Mr Dye, Mrs Jackson and Mr Ward.

Mr James Dye, Head of Department, has taught a range of humanities and social science subjects in varied settings but has always specialised in Philosophy and Religion.  He is currently completing a Masters in Philosophy and contributes to Extended Project, Debating and Oxbridge preparation.

Mrs Jude Jackson, Head of Year and Teacher of Religious Education, has been a dedicated teacher at Chipping Norton School since 1989.  She has huge experience of teaching and assessing Religious Education, especially at GCSE and A Level, and enjoys building positive relationships with students.

Mr Peter Ward, Head of Sixth Form, has successfully taught a wide range of humanities subjects such as Sociology, Philosophy, Religious Education and History. He has a very firm commitment to providing challenging, engaging and enjoyable Religious Education lessons to all students.

The Curriculum

Key Stage 3

Year 7

T1 Who knows if God is real?
T2 Who on earth was Jesus?
T3 The inspiration of Islam’s greatest prophet.
T4 What does it mean to be a Muslim today?
T5 Why was Guru Nanak a hero?
T6 Life as a British Sikh

Year 8

T1 Buddhism: The search for enlightenment
T2 Who wants to live forever?
T3 Has science ditched religion?
T4 Rights and responsibilities
T5 The danger of prejudice
T6 The Holocaust

Year 9

The GCSE course begins in term 6.

Key Stage 4 – GCSE

The RE GCSE course explores the values and motivations behind religious and moral choices. 

AQA GCSE Religious Studies (Specification A)

Unit 1: Religious beliefs and practices

  • Christian beliefs and practices
  • Buddhist beliefs and practices

Unit 2: Themes

  • Religion and life
  • Religion, peace and conflict
  • Religion, crime and punishment
  • Religion, human rights and social justice100% Examination

Key Stage 5 (OCR H573 Religious Studies A Level)

The A level Religious Studies course involves thinking deeply about what gives life meaning and purpose. Candidates will consider the dilemmas of life, death, relationships, violence and money. The year 1 and year 2 course both involve preparing for 3 examination papers: philosophy of religion, philosophy of ethics and Buddhism.


Philosophy of Religion (Unit H573/01)

  • Ancient philosophical influences on philosophy of religion of Religion
  • Soul, mind and body
  • Arguments for God based on observation
  • The ontological argument
  • Religious experience
  • The problem of evil

Philosophy of Ethics (Unit H573/02)

  • Natural Law
  • Situation Ethics
  • Kantian Ethics
  • Utilitarianism
  • Euthanasia
  • Business Ethics

Buddhism (Unit H573/06)

  • The Buddha
  • Taking Refuge
  • Samsara
  • The three marks of existence
  • The four noble truths


Philosophy of Religion (Unit H573/01)

  • The attributes of God
  • Religious language: Negative, Analogical or Symbolic
  • Religious language: 20th century perspectives
  • Component revision

Philosophy of Ethics (Unit H573/02)

  • Meta-ethics: Is ethical language meaningful?
  • Conscience
  • Sexual ethics
  • Component Revision

Buddhism (Unit H573/06)

  • Meditation
  • Madhyamaka and Prajnaparamita
  • Buddhism in the Far East
  • Buddhism in the West
  • Engaged Buddhism and Activism
  • Buddhism and Gender
  • Component revision 100% Examination