Key Stage 3 RE

Religion is the foundation of culture, and therefore a study of religion is vital in helping pupils to understand society’s beliefs, morals and values. Religious Education at Archbishop Holgate’s School teaches students to develop an understanding and respect for different groups within society, as well as an interest and appreciation of their beliefs and practices. It encourages pupils to be curious and inquisitive about the deeper philosophical meanings of religions, and enthuses them to reflect on their own personal beliefs, morals and values in a positive, supportive and safe environment.

“True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness.” Albert Einstein

Course description

The Church of England states that: ‘Religious Education is not just an academic subject, but, lying at the very heart of the curriculum, has an important role in reflecting and conveying the distinctively Christian character of the school.’ As a Church of England Academy, the main aims of RE at Archbishop Holgate’s School are to enable pupils to:

  • Encounter Christianity as the religion that shaped British culture and heritage and influences the lives of millions of people today;
  • Learn about the other major religions, their impact on culture and politics, art and history, and on the lives of their adherents;
  • Develop an understanding of religious faith as the search for and expression of truth;
  • Contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual / philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own faith and beliefs.

The KS3 RE curriculum is taught across Year 7 and Year 8; in Year 9, pupils begin the KS4 syllabus.

The following units are currently taught at KS3, although the Year 8 units will be revised for 2018/19 to build on our new Year 7 units.

  • Global Christianity (Year 7 Autumn Term) introduces pupils to key Christian history and concepts, including an exploration of The Big Frieze, a brand new illustrated resource to enhance pupils’ understanding of the Bible. This unit also considers the significance of Christianity across the world, introduces our school Christian values and examines important Christian commitments, celebrations and practices. This unit includes a visit to Heslington Church.
  • Creation (Year 7 Spring Term 1) is the first in a series of units exploring key Christian theological concepts in detail, building on from the introductory work pupils will have done on The Big Frieze. Pupils learn about Christian belief in the universe as God’s good creation, and the role and place of humanity within this.
  • Fall (Year 7 Spring Term 2) explores different interpretations of the story of Adam and Eve’s original sin found in Genesis 3, particularly the idea of humanity’s separation from God, the concept of moral evil and how this links to Christian beliefs about salvation.
  • People of God (Year 7 Summer  Term 1) is a focus on Old Testament stories which tell of God’s attempts to reverse the impact of the Fall, but how God’s plan appears to end in failure with the people of God left awaiting a Messiah or Saviour.
  • Buddhism and Sikhism (Year 7 Summer Term 2) is a comparative study of Buddhism and Sikhism which introduces pupils to the key beliefs, teachings and practices of each religion. Pupils will be encouraged to reflect on the place of our school  values within other religions.
  • Personal Commitment and Living in God’s Image (Year 8 Term 1) is a deeper study of what it means to be a Christian, including the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and marriage, as well as the impact that living out our school Christian values can have on the world today.
  • Jesus and the Buddha (Year 8 Term 2) is a comparative study of Christianity and Buddhism which introduces pupils to the teachings of the Buddha and builds on the teachings of Jesus (including an exploration of the death and resurrection of Jesus which is positioned to coincide with the liturgical year), encouraging pupils to evaluate and to acknowledge ways in which these religious are complementary.
  • Judaism and Islam (Year 8 Term 3) is a comparative study of Judaism and Islam, including an exploration of the origins of both religions and how Christianity fits in as the third Abrahamic religion, the lives of Moses and Mohammad and key religious worship practices and festivals. The final two units in Year 8 include a visit to Pocklington Buddhist Centre and York Mosque.


Your child will be formally assessed in Religious Education at KS3 each half term, including an end of year assessment covering content from the whole year. All assessments take the form of a written test, but will be differentiated to meet any educational needs your child may have. 

Ways to help my child succeed

Please encourage your daughter/son to take an active interest in the world around them, particularly in the role that that religion plays at a local, national and international level. This might be through watching the news, reading newspapers or by discussing religious and ethical issues at home. Encourage your daughter/son to justify any viewpoints they may have, and to ensure they have considered a variety of viewpoints before coming to their own conclusions.

Useful websites'

RE Entitlement

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