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Religious Studies GCSE
Why study GCSE Religious Studies?
This specification aims to encourage students to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, satisfying and worthwhile study of religion that will challenge and equip them to lead constructive lives in the wider modern world. Religious Studies can also help pupils to reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in light of their learning and enhance their spiritual and moral development, as well as contribute to their health and wellbeing.
The subject content aims to enhance students’ personal, social and cultural development, along with their understanding of different cultures locally, nationally and in the wider world, so they may contribute to social and community cohesion.

What does the Full GCSE course involve?

The subject content is divided into Two Units with the major topics listed as follows:

UNIT 1 – Christianity through a Study of the Gospel of Matthew

This unit aims to introduce students to a number of themes in the life and ministry of Jesus, as portrayed in Matthew’s Gospel. In their study students have an opportunity to enhance their knowledge, understanding and ability to evaluate key passages. These passages should be considered both within the religious, political, social and cultural context of Jesus’ day, and in terms of how they influence contemporary Christian lifestyle in all its diversity. Students should also have knowledge and understanding of the purpose, structure and characteristics of Matthew’s Gospel. They should recognise that some of the set passages are relevant to more than one theme.
These themes are:
 The Identity of Jesus;
 Jesus the Miracle Worker;
 Jesus’ Teaching on the Kingdom of God
 The Death and Resurrection of Jesus; and
 The Place and Nature of Christian Discipleship.

UNIT 2 - An Introduction to Christian Ethics

This unit aims to introduce students to ethics within the study of religion. Students explore:
 Personal and Family issues
 Matters of Life and Death
 Care for the Environment
 Equality
 War and Peace

Assessment objectives and Weightings

Below are the assessment objectives for this specification. Candidates must:
• describe, explain and analyse, using knowledge and understanding (AO1); and
• use evidence and reasoned argument to express and evaluate personal responses, informed insights and differing viewpoints (AO2).
AO1 and AO2 are interrelated and connections must be made.

The table below sets out the assessment objective weightings for each examination component and the overall GCSE qualification. Each pupil’s ‘quality of written communication’ (QWC) is also taken into consideration during assessment.
Assessment Objective Component Weighting

AO1 50%
AO2 50%
Total 100%

Short GCSE Course: One externally assessed written paper on one Unit lasting 1 hr 30 min.
Full GCSE Course: Two externally assessed written papers, one on each Unit lasting 1 hr 30 min.

GCSE Grades

The results of individual assessment units are reported on a uniform mark scale that reflects the assessment weighting of each unit. The grades awarded are determined by aggregating the uniform marks obtained on individual assessment units.
The overall GCSE qualification is awarded on an eight grade scale from A*–G, with A* being the highest. Please click on the link below for further information.
CCEA Religious Studies

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