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Religious Education & Philosophy

“Whenever I come out of RE my head is exploding with questions and my whole body aches – this is not because I don’t understand – it is because I’m buzzing with new thoughts.”

Student voice at the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE).

Through Religious Education a student at Mayfield will be introduced to a religious narrative which will bring them into a relationship with the wider world of religious experience. We aim to create a critical dialogue between the horizon of the student and the horizon of faith, religious traditions, and world views. 

Key Concepts

Religious Studies presents an opportunity to learn about people different from ourselves, who may belong to a religious or belief tradition different from our own. It encourages pupils to learn about and develop their own life view and learn the practices and beliefs of others. The key aim is to develop understanding and respect. 

Key Skills

The skills developed through Religious Education are many and varied.  The most important are listed below:

Investigation: To ask relevant questions of a text or a person or about an idea from a variety of sources and to learn what constitutes evidence. 

Interpretation: To develop the ability to draw meaning from artefacts, works of art, poetry and symbolism. To interpret religious language and learn from and about the different interpretations of a religious text. 

Observing: The ability to give your full attention to an experience and appreciate the beauty, order, shape, pattern and mystery of a religious practise, belief, or experience. 

Responding: The ability to respond in a variety of ways to the natural world and human experience. 

Questioning: To developing a sense of curiosity about religious beliefs and practices, human relationships, and ultimate questions and a willingness to ask those questions. To be able to ask relevant and probing questions. 

Researching: To understand where to go to find information about religion and religions. To know how to use different types of sources and understanding what evidence is required. 

Empathy: The ability to consider thoughts, feelings, experiences, attitudes, beliefs, needs, desires, hopes, aspirations, motivation, and values of others. To develop the power of imagination to identify feelings such as love, wonder, forgiveness, and sorrow. With the ability to see the world through the eyes of others and to see issues from their point of view. 

Analysis: The ability to distinguish between opinion, fact, and belief, to ask religious questions and distinguish the different features of different religions. It also involves recognising similarities and differences between religious lifestyles and their distinctiveness from secular lifestyles. 

Evaluation: The ability to debate issues of religious significance with reference to experience, evidence and argument, weighing up respective aims of self-interest, consideration for others, religious teaching and individual conscience and drawing conclusions which are balanced and informed by evidence, dialogue, and experience. 

Reflection: The ability to reflect on personal feelings, feelings of other people, relationships, experience, ultimate questions, beliefs, and practices. 

In addition, a Religious Education student would develop critical thinking skills, organisation, and time management skills and importantly the ability to work as a team. 

 What is taught?

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 GCSE Core (AQA) GCSE

Option (AQA)

6th Form Core A Level


What difference does it make to believe in? Why is there suffering? Are there any good solutions? GCSE Short Course Philosophy A study of Jewish Beliefs and Teachings.

(Year 10)

A study of Buddhist and Christian Beliefs, Teachings.

(Year 10)


Conferences are delivered on Feminism, Spirituality and Ethics

(Topics are subject to change.)

Four units are studied:

Epistemology, Morality, The Metaphysics of God, and The Metaphysics of the Mind.

(Year 12)

Does living biblically mean obeying the whole Bible? Does religion help people to be good? Two themes are also studied starting with: Relationships and Families.

(Year 10)

Four themes are also studied starting with:

Religion and Life, The existence of God and Revelation.

(Year 10)

What is so radical about Jesus? Should religious building be sold to feed the starving? Is religion a power for peace or a cause of conflict in the world today? A study of Christian Beliefs and Teachings.

(Year 11)

A study of Buddhist and Christian Practices.

(Year 11)

Morality, The Metaphysics of God, and The Metaphysics of the Mind.

(Year 13)

How can people express the spiritual through music and art? Should happiness be the purpose of life? What is good and what is challenging about being a teenage Muslim in Britain today? The second theme is: Religion, peace, and conflict.

(Year 11)

The last two themes are:

Religion, Crime and Punishment and Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice.

(Year 11)


Academic literacy in Religious Education & Philosophy

In Religious Education religious literacy is, ‘the ability to reflect, communicate and act in an informed intelligent and sensitive manner towards the phenomenon of religion’. (Wright (1993)) Thus at Mayfield we aim to develop students so that they can embark on a conversation with and about religion that reflects an age-related level of wisdom, insight, intelligence, and informed and balanced judgements. We have an interpretative approach to the subject that encourages students to interpret, and reflect on the significance of beliefs, with the aim of helping them work out their own ideas and views in relation to the plurality of beliefs that they encounter in the classroom and in the wider world. 

Students are encouraged to extend their interest in Religious Education & Philosophy by…

We encourage reading around the subjects we studied, with the acknowledgement that in the modern world students can also use YouTube and the specifically approved religious sites as directed by members of staff. Extra and extending work is available to stretch and challenge students. We also make students aware of any competitions available with a religious theme. 

Enrichment Opportunities

We offer many trips to places of worship, museums, and places of religious interest.  For example:

  • the Gurdwara in Gravesend
  • Buddhist temple in Wimbledon
  • Westminster Cathedral
  • Wesley Chapel. 

We offer conferences, particularly to the Sixth Form, where they can explore a subject in depth. 

There are also opportunities for overseas trips to India and Italy.

Careers Guidance and Support for Religious Education and Philosophy:






MGSG Careers