Religious Education (RE) at West Hill is about preparing our boys for life in the modern evolving and truly global world that they live in. We therefore feel it is vital that they develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the core religious and spiritual beliefs of the main world religions to prepare them for the variety of different faiths and cultures they will encounter throughout their lives. We believe that this helps to combat ignorance and solve misunderstanding whilst also creating the space for them to analyse and reflect upon their own beliefs and judgements.

Departmental staff

  • Mr G Harrison - Head of Department, Head of IDP & Community Co-ordinator
  • Ms L Frear      - Teacher of RE


To ensure that your son develops a deep and broad understanding of religious beliefs and traditions in the UK and our local community the RE curriculum at West Hill has been developed in line with the Tameside Locally Agreed Syllabus.

Lesson contact time at KS3 is 1 hour per week. The topics followed are:

Year 7

  • What is Religion?
  • Christian Beliefs 1
  • Islam 1
  • Sikhism
  • Prejudice and Discrimination
  • Questions of faith, purpose and identity

Year 8

  • Judaism
  • Ultimate Questions 1: existence of God 
  • Islam 2
  • Buddhism 
  • Ultimate Questions 2: Science and religion 
  • Christian Beliefs 2 

Year 9

  • Life and Death
  • Ethical Dilemmas
  • Justice & Conflict
  • New Religious Movements 
  • The Holocaust

Years 10 & 11

If you son chooses to opt for RE as an option subject lesson contact time is 3 hours per week. If your son does not choose RE as an option subject he will be taught RE as part of the IDP programme in a 7-10 week block of 1 hour per week. In these lessons your son will apply his understanding of religion developed at KS3 to consider topical issues such as religion and homosexuality.

As an Option Subject

You do not have to be religious to study this course. You simply need to be interested in ethical questions, current issues and what others think. You need to be willing to think deeply about your own opinions, and the beliefs and responses of different religious people.

We follow the new Edexcel GCSE (9–1) in Religious Studies Specification B. 

Students will study two different religions- Christianity and Islam. Their understanding of each religion will be assessed through two separate 1 hour and 45 minute examination papers at the end of Year 11. 

The topics studied are as follows:

Christianity: Religion and Ethics

  • Christian Beliefs
  • Marriage and the Family
  • Living the Religious Life
  • Matters of Life and Death

Islam: Religion, Peace & Conflict

  • Islamic Beliefs
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Living the Religious Life
  • Peace and Conflict


To support your son’s learning and engagement in this subject he needs to have: two pens, pencil, pencil crayons, ruler, eraser, two highlighters, pencil sharpener and calculator.  It will also help him if he has: GCSE revision guide, dictionary and thesaurus.


In Years 7 to 9 there are textbooks available which you may wish to purchase to support your son:

  • Religions and Beliefs: Islam: Student's Book with ISBN 978-0748796724
  • Religions and Beliefs: Christianity: Pupil's Book with ISBN 978-0748796700

Other specific texts can be recommended by your son’s teacher.

At KS4 we recommend that your son purchases the Hodder My Revision Notes by Victor Watton RRP £8.99 to support his studies and aid his revision. Your son’s teacher will take an order for these directly at the beginning of the academic year. However, should you wish to purchase on for your son they are available via Amazon.


In years 10 and 11 pupils follow the Edexcel - Religious Studies specification.  This course is assessed by examinations only at the end of Year 11.  The exam is based on two papers.  Further details are available from the examination board here: