Religious Studies


Religious Studies is very relevant for the world in which we live. Religion and beliefs inform our values and are reflected in what we say and how we behave. A study of religion provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.

Since Eltham College was founded as a school for the sons of missionaries, the Religious Studies Department aims to embody something of that tradition; creating a thriving department where RS is taught as a rigorous academic discipline. The underlying philosophy of our approach is two-fold, firstly that every human being has a belief system of one kind or another, and secondly that we can draw on the resources and experiences of our students who come from a variety of faith communities and backgrounds.

Teaching and Learning

Throughout the Senior School at Eltham College, Religious Studies is taught in dedicated lessons by subject specialists. The principle of ‘spiral learning’ is in operation so that students are learning skills and being introduced to knowledge and concepts that will be developed throughout their studies at Eltham College. Lessons are designed so that students learn in a variety of ways through group work, paired work or individual study as appropriate. Teachers encourage students to ask questions and to reach their own informed conclusions.


Year 7 and 8

In Year 7 and 8, students have two lessons per week of Religious Studies and one piece of homework will be set. Students will study a variety of topics including:

Year 7 Year 8
Religion and Belief Arguments for the Existence of God
Community Creation Stories
Beliefs and Authority Religion and the Environment
Prayer and Workshop Social Justice
Rites of Passage Moral Problems
Festivals and Celebrations Freedom and Conscience

There is no set course textbook in Year 7 and 8. Instead, students follow a scheme of work that has been written by the department and which is accompanied by a selection of printed and digital resources.


At GCSE, Religious Studies is a core subject in the curriculum and is taught by subject specialists. We begin our GCSE course in Year 9 with a view to students choosing either to take the Short Course Religious Studies exam in Year 10, or continue their studies into Year 11 to attain the Full Course qualification. We follow the WJEC Eduqas Specification. Students are examined in three areas:

  • Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World
  • Study of Christianity
  • Study of a World Faith (Islam)

GCSE Religious Studies Specification (Short Course)

GCSE Religious Studies Specification (Full Course)

Trips, activities and clubs

  • Year 7 Trip to the Hindu Mandir in Neasden
  • Year 9 Trip to the London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre


  • Miss E Haste BA (Head of Religious Studies)
  • Mrs S Stileman MA
  • Revd. P Swaffield BA MA (Senior Chaplain)