All students complete the WJEC Short Course GCSE syllabus. The course lasts 2 years with one lesson of RE a week and students sit one exam at the end of the course. There is no coursework or controlled assessments. The certificate students receive will say GCSE RE (Short Course).

The course title is “Religion & Life Issues” and we study issues which affect all of us during our lives such as justice and injustice, relationships and the environment. The aim is to help students to explore, discuss, analyse and reflect on these issues and develop their own ideas and beliefs. We do not merely learn about what various religions believe or how they began. We ask questions, select and recall information and think carefully and critically in order to help students develop their own views and understand those of others.

All students are encouraged to be open minded and take a full part in group and class discussions. Listening respectfully to others is just as important as explaining your own views. If we do not listen we cannot learn.   Students will often disagree with each other but must do so respectfully.  Thoughtful, well informed discussion is a key part of the learning we do in Religious Education.

The units studied are as follows:

Year 1

  • Our World (Exploring Creation and our place in the World)
  • Is it Fair? (Issues of Justice and Equality)

Year 2

  • Relationships (Issues of love, marriage and divorce)
  • Looking for Meaning (Issues about God, life and death)


After each unit of work students complete an exam style assessment so that their progress can be tracked and targeted help provided. All work is marked using GCSE Grades.

Pupils take a school exam in the first year of the course and a mock GCSE exam in the second year of the course.

The exam syllabus requires us to study two religions only so that knowledge and understanding is detailed and has depth. At Thomas Keble we study Christianity and Islam.