Chaucer Subject Intent - RE

At Chaucer we deliver an engaging modern course which is both relevant and challenging in our context. In KS3 students receive one hour a week of religious studies and ethics. At KS4 we go to study Global Views. This is delivered weekly and has a literacy and cross-curricular exam skills focus. Students who want to deepen and enrich their study also have the option of GCSE Citizenship.

Our mission is to deliver a meaningful, diverse and engaging curriculum, which includes the exploration of religion, ethics and global views. We expose students to a broad spectrum of ideas and teachings and encourage them to be open minded, analytical and curious. By learning about other people, the way they think and the way they live we seek to take our students beyond their everyday experiences.

Each unit of work poses a 'big question'; something to spark intrigue and inspire an immediate response. Students then go on to explore the question through a range of religious and non-religious perspectives. We use artefacts, images, original texts, stories and news articles to create a rich pool of knowledge from which students can express their personal thoughts and opinions. 

We believe the confident command of language to be essential to the development of independent and critical thought so we dedicate curriculum time to both extended reading and structured writing. Scaffolds and support materials are used to ensure all learners can access the learning with confidence. Key texts are hand written to ensure they are accessible without compromising on depth or complexity of content. Units of work are cyclical in structure and ensure students can access increasingly demanding concepts while revisiting and reactivating skills and knowledge across the breadth of the curriculum.

Our curriculum gives us many opportunities to explore social, moral and cultural issues with our students. All ideas, opinions and values are treated with the respect that arises from a deeper understanding of the world and its rich variety of perspectives.

Curriculum Description

In KS3 we explore one ‘Big Question’ each half term. We use artefacts, videos, stories, images and factual texts in order to search for answers. Every unit requires us to do a ‘Big Read’ and is assessed when students complete a ‘Big Write’. We examine each question from a range of worldviews including Christianity, Atheism, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism – we also enjoy a ‘Wild Card’ lesson each half term where we look at the Big Question through a different and often unusual lens.

Our Big Questions this year…

Year 7.

  • Is Sheffield a religious city?
  • Where, how and why do people worship?
  • How does Sheffield celebrate?
  • Who (or what) is god?
  • Can we talk to god?
  • If we pray, does god listen?

Year 8.

  • Does life have rules?
  • Where do we come from?
  • Why are we here?
  • What happens when we die?
  • If he exists, why does god let bad things happen?
  • What does God look like?

Year 9.

  • Are we responsible for other people?
  • Are people good or evil?
  • Are some things always wrong?
  • Can I be ‘me’ and still be religious?
  • What does love mean?
  • Can a scientist be religious?


At GCSE students can opt to study Citizenship. Citizenship is a vast subject which helps students understand and engage with the world around them.

Students study a range of important ideas and continue to ask challenging and interesting questions. These include:

Living together in the UK

  • What is identity?
  • How have communities developed in the UK?
  • The History of Human Rights
  • What are democratic values?
  • How does local democray work?

Democracy at work in the UK

  • Who runs the country?
  • How does Parliament work?
  • How does the government manage public money?
  • How is power shared?

Law and Justice

  • What is the law?
  • How does the justice system work?
  • Is crime increasing in society?

Power and Influence

  • What power and influence do citizens have?
  • What role does the media play?


Students are also required to take part in a project where they are carry out research, interpret evidence, plan and collaborate. They develop problem-solving skills and campaign for something that means a lot to them.