Personal Development KS4

Personal Development in Y10 and Y11 continues to include Religious Education, PSHE and Citizenship. Religious Education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops students’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity and Islam in relation to the topics we study. It focuses on secular views that offer answers to challenging questions.

At Key Stage 4 student follow the Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies Short Course within their Personal Development lessons. They will complete the following four units of study:

  • Believing in God
  • Matters of Life and Death
  • Marriage and the Family
  • Religion and Community Cohesion

The specification aims to enable students:

  • To adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion
  • To explore religions and beliefs, reflect on fundamental questions, and engage with them intellectually and respond personally
  • To enhance their spiritual and moral development, and contribute to their health and wellbeing
  • To enhance their personal, social and cultural development, their understanding of different cultures locally, nationally and in the wider world, and contribute to social and community cohesion
  • To develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, the study of religion, and relate it to the wider world
  • To reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in light of their learning


Students will take one examination at the end of a two year course (Unit 8 ‘Religion and Life’ Edexcel GCSE short course). They will be assessed through a one-and-a-half hour examination and the exam paper will be divided into four sections. Students choose one of two questions set for each section — four questions in total. Each question is divided into four parts with each part increasing in difficulty.


The course gives students the opportunity to develop skills in evaluation and consideration of issues from a range of perspectives. These skills are highly valued by a range of employers and will benefit the students in their studies across the curriculum.

PSHE and Citizenship

The Religious Education elements of the Personal Development curriculum continues to complemented by the PSHE Association’s advised content and the National Curriculum specification for Citizenship.at GCSE. Topics covered are as follows:

Year 10:

  • Marriage, divorce, family life (including parenting skills)
  • Adoption, fostering & IVF
  • Equality
  • Homosexuality
  • Sex and relationships education (SRE) including contraception, STI’s, abortion, unhealthy and abusive relationships and the issue of consent
  • Emotional health and wellbeing including self-confidence and self-esteem, body image and mental and emotional disorders

Year 11:

  • Political literacy including the constitution, electoral systems, Human rights, International law and the UK legal system
  • Community cohesion
  • Discrimination and racism


Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies Short Course


Homework will be take a range of forms, including extended homework opportunities to be completed across a half-term which will encourage students independent learning skills and one-off tasks that will enrich students understanding of the topics discussed in class.


Students experience a multitude of opportunities to enrich their personal development. Details can be found in the "Opportunities" section of this website.