Religious Studies

With its Christian foundation, the School aims to enable our pupils to develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith and its relevance in today’s world. We also aim to enable our pupils to develop knowledge and understanding of some of the major world religions.

Ballard School has a lively RS department, committed to the high achievement and well-being of our pupils. We want to prepare them for adulthood by providing many opportunities for pupils to reflect on spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues. Pupils of all ages are encouraged to express their ideas and learn the importance of mutual respect and tolerance. This is essential as our pupils grow up in multi-cultural Britain.

The emphasis of the syllabus is on the Christian faith but there is also ample time given to study other world faiths. Our younger pupils study the life of Jesus and simple aspects of Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism and Islam. Our Senior pupils continue with some of these topics in greater depth and detail. There are also plenty of opportunities to discuss moral and social issues, such as racism and poverty in our world.

Those pupils who continue with RS at GCSE level study the following:

  1.  Christian beliefs, teachings and practices.
  2.  Jewish beliefs, teachings and practices.
  3.  Religious and ethical studies from the Christian and Jewish perspectives.

Over the past four years pupils have achieved 100% 9 to 4 / A* to C grades at GCSE and RS continues to be a popular GCSE choice.


RS in Pre-Prep provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, one’s self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.

We aim to develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity but also other principal religions, religious traditions and worldviews that offer answers to questions these important questions.

RS also contributes to our pupils’ personal development and well-being and to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society.

Lower Prep

Although this subject is taught predominantly from a Christian perspective, using the Bible as a major source and reference, other faiths including Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam are introduced.

Examining other religions and unfolding various moral and philosophical issues fosters religious tolerance, curiosity, imagination and creativity.

Upper Prep

A closer examination of other world faiths becomes a key part of the RS syllabus. The philosophy of religion and a wider understanding of the nature of God are explored.

Healthy debates and group discussions are key to learning. At this stage, the questions the pupils ask are often more important than the answers they produce.

Again, the pupils’ curiosity, imagination, creativity and tolerance towards others are key principles.


The syllabus studied in the Senior School is much more philosophical in its nature. Theories evolving around theism, atheism and new atheism are all fully explored. Furthermore, many of the social and ethical issues are examined from various religious perspectives.

Intellectual curiosity is encouraged and supported by events such as Christian Focus Week, as well as our weekly Christian Union meetings in the Lower, Upper and Senior parts of the School.

Religious Studies trips have included visits to a local church, the Jewish synagogue in Bournemouth, Moorlands College in Sopley and Faithworks Wessex.