StPeters Nov18 53
Religious pluralism will certainly be a significant fact of life [in years to come]. Instead of seeing one another as rivals, faith communities are likely to become more aware of the rise of irreligion and spiritual indifference in the world, and may see themselves as fellow witnesses to the reality of God.

The words above are those of the former Bishop of Winchester, John V Taylor, and sum up much of the approach towards teaching Religious Studies at St Olave’s. The School has a strong Anglican heritage and today still has links with York Minster. Nevertheless, we welcome pupils from other Christian denominations, other faiths and those of none.

‘Irreligion and spiritual indifference’ can perhaps be seen as the real opponents to religious understanding - not other denominations and faiths. Moreover a child who is sceptical and questioning, and who is not indifferent, plays a vital role in the RS classroom. He or she should never be told to accept anything without questioning.

Religious Studies at St Olave’s then is very much about explaining the views of others, showing respect to believers and belief systems, and one where the teacher’s views are left outside the classroom. Where this is not the case is when the issue is clearly one of right and wrong - where ‘irreligion’ might otherwise triumph.  In such situations teachers must take the moral lead.

We offer a stimulating teaching programme, supported by outside visits. In addition, many of the writing and analytical skills developed in the RS classroom prepare pupils for the senior school not only in RS but also for academic study in general.

Curriculum Overview

The themes from the Independent Schools Syllabus inspire much of the work done in the lower part school while in the older years the Common Entrance syllabus together with the Archbishop of York’s Christian Leadership Certificate forms the scaffolding for the programme of study.





Who was Jesus?
Advent and Christmas

Christ’s childhood



Promises and Trust

Repentance and forgiveness




Judaism and New Testament studies

New Testament studies


An overview of common elements in all religions


Hinduism and Gandhi 

New Testament studies

New Testament studies

Christian moral heroes – Dr King



Old Testament studies and ethics

Old Testament studies and ethics

Christian moral heroes – the Rowntrees