Revising for the Year 9 Summer Exam

Year 9 have enjoyed some updated units this year, helping them to prepare for the new AQA Religious Studies GCSE which we’ll start after the May half-term. So what will they have to revise for their summer exam?

This should be enough to get you started on revision. Don’t forget there’s also some SAM Learning which has been set for all Key Stage 3 students.


What does the UN do?


Well today in the news we have an answer: they do everything in their power to promote world peace. Senior UN officials are reporting that a Syrian government plane has bombed a refugee camp near the Turkish border killing at least 28 people. This is how the UN has responded:

  1. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said he was outraged by the incident and called for those responsible to be held accountable”. Ban urged the security council to refer the situation in Syria to the international criminal court.
  2. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights said Thursday’s attacks were almost certainly a deliberate war crime.  Al Hussein said: “Given these tent settlements have been in these locations for several weeks, and can be clearly viewed from the air, it is extremely unlikely that these murderous attacks were an accident.” He too urged members of the UN security council to refer Syria to the ICC so that there would be “a clear path to punishment for those who commit crimes like these”.
  3. Other countries have felt confident enough to make comments too with France describing them as a “revolting and unacceptable act that could amount to a war crime or crime against humanity”.
  4. UN-organised peace talks in Geneva are however deadlocked after an opposition walkout and the government delegation’s refusal to discuss a political transition that would see Assad eased out of power.

Some people see the United Nations as a world government. This might be seen as good to promote world peace and human rights everywhere or dangerous if it isn’t your own national government making important decisions…


If you can’t remember the basics about the United Nations you might look at the CBBC page which gives this as a summary:

The UN works for world peace and development in many different ways.
a) It organises peace-keeping forces in trouble spots around the world.                                    b) It is also linked with organisations which help people around the world. These include:
– UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)
– UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)
– UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation)
– FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation)
– WHO (World Health Organisation)

Lots of people know about the UN because it sends peacekeeping troops to areas of conflict:


Or watch some YouTube clips:

  1. How does the UN work?
  2. How effective in the UN?
  3. Craziest moment of the General Assembly at the UN
  4. Emma Watson actress speaking at the HeForSheCampaign at the UN 2014
  5. Leonardo DiCaprio actor speaking as a UN Messenger of Peace at a Climate Summit 2014


Above you can see in the photograph how in 1942 the name “United Nations” was first coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was  used in the Declaration by United Nations of 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers.

US Air Strikes in Syria have now killed 41

When trying to decide if a war is Just War students should refer to its criteria:

just or not

News that the number of civilians killed by US air strikes in Syria against ISIS has doubled to 41 could sway people’s opinions on whether it is truly a Just War. The poster below explains the reasons some people say it isn’t Just War. Can you think of arguments to say it is?

its not just war

Case Studies for Peace and Conflict

In Unit 8 Section 3 of the GCSE RS exam we need to have some case studies up our sleeves which we can use to explain Just War theory, Lesser Jihad and Holy War.

You might want to know about ISIS and what’s happening in Iraq, so you’ve also got examples of what the United Nations does to try and avoid conflict.

Or perhaps you want to learn about President Bush’s War on Terror with Iraq and Afghanistan, linking to 9/11.

Finally this is an amazing BBC website page with numerous articles and video clips to help you understand how the Afghanistan War began with 9/11’s terrorist attack in New York. Why not get 5-10 flash cards and record the main points, get someone to test you about the information, and then reduce the facts down to just one flash card. Next time you attempt a Unit 8 Section 3 question, probably a c question, you’ll have lots of knowledge to help you.

Useful films to watch for GCSE RS

Here are just a selection of films Year 11 might try to watch over the holidays to help them think about topics in our RS GCSE.


Cider House Rules Honored with two Academy Awards, Best Supporting Actor, Michael Caine, and Best Adapted Screenplay, John Irving, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES tells a heartwarming story about how far a young man must travel to find the place where he truly belongs! Homer Wells (Tobey Macguire) has lived nearly his entire life within the walls of St. Cloud’s Orphanage in rural Maine. Though groomed by its proprietor, Dr. Larch, to be his successor, Homer nonetheless feels the need to strike out on his own and experience the world outside. Then, while working at an apple orchard, Homer falls for the beautiful Candy (Charlize Theron) and learns some powerful lessons about love.

Vera Drake In 1950, in London, Vera Drake is a simple woman of a low-class but happy family. She works cleaning upper-class houses; her beloved husband is a mechanic and works with his brother in a repair shop; her son is a tailor; and her daughter tests and packs electric lamps. The helpful Vera is a very good and cooperative woman, helping her sick mother, a handicapped neighbor and whoever needs her. She also induces miscarriages in women who do not want to have children, for no payment. When a woman has complications with her intervention and goes to the hospital, the police investigate the occurrence…

Juno A whip-smart teen confronts an unplanned pregnancy by her classmate.


I can’t find a decent quality trailer  so this will have to do for The Life of David Gale When anti-death penalty activist David Gale is convicted and condemned to death for the murder of a colleague, reporter Bitsey Bloom sets out to learn the story behind Gale’s crime. What she finds challenges her belief in Gale’s guilt and, finally, in the justice system.

Dead Man Walking A nun, while comforting a convicted killer on death row, empathizes with both the killer and his victim’s families. Here’s also the Reconciliation scene near the end of the film.


This 2004 film The Future of Food can be watched in its entirety on YouTube; offering an investigation of genetically engineered food which is in the shops without you realising it. I’m squeezing in these TV programmes incase the thought of watching a whole documentary is just too much to stomach: Horizon: Goats with Spider Silk and a very short trailer for Genetic Engineering Intelligent Babies.


Hotel Rwanda Nominated for 3 Oscars, including for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Don Cheadle) and Best Original Screenplay. Hotel Rwanda is  based on real life events in 1994 Rwanda, when hotelier Paul Rusesabagina attempted to save his fellow citizens from the ravages of the Rwandan Genocide. The film, which has been called an African Schindler’s List, documents Rusesabagina’s acts to save the lives of his family and more than a thousand other refugees, by granting them shelter in the besieged Hôtel des Mille Collines. Hotel Rwanda explores genocide, political corruption, and the repercussions of violence.

Fog of War A film about the former US Secretary of Defense and the various difficult lessons he learned about the nature and conduct of modern war.

The Unknown Known This time about the former United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, who discusses his career in Washington D.C. from his days as a congressman in the early 1960s to planning the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Interpreter Political intrigue and deception unfold inside the United Nations, where a U.S. Secret Service agent is assigned to investigate an interpreter who overhears an assassination plot.


Probably only exciting for the teacher

Get this! During the debate today in the House of Commons about whether Britain should go and bomb ISIS in Syria, an MP pretty much quoted Just War Theory as his reasons why bombing was a good idea:

“I believe Isis/Daesh poses a real and present danger to British citizens and that its dedicated external operations unit is based not in Iraq, where the RAF is already fully engaged, but in Syria. This external operations unit is responsible for killing 30 British holidaymakers on a beach in Sousse and a British rock fan who perished along with 129 others in the Paris atrocity a few weeks ago.

Is it a just cause, is the proposed action a last resort, is it proportionate, does it have a reasonable prospect of success, does it have broad regional support, does it have a clear legal base? I think it meets all of those criteria.” Alan Johnson MP