Religious Education is central to the school. The department aims to deepen the Roman Catholic faith of the pupils and to inform pupils of the Catholic perspective on issues, helping them to make informed decisions and to develop their human person. It is also important that pupils are able to produce good outcomes at GCSE and that they are prepared well for this.
In the sixth form GCE Religious Studies is taught. In addition to this all students participate in General RE lessons and complete an ASDAN Wider Key Skills qualification which can count towards their UCAS points.
From the Catholic Bishops (Curriculum Directory)
‘The primary purpose of Catholic Religious Education is to come to know and understand God’s revelation which is fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. The Catholic school is ‘a clear educational project of which Christ is the foundation.’ In the person of Christ, the deepest meaning of what it is to be human — that we are created by God and through the Holy Spirit united with Christ in his Incarnation — is discovered. This revelation is known through the scriptures and the tradition of the Church as taught by the Magisterium. Religious Education helps the pupil to know and experience the meaning of this revelation in his or her own life and the life of the community which is the Church. Hence ‘the promotion of the human person is the goal of the Catholic school.’
The recent S.48 Inspection Report stated that:
‘The quality of teaching and learning in Religious Education is good with some outstanding teaching. A newly written scheme of work for Key Stage 3 reflects the new methodologies demanded at Key Stage 4.’
‘In lessons and in discussions students are reflective and enquiring. Most students are happy to share their beliefs and to answer questions. Students’ responses are thoughtful and caring showing real moral purpose.’
KEY STAGE 3
In Key Stage 3 we follow the Diocesan approved directorate for Religious Education. In Year 7, students will gain an understanding of core Christian beliefs and practices. Throughout Year 7, students will be studying the following scheme of learning:
Half Term 1 – Beliefs about God
- Students will start by learning about belonging to both the school and Church community along with core beliefs about God.
Half Term 2 – Jesus
- Students will be investigating how Jesus is the Incarnation, leading on to the Christian principles of Messiahship.
Half Term 3 – Kingdom of God
- Students will develop their knowledge of the Kingdom of God as expressed through parables.
Half term 4 – Sacraments
- Students will study the importance of the sacraments and the symbols used in each. Students will also spend time reflecting and preparing for Easter.
Half term 5 – Joys and Challenges
- Students will be studying key Christian figures and the teachings that influenced them.
Half Term 6 – Judaism
- Students will gain an insight into the basic Jewish beliefs and practices.
In Year 8, students will develop knowledge of key Christian teachings and the beliefs that arise from them. Throughout Year 8, students will be studying the following scheme of learning:
Half Term 1 – Relationship with God
- Students will learn about the covenants God made with his people.
Half Term 2 – Forgiveness
- Students will study the key Christian teachings on forgiveness and the impact they can have.
Half Term 3 – Christian Life
- Students will investigate a variety of religious laws and Jesus’ teachings which impact our moral behaviour.
Half term 4 – The Passion
- Students will examine in depth The Passion account and the impact it has had on Christians throughout history and today. Students will also spend time reflecting and preparing for Easter.
Half term 5 – Hinduism
- Students will gain an insight into the basic Hindu beliefs and practices.
Half Term 6 – Social Justice
- Students will learn and review Catholic social teachings and how they can impact Christian duty to create a Kingdom of peace and justice today.
In Year 9, students will embed core Christian values and further understand the impact that beliefs can have on Christian lives today. During the summer term they will start their GCSE in Religious Education.
Half Term 1 – Life of Prayer
- Students will learn about the different forms of prayer and how pilgrimage can be a version of prayer.
Half Term 2 – Word Made Flesh
- Students will understand the Catholic doctrine of Incarnation and how God Made Flesh was sacrificed for human salvation.
Half Term 3 – Life After Death
- Students will study the Catholic teachings on life after death, the sanctity of life and palliative care.
Half term 4 – Islam
- Students will gain an insight into the basic Islamic beliefs and practices.
Half term 5 & 6 – Eduqas GCSE: Route B
- Students will begin their GCSE course in Religious Studies, following the Eduqas specification.
To assess the students’ progress, they will receive written feedback a minimum of every 2-3 weeks. They will be formally assessed at the end of each unit where they will be given a green pen challenge to help make further progress.
To help develop independent learning, each student will be expected to complete three pieces of homework each half term consisting of:
- Spelling test of keywords for the half term
- Knowledge based question
- Revision for end of unit assessment
All homeworks will be set on Smarthomework, accessible from the school website. Students will be given an appropriate amount of time to complete homework to a high standard.
- Visit to St Thomas More Church
- Visit to Durham Cathedral
- Pilgrimage to Lindisfarne
KEY STAGE 4
Students complete the Eduqas GCSE in Religious Studies, Route B. This follows Diocesan and DfE guidelines.
Two of the three components focus on Catholic theology with the third being a study of another world faith, Judaism.
Component 1: Foundational Catholic Theology
- Theme 1: Origins and Meaning
- Theme 2: Good and Evil
Component 2: Applied Catholic Theology
- Theme 1: Life and Death
- Theme 2: Sin and Forgiveness
Component 3: Study of a World Faith
- Candidates will study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Judaism
There will be 3 GCSE written exams at the end of Year 11.
Component 1 will be assessed with a 90 minute exam worth 37.5% of the GCSE.
Component 2 will also be assessed with a 90 minute exam worth again 37.5% of the GCSE.
Component 3 will be assessed with a 60 minute exam worth 25% of the GCSE.
Internal assessment will take place across Y10 and Y11 with 4 assessments per component.
At KS4 homework largely focuses around exam practice techniques. Exam questions will be given out every 2-3 weeks. Students will also be asked, at appropriate points, to complete research and personal revision.
We hold extra lessons during lunchtime and after school in order to prepare pupils for their RE GCSE examinations at Key Stage 4.
The annual pilgrimage to Lourdes takes place every May for Y10 pupils. This is always a very successful pilgrimage with the pupils who attend often feeling completely renewed and changed after the experience of working with the sick in our Diocese and having the opportunity to strengthen their own faith at a place of huge spiritual significance. A group of staff and pupils come together regularly to meet and fundraise in preparation for the trip.
Mrs A Corcoran – Curriculum Team Leader (Email:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mrs K Tate – Asst Curriculum Team Leader
Mr P Douglas – Subject Teacher
Mrs C Gargett – Subject Teacher and Head of Citizenship and PSHE
Miss E McHugh – Subject Teacher
Mr P Martin – Subject Teacher and Head of Year
Mr P Saxton – Subject Teacher
Mrs N Flounders – Subject Teacher