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Religious Education

Mission Statement

To present an engagingly comprehensive and challenging content which is the basis of knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith, so that pupils continually deepen their religious and theological understanding


To present an authentic vision of the Church's moral and social teaching so that pupils can make a critique of the underlying trends in contemporary culture and society in order to develop their critical faculties so that they can relate their Catholic faith to daily life. Pupils are challenged to develop themselves and grow spiritually with the love of Christ in their hearts


To raise pupils' awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them; to bring clarity to the relationship between faith and life, and between faith and culture

Curriculum Intent

To deliver a broad and balanced curriculum, in line with diocesan directives, that encourages students to explore and reflect upon their faith and the beliefs of others. To help students to grow in spirituality and to recognise the role of Christianity in their personal lives, communities and the worldwide communion.

Key Stage 3

As a Core Subject, students at St Mary’s Catholic School will study Religious Education for 10% of their curriculum time. This equates to 5 hours a fortnight.

Year 7

Students begin the year by learning about the history of St Mary’s Catholic School, how the Catholic Life of the School is evident within our community, and what it means to be part of a Catholic Christian community. We study our school’s Patron Saint, as well as the lives of our various House Saints. Much of the rest of the year explores themes that tie in with the Eucharist, which is at the centre of our Catholic Faith. We explore the concepts of sin, forgiveness, sacrifice, vocation and reconciliation. We also examine the different types of texts found in the Bible and how and why these are important for Christians today.

Year 8

Our Year 8 programme of study starts right at the beginning of the Bible with a study of the Genesis accounts of Creation. We look at different ways of understanding these accounts, and how these compare to other explanations of our origins. We consider Pope Francis’ letter ‘Laudato Si’ and how it should impact on our lives as Stewards. We then look at the lives of the Prophets, and explore how their messages may still be relevant today. In the Spring Term, we focus on the life of Jesus of Nazareth, examining the reasons why Christians believe he is both Human and Divine, as well as exploring the events of his Passion and Resurrection. In the Summer Term we look at how Christianity grew from a small Jewish sect in Palestine to a global religion reaching all the way into Britain and the rest of the world. 

Year 9

In Year 9, we explore the other major world religions (Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism and Islam) as well as exploring the diversity within the Christian Faith (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches). We explore a number of themes, such as origins, initiation, food, worship and pilgrimage, each from the perspective of the different religious groups we study. Students learn about different religious beliefs and practices, evaluating similarities and differences between them and those found in Christianity.

To view our student friendly assessment criteria, please visit: Key Stage 3 Level Descriptors.

There are a wide variety of assessment tasks that give all students the opportunity to develop a variety of academic skills and achieve the intended outcomes.

Students begin their GCSE course after Easter with a study of two units. One unit focuses on Creation whilst the second unit is called Kingdom of God. 

Key Stage 4

All students at St Mary’s Catholic School study Religious Studies at GCSE and will have 5 hours a fortnight of lessons in this subject.

All students follow the AQA Religious Studies Specification B qualification. There are ten modules (units) to study in total and assessment is by two examinations at the end of Year 11. Each exam is 1 hour 45 minutes. The examinations and units are:

  • Paper 1 - Catholic Christianity (50%). This covers 6 units: Creation, Incarnation, Trinity, Redemption, Church and the Kingdom of God and Eschatology
  • Paper 2 – Perspectives on Faith (50%):
    • Judaism (25%). This comprises of two units: ‘Beliefs and teachings’ and ‘Practices’
    • Themes (25%). This comprises of the study of two themes: ‘Religion, Relationships and Families’ and ‘Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice’.

For more information please click here

Students are formally assessed in class at the end of each unit (per half term). The assessments are past exam questions. There is no coursework.

RE helps me to learn more about what it is to be a Catholic. It guides me to love God and shows me how to ‘love my neighbour’.