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St Mary's Catholic High School

Religious Studies

Head of Department - Mr Matthew Turner

Vision Statement

It is our intent through our Religious Studies curriculum to engage, inspire and challenge our pupils, raising awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them. Through studying Religious Studies, students will learn how to critically evaluate a range of topics and issues, develop skills in considering evidence and structuring an argument. It is our aim to ensure pupils receive stimulating and engaging RE lessons.


As a core subject in our Catholic School, we are concerned about the growth of the whole person and as such the Religious Studies Department plays a fundamental role in the spiritual and moral development of its students. We therefore aim to equip each student with an enquiring mind and a reflective soul.

We aim to help all students to develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity, with a primary focus on the Catholic Faith, as well as encouraging them to learn about and from different religions, beliefs, and traditions to contribute to the development of their spiritual and philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own faith and beliefs.

We aim to develop both knowledge and understanding of the response of faith to the ultimate questions about human life. To consider challenging questions such as the origin, meaning and purpose of life, and to consider the moral issues of right and wrong.

The Religious Studies department contributes to the School's wider curriculum aims in:

  • appropriately unfolding the Church’s teaching across the curriculum;
  • offering a genuine experience of worship and prayer;
  • maintaining a high standard of education;
  • providing an atmosphere where good communication can take place; nurturing a pastoral dimension that offers appropriate support to all within the school community;
  • fostering links with the wider community.

 Curriculum overview

The Religious Studies curriculum plan is guided by the Curriculum Directory, published by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales (CBCEW)

CBCEW - Curriculum Directory

Religious Studies lessons are planned so they include an element of interactive activities, a time for pupils to discuss and finally an element of assessment.

In Year 7 we lay the foundations of the Catholic faith with our overall curriculum centring around Catholic values. As they progress through the school, they increase their religious literacy by learning about other faiths as well as focusing on Catholic Christianity. 

We encourage pupils to develop their own faith and spirituality, encouraging them to become active members of the community living out the Gospel value of love.

Key Stage 3

Year 7 – topics taught

  • What do Catholics believe and practice?; The Church and Birth of Jesus; Revelation and faith and Judaism; Holy Week; World Religion (Buddhism/Sikhism/Hinduism); Human relationships.

Year 8 – topics taught

  • The Mission of the Church; Does God exist?; Judaism Beliefs and practices; Paschal Mystery and the Mystery of the Eucharist; Vocation; Human Relationships.

Year 9 – topics taught

  • Islam Beliefs and Practices; Mark’s Gospel- Who is Jesus?; Mark’s Gospel- Nature of discipleship; Mark’s Gospel- Conflict and Argument; Comparative Religion; Ethics.

Religious Studies - Year 7 Curriculum Map

Religious Studies - Year 8 Curriculum Map

Religious Studies - Year 9 Curriculum Map

Key Stage 4

Students will study Edexcel Religious Studies Specification A: Faith and Practice in the 21st Century. 

Year 10 – topics taught

Catholic Christianity

  • Beliefs and Teachings
  • Practices
  • Sources of Wisdom and Authority
  • Forms of Expression and Ways of Life

Philosophy and Ethics

  • Arguments for the Existence of God
  • Religious Teachings on Relationships and Families in the 21st Century

Year 11 – topics taught


  • Beliefs And Teachings
  • Practices

The rest of Year 11 will be devoted to revision and exam preparation.

Religious Studies - Year 10 Curriculum Map

Religious Studies - Year 11 Curriculum Map

Edexcel Religious Studies A - Specification