St. Mary's

Religious Studies Subject Overview

Statement of Intent

It is our intent for the Religious Education element of our Academy curriculum to engage, inspire, challenge and encourage students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to answer challenging questions about the world around them. Religious Education is the “core of the core curriculum” (Pope St John Paul II) at St Mary’s Catholic Academy. Our mission is to educate the whole person in discerning the meaning of their existence. Religious Education is concerned with more than just intellectual knowledge as it includes emotional learning. It is through Religious Education that students are able to consider what it means to be truly human. Religious Education affords students the opportunity to attain harmony between faith and culture. Students will be able to deepen their understanding of God as encountered and taught by Christians. The teaching of Religious Education makes links between the beliefs, practices and value systems of a range of faiths and world-views studied. The Religious Education curriculum will help to develop responsibility and respect for all aspects of diversity, whether it be social, cultural and religious, and prepare students well for life in modern Britain.

The Catholic Education Service makes the purpose of Religious Education in our Catholic Academy clear. Our primary aim is to “help parents, priests and teachers to hand on the Deposit of Faith in its fullness to a new generation of young people so that they may come to understand the richness of the Catholic faith, and thereby be drawn into a deeper communion with Christ in his Church.” (Religious Education Curriculum Directory).

The Religious Education Curriculum Directory (RECD) makes the aims of Religious Education explicit:

  1. To present engagingly a comprehensive content which is the basis of knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith.
  2. To enable students continually to deepen their religious and theological understanding and be able to communicate this effectively.
  3. To present an authentic vision of the Church’s moral and social teaching so that students can make a critique of the underlying trends in contemporary culture and society.
  4. To raise pupils’ awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them.
  5. To develop the critical faculties of pupils so that they can relate their Catholic faith to daily life.
  6. To stimulate pupils’ imagination and provoke a desire for personal meaning as revealed in the truth of the Catholic faith.
  7. To enable students to relate the knowledge gained through Religious Education to their understanding of other subjects in the curriculum.
  8. To bring clarity to the relationship between faith and life and between faith and culture.

The outcome of excellent Religious Education is religiously literate and engaged young people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to reflect spiritually and think ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life (Religious Education Curriculum Directory).

KS3 Curriculum Map

Year 7 Overview
The year 7 curriculum seeks to guide students towards an understanding of faith and belief as, initially, a response to humanity’s big questions. This leads on to an understanding of revelation, as they explore key beliefs about God’s work in the world and what Christians know and believe about Jesus. In response to the Incarnation, the Church develops and spreads
Year 7 Topics
Year 8 Overview

The year 8 curriculum explores the ways in which the Catholic faith is lived out through the sacraments and the Christian vocation, in its many forms. We then explore how the Church engages with the world, through Catholic Social Teaching and its practical iterations. Students will reflect on the complexity of moral decision making and the teaching of the Church on sin and forgiveness. Students will end year 8 by considering issues around sex, marriage and the family.

Year 8 Topics
Year 9 Overview

The GCSE course begins in Y9 and comprises study of a second Abrahamic religion: Judaism, discerning theological concepts such as the nature of the Almighty, Covenant, Messiah and Sanctity of Life. This course is approved by Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, mapped specifically to the Catholic Directory for Education and brings to life the foundations of faith and practice. The summer term enables our students to focus predominantly on learning Catholic Beliefs, Teachings and Practices, whilst developing an in-depth understanding of the academic discipline of Theology. The course allows students to delve deeper into the Roman Catholic faith, studying such topics as the Trinity, Apostolic Tradition, Papal Authority, the Sacraments, Catholic Social Teaching and Religious Art.

Year 9 Topics

KS4 Curriculum Map

KS4 Overview

This area of study comprises an in depth exploration of Catholic Christianity as a lived religion in the United Kingdom and throughout the world. There are four sections: Beliefs and Teachings; Practices; Sources of Wisdom and Authority; Forms of Expression and Ways of Life. Students are expected to study Catholic Christianity within the context of the wider British society, the religious traditions of which are, in the main, Christian. Students should compare and contrast the areas of belief and practice within Catholic Christianity with wider Christian perspectives as outlined in the content below:

Year 10 Topics
Year 11 Topics

A Level Curriculum Map

A Level Overview

Philosophical Language and thought /The existence of God/God and the world/ The Nature of God / Religious Language Normative ethical theories: religious approaches. Applied Ethics. Development in Christian thought – Insight & Living

Year 12 Topics
Year 13 Topics