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Religious Education

Welcome to our RE section

Within these pages you will find lots of information about the subject and how the department operates.

If you have any queries regarding RE please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Chris Sumner
Head of RE



All students study Religious Education as a core subject. We seek to support our students spiritually on life’s journey as they learn about Christ, his teachings and Church. Students are encouraged to analyse and evaluate their own beliefs, attitudes, values and opinions in order to develop academically, spiritually, socially, morally and emotionally.  

We have adopted the Lancaster Diocese HRSE policy which you can download and read below.  We welcome any comments you may have on this policy. Please email the school office with any suggested changes or comments , FAO Mr Forresstr who is responsible for this policy.  If you wish to withdraw your child from any lessons which cover the HRSE content then please inform their Head of Year.  This does not apply to statutory Science lessons.  HRSE is taught across all subjects, not just RE, as content this important is a whole school issue. 

Year 7

Students begin their secondary school RE by looking at the life and times of Cardinal John Henry Newman. Students then start The Way, The Truth and The Life (WTL) programme of study, which is the approved programme of study for Catholic schools in England. Further details about the Key Stage 3 programme including sample lessons and resources can be found at


  1. Revelation & Faith
  2. God’s Promises Fulfilled
  3. The Saviour
  4. The Church
  5. The Sacraments
  6. Christianity & Other Faiths

Year 8

Students follow The Truth which consists of the following topics.


  1. Creation
  2. The Covenant
  3. Mystery of the Eucharist
  4. The Paschal Mystery
  5. Mission of the Church
  6. The Church in Britain

Year 9

Students start the Year by following The Life which consists of the topic areas listed below.

  1. Spiritual Quest
  2. The Gospels
  3. Life in the Spirit
  4. God’s Call
  5. Morality & Conscience
  6. Dialogue with Other Faiths


Students then commence their GCSE course with a study of Judaism in the January of Year 9.


Students follow the Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies course pathway A. Students sit three exams the weightings of which are detailed below. Year 10 current focuses on Judaism and Catholic Christianity, whilst Year 11 focuses on completion of the Catholic Christianity unit and Catholic philosophy and ethics.

 From September 2018 students will study the Judaism unit in Year 9, the Catholic Christianity unit in Year 10 and the Catholic philosophy unit in Year 11. This programme of study is, as now, interspersed with exam technique, assessment and some revision.

 Area of study 1 – Catholic Christianity (50%)

  • Beliefs and teachings (The Trinity, Bible, Creation, Humanity, Incarnation, Paschal Mystery, Eschatology)
  • Practices (Sacraments, Liturgical worship, funeral rites, prayer, popular piety, pilgrimage, social teaching, evangelism)
  • Sources of wisdom and authority (Bible, Interpretation of the Bible, magisterium, Vatican II, Body of Christ, Four Marks of the Church, Mary)
  • Forms of expression and ways of life (church architecture, sacred objects, artwork in Catholicism, sculpture and statues, religious art, drama, music)

 Area of study 2 – Judaism (25%)

  • Beliefs and teachings (Almighty, Shekihinah, Messiah, Sinai, Abraham, sanctity of life, moral principles and the Mitzvot, life after death)
  • Practices (worship, Tenakh, Talmud, private prayer, Shema and Amidah, ritual and ceremony, Shabbat, festivals)

Area of study 3 – Catholic philosophy and ethics (25%)

  • Arguments for the existence of God (revelation, miracles, experiences, design, suffering, solutions)
  • Religious teachings on relationships an families in the 21st century (marriage, sexual relationships, family, divorce, annulment and marriage, equality, gender prejudice)

 Further details on the course, including specification and past papers, can be found at:

A Level

Students follow the OCR Religious Studies A Level course. This includes the following components.


Component 01: Philosophy of religion

  • Students study philosophical language and thought, and issues and questions raised by belief:
  • Ancient philosophical influences
  • the nature of the soul, mind and body
  • Arguments about the existence or non-existence of God
  • The nature and impact of religious experience
  • The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • Ideas about the nature of God
  • Issues in religious language.


Component 02: Religion and ethics

  • Students explore key concepts and the works of influential thinkers, ethical theories and their application:
  • Normative ethical theories
  • The application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance
  • Ethical language and thought
  • Debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
  • Sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.


Component 03: Developments in religious thought – Christianity

  • Students select one religion from the following to study systematically:
  • Christianity (03)
  • They explore:
  • Religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world
  • Sources of religious wisdom and authority
  • Practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition
  • Significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought
  • Key themes related to the relationship between religion and society.


Further details on this A Level course can be found at


All students also follow the Extended Project Qualification taught in one hour a week. This is a research project with a moral and ethical dimension. Details of this course can be found at



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St John Henry Newman Catholic School
Scalegate Road, Carlisle, CA2 4NL