Religious Education

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 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

Students begin their GCSE course in February (after the half term) with a study of the two units on Judaism. One unit focuses on Jewish beliefs whilst the second unit is on practices such as festivals, rites and prayer in the synagogue and in the home. 

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:

¬- 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 about this course please visit:
There is no coursework or controlled assessments

Key Stage 5

Core Religious Education

All Sixth Form students at St Mary’s Catholic School study a non-exam Core Religious Education Course. This is in line with the requirements of the Education Act (1944) and the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, which require that students study Religious Education for 5% of their curriculum time. This is 1 hour a week, and does not involve any homework, coursework or end of year exams.  Students will study modules on Catholic Social Teaching and Ethics, Science and Religion and Human Trafficking, for example.

A Level Religious Studies Year 12
Students in Year 12 will follow a course which is provided by the Eduqas exam board. The three main areas of study are:

This includes religious figures and sacred texts; religious concepts and religious life; significant social and historical developments in religious thought; religious practices and religious identity.

Philosophy of Religion
This includes: arguments for the existence of God; challenges to religious belief; religious experience; religious language.

Religion and Ethics
This includes: ethical thought; deontological ethics; teleological ethics; determinism and free will.

This will be examined at the end of year 13 with three two hour papers.

For more information about this course please visit:


A Level Religious Studies – Year 13
In addition to Core Religious Education, a large number of students have, over the years, opted to study for the A Level Religious Studies Course.  Year Thirteen students are following a course which is provided by the Edexcel exam board and covers three main areas of study. 

Study of Christianity
This includes beliefs, values and teachings, sources of Wisdom, practices and Social and Historical developments.

Philosophy of Religion
This includes Arguments for the existence of God, Religious Experience and the Problem of evil and suffering.

Religion and Ethics
This includes key Ethical Theories, such as Natural Law & Utilitarianism, as well as Applied Ethics, such as Just War Theory.

This will be examined at the end of Year 13 with three two hour papers.

For more information about this course please visit:


Upcoming Events

03 Jun

Year 13 GCE A Level Exams

3 June, 2019 – 25 June, 2019
19 Jun

Year 12 Mock Exams

19 June, 2019 – 28 June, 2019
25 Jun

Year 9/10 Cricket Birchwood - Home at Thorley Cricket Club

4:00pm - 5:30pm
26 Jun

Year 9 - Residential Trip for Confirmation Students

26 June, 2019 – 28 June, 2019