We believe that every person is equal and unique. This is a principle deeply rooted in the Catholic belief that all humans are lovingly created by God. As a department we promote excellence in all of our pupils and the education of the whole person.
Our aim is to develop a sense of faith that will ignite students’ appreciation of the world around them just as Jesus did through his mission; by nurturing students’ gifts and talents and making learning active, fun, and interesting.
It is our intent that pupils are immersed in the values of the gospel both in the content of the subject matter they are taught but also in their interactions with staff and other pupils in Religious Education. As a department, we endeavour to be models of compassion, humility, respect, integrity, service and tolerance. We aim to ensure that there is a culture of respect and compassion which allows pupils to fulfill their potential and feel valued as individuals. As such Religious Education lessons are places where pupils can feel confident and safe so that they are comfortable in discussions about their beliefs and those of others. We want pupils to engage with and respond to big questions associated with religious belief and practice, philosophy and ethics, whilst developing skills of evaluation by reflecting on the topics they study.
Religious Education at St Francis Xavier’s College develops pupils’…
- knowledge and understanding of, and their ability to respond to, Christianity, other principal world religions, other religious traditions and world views
- understanding and respect for different religions, beliefs, values and traditions (including ethical life choices), through exploring issues within and between faiths;
- understanding of the influence of faith and belief on individuals, societies, communities and cultures;
- skills of enquiry and response through the use of religious vocabulary, questioning and empathy;
- skills of reflection, expression, application , analysis and evaluation of beliefs, values and practices, and the communication of personal responses to these.
Religious Education at St Francis Xavier’s College encourages pupils to:
- consider their own thoughts and opinions on the challenging questions of the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, their own self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human;
- understand the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures
- learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring questions of meaning and their own beliefs;
- learn about religious and ethical teaching, enabling them to make reasoned and informed responses to religious, moral and social issues;
- develop their sense of identity and belonging in the world, preparing them for life as citizens in a multi-cultural global society;
- develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own.
Religious Education at St Francis Xavier’s College enhances pupils’…
- awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression;
- ability to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses.
Religious Education at St Francis Xavier’s College offers:
- preparedness for life in a multi-cultural global society where they can exist in harmony with others and live life to the full.
Mr Roy Matthews (Curriculum Leader)
Miss M Peacock
Miss T Walmsley
Miss J Healey
Mr D Garnett
What is the purpose of Religious Education in Catholic schools?
Catholic schools, with RE at their core, exist in order 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 pvii). With this as their primary aim, Catholic schools serve diverse populations of pupils and within this context the Religious Education Curriculum Directory (RECD) makes the aims of Religious Education explicit:
- To present engagingly a comprehensive content which is the basis of knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith;
- To enable pupils continually to deepen their religious and theological understanding and be able to communicate this effectively;
- 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;
- To raise pupils’ awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them;
- To develop the critical faculties of pupils so that they can relate their Catholic faith to daily life;
- To stimulate pupils’ imagination and provoke a desire for personal meaning as revealed in the truth of the Catholic faith;
- To enable pupils to relate the knowledge gained through Religious Education to their understanding of other subjects in the curriculum;
- 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 p6).
Years 7-13 Curriculum Maps:
Years 7-13 Learning Journey including A’level and year 12 & 13 core Religious Studies
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
KS3 is all about developing the core skills students will need to be successful within our department; to settle in or find their confidence and voice or learn how to actively listen. Throughout the whole of this process the department prides itself in the expertise we have gathered to help students feel at home. The sequencing of topics and skills throughout Years 7 to 9 is carefully mapped to ensure that the fundamental knowledge gained throughout the Key Stage provides an increasing depth of both understanding and skills which will
Schemes of work are designed so that key concepts such as creation, discipleship and salvation are revisited and reviewed. Transferable knowledge in each unit of study is identified effectively to support both the learning of each pupil and ensure their progress throughout KS3 by forming a solid foundation in preparation for KS4.
Summative assessment at KS3 takes place each unit with an aim to assess knowledge, understanding, engagement and depth of skills. Each assessment ensures that pupils are able to access the work set whilst allowing for progression between Year 7 and 9 in terms of challenge as well as content, allowing for content to be revisited.
In Year 7 pupils study:
- Community (Different types of communities and the Church as a community)
- How do we know what is true?
- What is the kingdom of God?
- Who is Jesus?
- What are the signs of Catholic identity?
- What is Hinduism? (Beliefs and practices)
- What are the Joys and Challenges of Life?
In Year 8 pupils study:
- What are the Jewish signs of Identity?
- Why do promises matter?
- Why do we celebrate?
- What should I do with my life?
- Can one person change the world?
- How do we know what is fair?
In Year 9 pupils study:
- How do we make sense of the world?
- Why is there suffering?
- Is all life of value?
- Are there limits to forgiveness?
- GCSE: Arguments for the Existence of God.
- GCSE: Religious Teachings on Relationships and Families in the 21st Century.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
All pupils study a full GCSE in Religious Studies. Pupils follow Edexcel A
This consists of:
Paper 1: Catholic Christianity
Paper 2: Judaism
Paper 3: Philosophy and Ethics
There are no tiered papers in RE and every pupil has full access to the whole range of grades 9-1.
Qualification aims and objectives
The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:
● develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and non-religious beliefs, such as
atheism and humanism
● develop their knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, teachings, and sources of
wisdom and authority, including through their reading of key religious texts, other texts,
and scriptures of the religions they are studying
● develop their ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured
written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject
● engage with questions of belief, value, meaning, purpose, truth, and their influence on
● reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they
have learnt and will contribute to their preparation for adult life in a pluralistic society and
● demonstrate knowledge and understanding of two religions
● demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key sources of wisdom and authority
including scripture and/or sacred texts, where appropriate, which support contemporary
● understand the influence of religion on individuals, communities and societies
● understand significant common and divergent views between and/or within religions and
● apply knowledge and understanding in order to analyse questions related to religious
beliefs and values
● construct well-informed and balanced arguments on matters concerned with religious
beliefs and values.
Key Stage 5 Curriculum (Core Religious Studies)
Science and Religion
Intro to Philosophy
Intro to Ethics
Signs of faith
The nature of faith
Religion and Culture
Understanding the Catholic Church
Religious education is a statutory requirement for all registered students in Key Stage 5
who are registered in a school with a sixth form.
RE courses broaden and enhance the curriculum by giving students the opportunity to
consider a wide range of religious, philosophical, psychological, sociological and ethical
issues and to develop their own codes of belief.
Sixth form religious education is intended to support and recognise the achievements of all
students at Key Stage 5. The flexible course of study promotes the religious imagination and the development of key skills. It provides for students with a variety of aptitudes, abilities and needs that may not be fully met through current AS and A level examination syllabuses and encourages all students to explore ways of communicating and presenting their knowledge and understanding of religion in a variety of media. In this way sixth form RE caters for and affirms a range of learning styles, individual interests and gifts and talents of students.
RE at post-16 gives due consideration to:
• breadth and balance of knowledge, understanding and skills
• differentiation to meet the needs and abilities of the full range of students;
• the spiritual and moral development of students;
• preparation for work and adult life
• progression and continuity from Key Stage 4 and through the sixth form;
• assessment and accreditation wherever possible including self and peer assessment
Key Stage 5 Curriculum A’Level
Pupils follow OCR Religious Studies
This consists of:
Paper 1: Philosophy of religion
Paper 2: Religion and ethics
Paper 3: Developments in religious thought
Aims and learning outcomes
OCR’s A Level in Religious Studies will encourage learners to:
• develop their interest in a rigorous study of religion and belief and relate it to the wider world
• develop knowledge and understanding appropriate to a specialist study of religion
• develop an understanding and appreciation of religious thought and its contribution to individuals, communities and societies
• adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion
• reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in the light of their study.
Teaching and Learning – Attainment targets for Religious Education
The two Attainment Targets, ‘Learning about Religions’ and ‘Learning from Religions’
continue to underpin the syllabus at this stage. As recommended in the QCA non-statutory
framework, through Attainment Target 1: Learning about religions students are encouraged to:
• investigate, study and interpret significant religious, philosophical and ethical issues,
including the study of religious and spiritual experience, in light of their own sense of
identity, experience and commitments
• think rigorously and present coherent, widely informed and detailed arguments about
beliefs, ethics, values and issues, drawing well-substantiated conclusions
• develop their understanding of the principal methods by which religions and
spirituality are studied
• draw upon, interpret and evaluate the rich and varied forms of creative expression in
• use specialist vocabulary to evaluate critically both the power and limitations of
Through Attainment Target 2: Learning from religions, students are encouraged to:
• reflect on, express and justify their own opinions in light of their learning about religion
and their study of religious, philosophical, moral and spiritual questions
• develop their own values and attitudes in order to recognise their rights and
responsibilities in light of their learning about religion
• relate their learning in religious education to the wider world, gaining a sense of
personal autonomy in preparation for adult life
• develop skills that are useful in a wide range of careers and in adult life generally,
especially skills of critical enquiry, creative problem-solving, and communication in a
variety of media.
A homework calendar is published at the start of the academic year and distributed to pupils and parents.
In line with the College policy, pupils will be expected to submit two pieces of written homework per half term. In Religious Education we need to focus on the higher skills of ‘Explain’ and ‘Discuss’ All our written tasks will ask students to respond to these command words.
In addition to the written tasks pupils will be set learning homework which could involve learning key words and phrases, revising the previous lesson or unit of work, preparing for assessment.
Class teachers decide when a task is to be set and collected and this is done via show my homework.
Support materials to help with revision and homework can be found on google classroom in the relevant year folder.
Useful Websites / Links
- Church of England – includes its history, liturgy, relations with other faiths and current news. Particularly useful are the church’s views on a range of issues, from abortion and euthanasia to animal welfare and capital punishment.
- ChristianityToday.com – more an online community than an information resource, Christianity Online has a search engine, links to Christian organisations and churches, and Christian publications. Very American.
- The Bible Gateway – a tool for reading and researching scripture online in the language or translation of your choice.
- The Holy Father – The Vatican Online. Includes the Bible, Catholic Catechism and the Pontificate.
- rejesus.com – concentrates on the life and teachings of Jesus as they apply to modern Christians. The colourful and well-laid out pages have plenty of up-to-date photographs and not too much ‘churchy’ imagery. You can read and download the gospels, find quotes about Jesus from contemporary to present day sources and find a variety of images of Jesus from many cultures and traditions.
- gospelcom.net – has articles about Christianity, the Bible, religious philosophy, aspects of Christian living, science and technology, relationships and Christianity in the arts.
- Explore Jewish Thought, Literature & Humor – a bit text heavy, but has an interesting article about Jewish food laws.
- Jewish Questions Answered Jewish Calendar
- Judaism 101 – a great place to start exploring Judaism, its history and observances.
- Kosher.com: Passover on the Net – Passover is explored. Includes links to other Jewish holidays, including Purim and Chanukah.
- Totally Jewish – gives concise explanations of Jewish faith and tradition.
- United Synagogue
- Hindu Resources Online – A directory of links to Hindu resources.
- Hindu Kids Universe – Learn about different aspects of Hindu culture.
- The Hindu Universe – An excellent guide to the major deities with their characteristics and links to more resources.
- The Philosophers’ Magazine
- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Philosophy Talk
- Philosophy Bites