Religious Education

Our teaching of Religious Education is based on the faith and belief of the Catholic Church. The aims of the Religious Education programme at St Thomas More Language College is to provide the pupils with an opportunity for developing their awareness of what it means to grow in faith and the love of Jesus Christ. As a Christian community we strive to emulate Christ’s example of love, service and compassion for all.

We hope that by the time they are ready to leave the college, students will have begun to understand more fully the nature of the gift that God is offering to each of them as confirmed members of the Church.

Above all, we want them to realise that their relationship with God is something which needs to be developed throughout the rest of their lives.

KS3
At Key Stage 3 all students receive two hours of RE each week; following the framework of a series called, “The Way, The Truth, & The Life.”
 
This programme is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Religious Education Curriculum Directory for Catholic Schools published by the Bishops’ Conference.
 
Year 7
7.1 – Revelation & Faith
7.2 – God’s Promises Fulfilled
7.3 – The Saviour
7.4 – The Church
7.5 – The Sacraments
7.6 – Christianity & Other Faiths
 
Year 8
8.1 – Creation
8.2 – The Covenant
8.3 – Mystery of the Eucharist
8.4 – Holy Week
8.5 – Mission of the Church
8.6 – The Church in Britain
 
Year 9
9.1 – The Spiritual Quest
9.2 – The Gospels
9.3 – Life in the Spirit
9.4 – God’s Call
9.5 – Morality & Conscience
9.6 – Dialogue with other Faiths
 
KS4

All students receive three hours of RE each week.

Students are prepared and entered for the Eduqas GCSE Religious Studies Specification Route B. The Eduqas GCSE involves three exams at the end of Year 11. For detailed information on the Eduqas course, go to  the following link.

click to download and view the full programme of study for Y10 and Y11.

 

Exam 1: Foundational Catholic Theology

1. Origins and Meaning

  • The theory of the Big Bang (include Stephen Hawking)
  • The teaching of the RC Church on the Big Bang
  • Catholic beliefs about the origins of the universe (include St Augustine and creation ex nihilo)
  • Non-religious views about the origins of the universe
  • The differences and similarities between the two creation stories in Genesis
  • How Catholics understand the Genesis creation stories
  • How fundamentalist Christians understand the Genesis creation stories
  • What the creation stories teach us about God
  • What the creation stories teach us about human beings
  • RC teachings on care for the environment
  • Humanist beliefs about care for the environment
  • Facts about the theory of evolution (refer to Charles Darwin and Richard Dawkins)
  • RC understanding of the theory of evolution (refer to Popes)
  • Catholic beliefs about the sanctity of human life (imago Dei; St Catherine of Siena)
  • Catholic teaching on abortion
  • Other Christian viewpoints on abortion
  • Non-religious views about abortion (include what Humanists think and the law on abortion in the UK)
  • The views of Peter Singer
  • How Catholics would respond to the views of Peter Singer
  • The meaning of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam
  • How Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam expresses Catholic beliefs about creation, God and human beings
  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • How Cafod reflects Catholic beliefs about the dignity of human beings, the importance of loving one’s neighbour and respecting creation
  • How the SVP reflects Catholic beliefs about the dignity of human beings, the importance of loving one’s neighbour and respecting creation

2. Good and Evil

  • Catholic perspectives on the origin of evil: Original Sin and evil as a “privation”, with reference to St Augustine, The Enchiridion (3.11)
  • The difference between moral and natural evil
  • Philosophical and non-religious challenges posed by belief in God’s goodness, free will and the existence of evil and suffering
  • The meaning of suffering, with reference to the significance of Christ’s suffering and death and Isaiah 53
  • Catholic responses to the Problem of Evil – refer to Pope John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris
  • Catholic beliefs about the relationship between God’s goodness and the goodness of the created world
  • The existence of the Natural Law and conscience as evidence of God’s goodness and the role of suffering in the development of the virtues
  • The nature of the Trinity as expressed in the Nicene creed – One God in three persons: Father, Son and Spirit
  • The biblical support and historical development, metaphor of trinity as love, lover and beloved (St Augustine, De Trinitate 8.10)
  • Jesus as Incarnate Son, divine Word, fully God and fully human (John 1:1-18)
  • The meaning and significance of sculpture and statues to Catholic tradition and worship
  • Sculpture and statuary (Michelangelo’s Pieta) as an expression of Catholic beliefs about God’s goodness and the meaning of human suffering
  • The meaning and significance of pilgrimage for Catholics as a response to human suffering, with particular reference to Lourdes
  • Popular piety, such as the Rosary as a reflection on the meaning and significance of the Incarnation with particular reference to the Sorrowful Mysteries
  • The example and teaching of Jesus as the authoritative source for moral teaching, with reference to Jesus as the fulfilment of the law in Matthew 5

Exam 2: Applied Catholic Theology

1. Life and Death

  • Catholic teaching on Heaven and Hell and Purgatory
  • Catholic teachings on LAD with reference to the parables of judgement –the Unforgiving Debtor and the parable of the Sheep and the Goats.
  • Catholic beliefs about Life after Death (with reference to 1 Cor.15)
  • Catholic beliefs in resurrection of the body
  • Contrasting views about death as the end of existence – Dawkinset al
  • Catholic teaching on the meaning of death, on dying well and the importance of palliative care
  • Catholic views on quality and sanctity of life and the right to die
  • Catholic teaching on assisted suicide and euthanasia
  • The Magisterium –ordinary and extraordinary forms by both popes (pontifical) and councils (conciliar) with reference to Evangelium Vitae
  • Nature and importance of Second Vatican Council, its history and its 4 documents
  • Catholic beliefs about eternal life in the Sarcophagus
  • How Catholic views on the resurrection are expressed by the paschal candle as it is used in Easter vigil and Baptism
  • Music and how it is used in worship –Faure’s Requiem
  • Catholic funeral rite – symbols, prayers and text and how they express Catholic views on eternal life
  • The importance of prayer as the ‘raising of the mind and heart to God’, formulaic prayer and extempore prayer with reference to the Our Father
  • Offering Masses for the dead

2. Sin and Forgiveness

  • The difference between crime and sin (absolutist vs relativistic approaches to morality)
  • Different purposes of criminal punishment – retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, reform, protection
  • Capital Punishment – Catholic and non-religious  views on CP
  • The development of Catholic teaching on CP –Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae,  Augustine, Letter 153 to Macedonius
  • Catholic teaching on Forgiveness – forgiveness is better than CP
  • Salvation – the role of grace and human freedom in redemption.
  • How do we accept the notion of Hell but also believe in an omni-benevolent God? Is this not a contradiction? God is all merciful
  • The nature of the Church as one, holy, catholic, apostolic
  • Mary as a model of the Church
  • The Church as the ‘body of Christ’
  • Outside the Church –there is no Salvation
  • Church features – altar, font etc. and how they reflect the mystery of salvation
  • How the seven sacraments help us to understand Salvation
  • Catholic teaching on the need to evangelise – refer to Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium
  • How Catholic beliefs about the relationship between faith and salvation influence attitudes to mission and evangelisation locally, nationally and globally
  • The example and teaching of Jesus as the authoritative source for moral teaching, with reference to Jesus as the fulfilment of the law in Matthew 5

Exam 3: Judaism

 1. Beliefs and Teachings

  • Issues of God as: One, Creator, Genesis 1, The Shema
  • Law-Giver and Judge: Exodus 20:1-17
  • The nature and significance of shekhinah (the divine presence)
  • Different views within Judaism about the Mashiach (Messiah); special person who brings an age of peace, ourselves, his arrival as signalling the end of the world, praying for his coming, concerned more with living life according to the mitzvot
  • The meaning and significance of the Abrahamic Covenant: Genesis 12:1-3, 17:6-8, including the importance of the ‘Promised Land’
  • The meaning and significance of the Covenant with Moses at Sinai: Exodus 3: 11-15 including the continuing importance of the idea of a ‘Promised Land’
  • Importance of the Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:2-14
  • Beliefs and teachings about the nature and importance of Pikuach Nefesh (sanctity of life), Genesis 1:26-27, Talmud B Yoma, Psalm 139: 13-15
  • The relationship between free will and the 613 mitzvot (duties) between humans and with God
  • Orthodox and Reform beliefs and teachings about life after death, judgement and resurrection, spiritual and/or bodily resurrection, immortality of the soul and the belief that we must focus on this life in preparation for whatever happens in the next life

2.Practices

  • The nature and importance of Orthodox and Reform synagogue services; Shabbat service, the significance of prayer including the standing prayer (Amidah)
  • Worship in the home, siddur, recitation of Shema and ModehAni, display of mezuzh. Celebrating Shabbat: Exodus 20:8-10
  • Items for worship: tallith, tefillin, kippah
  • Features of synagogues in Britain: significance of Bimah, aron hakodesh, Torah scrolls, ner tamid, seating, minyan, Exodux 20: 4-5
  • Worship, social and community functions of synagogues serving Jewish communities
  • The role of Brit Milah: Covenant, identity, features of the ceremony
  • Bar Mitzvah: Law and personal responsibility, Orthodox and Reform views regarding Bat Mitzvah and Bat Chayil, features of ceremonies
  • Marriage: features of ceremony
  • Mourning rituals: onan, kaddish, sheva, yarzheit. Role of chevra kaddisha
  • Significance of use of the Tenakh and the Talmud in daily life
  • Dietary laws: kosher/treyfah, parev, the prohibition of milk with meat, requirements of a kosher kitchen, keeping kosher in Britain
  • Festivals: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Pesach, Sukkot, diversity of practice between different Jewish traditions in Britain

For further information about RE qualifications please contact Fr A Homer.                   

Go to top