Skip to content ↓
St Alban's Catholic High School

St Alban's
Catholic High School


“In the life of faith of the Catholic School, Religious Education plays a central and vital part. At the heart of Catholic Education lies the Christian vision of the human person. This vision is expressed and explored in Religious Education. Therefore Religious Education is never simply one subject among many, but the foundation of the entire educational process. The beliefs and values studied in Catholic Religious Education inspire and draw together every aspect of the life of a Catholic school. We are committed to classroom RE, then, because all students have the right to receive an overall education which will enable them, in the light of the faith of the Church, to engage with the deepest questions of life and find reasons for the hope which is within them (I Peter 3:15). Religious Education is, then, the core subject in a Catholic school.” 

Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales 2000

Departmental Aims

The aim of Religious Education at St. Alban’s is to develop young people who are religiously literate and have the knowledge, understanding and skills to think spiritually, ethically and theologically, who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life, and who have also been helped to become mature and committed in their beliefs and values. We support and reassure our students as they question and seek to formulate their ideas and beliefs by providing a sound theological and scriptural basis on which to frame them.


Curriculum Content



Bible and the Catechism


Lent and Easter


Introduction to Islam


Year 7 Help Booklet



What are the Hindu signs of identity?


How can we know what is true?

Bible and the Catechism

Church in Britain


Year 8 Help Booklet


Philosophy and ethics



GCSE Study begins in January of Year 9 following the AQA Religious Studies B (Catholic Christianity with Judaism)

GCSE Unit 1 – Creation; Creation in Genesis and the significance for Catholics; Christian depictions of creation in Art; The nature of God and humans in Genesis 1 & 2; Catholic attitudes towards science; Genesis and the Environment;


GCSE Unit 2 – Incarnation; Jesus as God incarnate, the Word made flesh, fully human & fully divine; Message to Joseph; Different understanding of the incarnation including Irenaeus; Affect the incarnation has on attitudes to religious art; Interpreting statues of Jesus; The moral teachings of Jesus; Grace and the sacramental nature of reality; Imago Dei and abortion;


Year 9 Help Booklet

In Years 10 and 11 all students take full course GCSE Religious Studies. The approach is one of academic rigour, along with links to current affairs and lots of discussion. In Year 10 we also look at the way religious is treated in the media with regard to the topics covered.


Curriculum Content


GCSE Unit 3 – The Triune God; The Triune God explained in the Bible; The Trinity in the Nicene Creed; the authority of the Magisterium and its views on the Trinity; the Trinity and God’s love; Baptism and links to Trinity; The use of music in worship and the liturgy; Mass acclamations; Traditional and spontaneous prayer; Prayer and prayer posture.


GCSE Unit 11 – Religion, relationships and families; Human beings as sexual, male and female; Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body; Human sexuality and its expression; The nature of marriage in the Catholic Church; Annulment, divorce and remarriage; Family planning and contraception; The nature and purpose of the family; Roles and responsibilities within the family; Gender equality in the Bible; Catholic teaching on the equality of men and women; Gender prejudice and discrimination.


GCSE Unit 4 – Redemption; The role of Jesus in restoration through sacrifice; The significance of Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection and ascension; Salvation (past, present and future); Redemption in the Bible; St Irenaeus’ and St Anselm’s thoughts on salvation; Conscience; Church architecture, features and artefacts; Redemption in the Mass; Different Christian understandings of the Eucharist; Prayers in the Mass and adoration.


GCSE Unit 5 – Church and the Kingdom of God;  Pilgrimage and the Stations of the Cross; Pilgrimage to Rome, Lourdes and Walsingham; Mission and evangelisation in drama; The Kingdom of God and the Lord’s Prayer; Signs of the Kingdom: justice, peace and reconciliation; The hierarchy and the four marks of the Catholic Church; apostolic succession; The conciliar and pontifical nature of the Church; The Church as the Body of Christ; The importance of Charity; Kingdom Values in the life of a Catholic and in different vocations.


Preparation for end of year 10 examination.


GCSE Unit 9 – Judaism: belief and Teachings;  The nature of God as one, creator, lawgiver and judge; The divine presence; Life after death, judgement and resurrection;


GCSE Unit 9 (Cont’d); The nature and role of the Messiah; The Promised Land and the covenant with Abraham; The covenant at Sinai and the Ten Commandments; Key moral principles in Judaism; Sanctity of life; Free will and mitzvot.


GCSE Unit 10 – Judaism: practices; The importance and features of a synagogue; Worship in Orthodox and Reform synagogues; Daily services and prayer; Shabbat in the home and in the synagogue; Worship in the home; The written and oral law; Ceremonies associated with birth; Bar and Bat Mitzvah; Marriage; Mourning for the dead; Dietary laws; Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur; Pesach;


GCSE Unit 13 – Religion, human rights and social justice; Human dignity and religious freedom; Human rights; Rights and responsibility; Responsibilities and wealth; Wealth creation and exploitation; Greed, materialism and the sacrifice of wealth; Catholic teachings about poverty; Contrasting views on fighting poverty; The work of CAFOD and Christian Aid; Racial prejudice and discrimination; Equality; Justice, racial equality and discrimination; Equality; Justice, racial equality and racial prejudice.


GCSE Unit 6 – Eschatology; The Paschal candle; Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement; Memorials for the dead; Eschatology and life after death; The four last things; Purgatory and judgement; The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus; Cosmic reconciliation; The Church’s teachings on the end of time; The last rites; The funeral rite; The care of the dying and euthanasia.


Preparation for examinations – 2 x 1hr 45 min papers

Paper 1 – four sections from Units 1-6

Paper 2 – Judaism (unit 9 & 10) and Themes (units 11 & 13)

Year 12 and 13 have the option to study OCR Religious Studies to A Level (Also know as Philosophy of Religion and Ethics). The approach is one of rigorous academic study, discussion (whole class and in groups)  and evaluation. Students prepare presentations and read around the subject and learn to write cohesive essays showing breadth and depth of understanding.


Curriculum Content


Autumn Term

D1 Insight (Augustine’s teaching on human nature, Death and the Afterlife)

D2 Foundations (Knowledge of God, The person of Jesus Christ)

D3 Living (Christian moral principles, Christian moral action)

P1 Philosophical Language and Thought (Ancient philosophical influences, Soul mind and body)

P2 The Existence of God (Arguments based on observation, Arguments based on reason)


Spring Term


R1 Normative Ethical Theories : Religious Approaches (Natural Law & Situation Ethics)

R2 Normative Ethical Theories (Kantian Ethics, Utilitarianism)

P2 The Existence of God (Arguments based on observation, Arguments based on reason

P3 God and the World (Religious experience, The problem of evil)


Summer Term


R3 Applied Ethics (Euthanasia, Business Ethics)


Revision for year 12 examination


D4 Development (Religious pluralism and theology, Religious pluralism and Society)


Autumn Term

R4 Ethical Language (Meta Ethics)

D5 Society (Gender and society, Gender and theology)

D6 Challenges (The challenge of secularism, Liberation theology and Marx)

P4 Theological and Philosophical Developments (The nature or attributes of God)

P5 Religious Language; Negative, Analogical or Symbolic


Spring Term

R5 Significant Ideas (Conscience)

R6 Developments in Ethical Thought (Sexual Ethics)

P6 Religious Language: Twentieth Century Perspectives


Summer Term – Year 13

Revision and examinations