Being a Catholic school, the R.E. department is at the centre of school life at Bishop Douglass. We strive to be a department that focuses on Religious Education as both an academic discipline and spiritual journey.
At the heart of the R.E. department's ethos is an emphasis on allowing pupils to build their own religious literacy: to be aware of the 'big questions' in life, to know how religion, especially the Catholic faith, answers these questions, and then to invite the pupils to make their minds up for themselves. R.E. values close analysis and evaluation, with pupils constantly encouraged to give well-thought out reasons and substantial evidence to back up their opinions and approaches to life.
The R.E. department is also dedicated to helping pupils be "the person that Christ wants them to be". The department gives pupils the opportunity to explore the Catholic faith through involvement in the liturgical life of the school. Whether at November memorial services, Lenten reconciliation services or celebration of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, pupils are constantly encouraged to explore the fundamental principles and subtle nuances of their faith through prayer and participation.
Ms. N. Hajiantoni, Subject Leader
Mr. A. Narisetti, Assistant Subject Leader
Mr. A. O'Neill, Assistant Headteacher (KS5)
Mr. N. Hinnem, R.E. Teacher
Fr. Kevin Ryan, Chaplain
The department is well-resourced, providing four classrooms fully equipped with Interactive Whiteboards and media access. The dedicated group of staff works collaboratively with each other to prepare interesting, interactive and challenging lessons and opportunities for learning. As a department, we are proud of our links with pupils, the feedback pupils give and the way in which we work with pupils to improve teaching and learning. The Fronter VLE is also used extensively by the department to support pupil learning through on-line tests, revision materials and opinion forums.
A permanent school chaplain supports the work and life of the R.E. department, enabling Bishop Douglass to offer such a rich and varied liturgical life. Mass is regularly celebrated with the entire school on important Feast Days, and is celebrated every Friday in the Chapel, being well-attended by staff and pupils alike.
Key Stage 3
Schemes of work in Key Stage 3 are planned and taught in line with the Catholic Curriculum Directory. Highlights of the curriculum include:
- The Community of the School and the Church
- Prayer and Aids to Prayer
- The Sacrament of Baptism
- The Use and Importance of the Bible
- The Story of Creation
- Old Testament Patriarchs
- The Mass
- The Life and Teachings of Jesus
- The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick
- St. Peter and St. Paul
- Inspirational People
- The Work of the Holy Spirit
- Arguments about the Nature of God
- The Problem of Evil and Suffering
- Death, Heaven and Hell
- Marriage, Love and Relationships
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation
- The Sacrament of Confirmation
Key Stage 4
All pupils complete a full course GCSE in R.E. Pupils follow the Catholic Christianity option in the Edexcel GCSE course. The exam comprises of two papers (both worth 50% of the overall mark). One paper is taken in Year 10 and the other in Year 11. Units include:
- Christian Beliefs and Values
- Community and Tradition of the Catholic Church
- Christian and Catholic Worship and Celebration
- Leading the Christian Life
- Believing in God
- Christian Beliefs about Life after Death
- Christian Beliefs about Marriage and the Family
- Christian Beliefs about Community Cohesion
Key Stage 5
Religious Studies is offered as an option at AS and A2-Level, and is a fantastic course for improving analysis, argumentative skill, evaluation skills and communicating ideas through essay-writing. The course follows the Ethics and Philosophy of Religion options of the Edexcel course. Highlights include study of the following:
- Situation Ethics
- War and Peace
- Sexual Ethics
- Christian and Philosophical Approaches to Abortion
- Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God
- Natural Moral Law
- Kantian Ethics
- Authority, Justice, Law and Punishment
- Critiques of the Link between Religion and Morality
- Philosophical Language
- Ontological Argument for the Existence of God
All Sixth Form pupils also follow a General R.E. course that is accredited by NOCN in partnership with the Archdiocese of Westminster.
R.E. learning trips and school visits have proved popular and fantastic means to further pupils' learning and engagement with the subject. Key Stage 3 pupils are given the opportunity to visit local places of worship, including Finchley Reform Synagogue and the Hindu Mandir in Neasden.
In Year 8, Pilgrimages are made to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Pupils are also given the fantastic opportunity to go on pilgrimage to the Eternal City, and heart of Catholicism, Rome. Bishop Douglass pupils have enjoyed the experience of a Papal Audience and special blessing from the Pope. Sixth Form pupils have also undertaken a study experience trip to the glamorous and cosmopolitan city of New York!
Revision classes and Saturday Schools are organized by the department to assist pupils with their learning and help boost their achievement.