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Bishop Douglass Catholic School

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Religious Education

The Religious Education Department

We are a thriving, dynamic and successful department.  

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, pupils are invited to draw their own conclusions. 

The RE curriculum follows the religious Education Curriculum Directory and upholds the diocesan requirements of a Catholic school in England and Wales.  Pupils gain the knowledge and skills to complete exams in year 10, 11 and 13.  

It is also the intent of the RE department to support the spiritual, moral and social growth of our students and prepare them for further study and employment.  Pupils are encouraged to participate in discussions and be tolerant of other views and perspectives in line with British values. We are keen to remind and encourage pupils to reflect on their career aspirations throughout the RE curriculum and regularly remind children of the direct and transferable skills provided throughout our study. We especially focus on finding our vocation and in learning our place as part of the Body of Christ throughout our Key stage 3 curriculum and pupils participate in retreat programmes.   

RE through the Key Stages 

The curriculum has been deliberately chosen to present our students with a deep and meaningful knowledge of Catholic Christianity and Judaism as directed by the religious Education Curriculum Directory.  This includes subjects like the sacraments, organisation of the Church and the life and teachings of Jesus as well as a wider understanding of community and world religions including Hinduism and Islam. All schemes of work are under constant review and are allocated to a named member of staff for responsibility for review and improvement each year. The main aim is for each scheme of work to be focussed around an engaging enquiry upon which students can develop a depth of knowledge and understanding against which they can be assessed. Each scheme of work identifies a religious topic in line with the curriculum directory, such as the scriptures and these are assessed during teaching and at the end of the course. These skills are taught in a manner that can be built on at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 with the skills developed in RE including source analysis, oracy, literacy, evaluation, analysis and comprehensive knowledge.   

Key Stage 3 

Schemes of work in Key Stage 3 are planned and taught in line with the religious Education Curriculum Directory as set out by the Bishops of England and Wales. We endeavour to make the curriculum engaging, relevant and encourage pupils to be “the person that Christ wants them to be". We provide a rich and varied curriculum developing the whole person through topics such as community, prayer, sacraments, moral issues, philosophy and world religions. 

Pupils are given regular feedback on how to make progress. Pupils will also be given the opportunity to develop the necessary skills for GCSE success.

Key Stage 4 

All pupils follow the Catholic Christianity option in the Edexcel GCSE course. In year 10 pupils will sit the Edexcel GCSE short course in Catholic Christianity and Judaism. The full GCSE exam comprises of three papers.

Short Course GCSE Catholic Christianity and Judaism

  • Paper 1: Catholic Christian Beliefs and Teachings
  • Paper 1: Catholic Christian Practices
  • Paper 2: Jewish Beliefs and Teachings
  • Paper 2: Jewish Practices

Full Course GCSE Catholic Christianity and Judaism

  • Paper 1: Catholic Christian Beliefs and Teachings
  • Paper 1: Catholic Christian Practices
  • Paper 1: Catholic Christian Sources of Wisdom and Authority
  • Paper 1: Catholic Christian Forms and Expressions of Religious Life
  • Paper 2: Jewish Beliefs and Teachings
  • Paper 2: Jewish Practices
  • Paper 3: Philosophy and Ethics
  • Paper 3: Religious Teachings on Relationships and Families in the 21st Century

Key Stage 5 

Religious Studies is one of the most successful departments at Key Stage 5. Pupils are offered the A level in Theology comprising of 1/3 Philosophy, 1/3 Ethics and 1/3 Christian Theology. All year 12 and 13 pupils are required to attend 1 module a week of Core RE in addition to their options.

Curriculum Map 

Enrichment Opportunities 

The department gives pupils the opportunity to explore the Catholic faith through involvement in the liturgical life of the school. Whether at retreats, the November memorial services, and celebration of the Sacraments, pupils are constantly encouraged to explore the fundamental principles and subtle nuances of their faith through prayer and participation.

Many of our programmes are led by our liturgical prefect team such as moments for Jesus twice weekly, a weekly Bible club. We have a Raising and Giving committee who helps oversee charity fundraising such as McMillan Coffee Mornings.

Mass is an integral part of our school life and we have mass at key points throughout the year as well as weekly and on holy days of obligation. Stations of the cross and reconciliation are encouraged throughout Lent. 

Learning trips and school visits have proved popular and a fantastic means to further pupils' learning and engagement with the subject. Pupils are given the opportunity to visit local places of worship, including the Synagogue and the Hindu temple as well as the Orthodox Church.

Pupils are given the opportunity to go on pilgrimage to Walsingham and 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. Intervention is an integral part of the curriculum and R.E pupils can regularly be found in Saturday Schools and revision classes.

For further information please contact us via email - schooladmin@bishopdouglass.barnet.sch.uk