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Welcome to the Religion Department


Department Staff

Mrs D. Wylie (Head of Department)

Mrs R. Flynn

Mrs L. Curran-Malone

Mrs U. Watters

Mrs M. Leonard


Our school has strong links with the Mercy Order. The Catholic values of Catherine Mc Auley and the Sisters of Mercy underpin all we do.

All students of different faiths and background receive opportunities to develop their personal understanding and enhance their spiritual and ethical awareness. In St Mary’s all Pupils will study Religious Studies until Year 14.

We provide Religious Education in line with the Core syllabus, which at Key Stage 4 includes the Revelation of God, the Christian Church and Morality.


Key Stage 3

Pupils study beliefs of the Catholic Church, other Christian denominations, and some World Religions.

The teachers in the department will provide our pupils with opportunities to develop the Cross-Curricular Skills through Religious Education. Teaching will also promote the relevance of learning to everyday life and work.

Religious Studies is more than a subject; it is about how we live out what we learn in our lives. We strive to provide our pupils with many opportunities to develop and enhance your faith, morality and spirituality.

It is important that as a Catholic school, we promote the values of mercy, justice, service, compassion, love, empathy and human dignity.

We provide many opportunities through, Prayer Services, Retreats, Masses, Confessions, Prayer Groups, fundraising activities, volunteer work, Parish link work and the Pope John Paul II award to do this.

All members of the department aim to inspire our students to be “shining lamps, giving light to all around us and resolve to do good today and better tomorrow.” Catherine McAuley.

GCSE Religion


  • To acquire knowledge and develop understanding of the beliefs, values and traditions of Christian Church (in particular the Roman Catholic tradition);
  • To consider the influence of the beliefs, values and traditions associated with one or more religions;
  • To consider religious and other responses to moral issues;
  • To identify, investigate and respond to fundamental questions of life raised by religion and human experience, including questions about the meaning and purpose of life;
  • To develop skills relevant to the study of religion;
  • To come to a deeper, more active personal faith.

Year 11   Unit 5 Written exam 50%

Written paper x 1 hr 30 minutes at end of Year 11

Unit 5: Christianity through a Study of the Gospel of Mark

  • The identity of Jesus
  • Jesus the miracle worker
  • The teaching of Jesus
  • The death and resurrection of Jesus
  • The role and nature of Christian Discipleship

Year 12   Unit 4 Written exam 50%

Written paper x 1 hr 30 minutes at end of Year 12

An Introduction to Christian Ethics

  • Personal and family issues
  • Matters of life and Death
  • Developments in Bioethics
  • Contemporary issues in Christianity
  • Modern warfare


A-Level Religion


AS Religious Studies involves an in-depth study of two separate units.  

Each AS examination paper will have two sections: A and B. In your exam, you will ANSWER TWO QUESTIONS: ONE FROM Section A and one from Section B. In Section B, part B of each of the two questions will examine the wider human experience.

AS Level Unit 1: An Introduction to the Gospel of Luke

In researching Luke’s Gospel, you will examine topics such as:

  • Religious and political background
  • How and why the Gospel of Luke was written
  • Authorship, date, purposes and characteristics of the Gospel
  • Historical accuracy and reliability of Luke’s Gospel
  • Key narratives in Luke’s Gospel- Infancy and the early ministry of Jesus
  • Meaning of the parables and miracles of Jesus
  • Key themes of Luke’s Gospel- discipleship and salvation history

1 hour 20 minutes written paper

50% of AS, 20% of A-Level


AS Level Unit 7:

Foundations of Ethics with Special References to Issues in Medical Ethics

The second unit that you will study is Religious Ethics and this includes an in-depth study of the following:

  • Deontological approaches to moral decision making: The Decalogue (Ten Commandments) and Sermon on the Mount
  • Nature of biblical ethics and role played by moral commands
  • Ethical Theories: Natural law, Utilitarianism, Situation Ethics
  • Life and Death Issues: Abortion, Euthanasia, women’s rights, rights of the unborn, sanctity of life, personhood, doctrine of double effect, and religious, secular and feminist views
  • Bioethics: Infertility, IVF, human surrogacy, status of the embryo, new reproductive technologies and the role of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology AuthorityThe relationship between science technology and Christian ethics.

1 hour 20 minutes written paper

50% of AS, 20% of A-Level


A2 develops the study of the Gospel of Luke and Ethics and Society

In the A2 examination, the synoptic element will be assessed in section B of each examination paper. The synoptic paper assesses your ability to make links between the two areas of study, show that you know the key learning outcomes, understand the human experience element of the course as well as show that you can relate your knowledge on religious texts, authority and interpretation.

A2 Level Unit 1: Themes in the Synoptic Gospels

This unit builds on the study of Luke’s Gospel but then widens to include the Gospels of Matthew

and Mark:

  • Background to the Synoptic Gospels
  • The importance and contribution of Biblical Criticism
  • The person of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels
  • The ethics of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels
  • The Passion and Resurrection Narratives in the Synoptic Gospels

2 hours written paper

50% of A2, 30% of A-Level


A2 Level Unit 7: Global Ethics

Students learn about global rights, including the historical development of Christian and secular

perspectives on human rights focusing on topical issues in the world today.

  • Virtue Ethics and ethical relativism
  • Free will and determinism
  • The nature of rights
  • Sexual identity and gender justice
  • War and Peace
  • Ethics of justice, law and punishment

2 hours written paper

50% of A2, 30% of A-Level