Religious Education

Our Rationale:

Religious Education at St Matthew's aims to "Inspire and develop the mind, heart and soul for today's world".

Our Intent:

As a Catholic school, the Religious Education department curriculum follows the Religious Education Curriculum Directory syllabus as set out by the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales.

The aim of the teaching in Religious Education is to encourage all of our pupils to think about challenging questions such as the meaning and purpose of life, different beliefs in God and to consider issues of right and wrong. We aim to develop the pupil's knowledge and understanding of Christianity as well as other principal religions. We encourage all our pupils to learn about and from different religions, beliefs and traditions so that they can develop their own sense of identity as citizens of a global community.


Our Key Stage 3 curriculum has been designed to build upon the students learning and experiences at Key Stage 2. The curriculum aims to give students access to active and creative approaches to the subject. With this in mind, drama, ICT, independent enquiries and multimedia activities, play a key role in the subject. The curriculum also aims to give the students a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the teachings of the Bible.

All students in years 7, 8 cover the same core curriculum at the same time. This not only allows students the same core experiences but it means that staff can support one another in the development of resources and teaching practices. Student progress is assessed through continuous assessment in the form of graded tasks and summative assessment at the end of each academic year.

In Year 9 students undertake a Philosophy and Ethics course which aims to develop their understanding of a range of issues relevant to modern day living.

In years 10 and 11, students study the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) specification through Catholic Christianity and Judaism which is taught across the two years. Student progress is assessed through examination style practice questions, which are set regularly in lessons and continuously for homework. End of unit assessments are used to determine current and target grades. There are mock examinations in the July of Year 10 and twice in Year 11. The students sit the GCSE examination itself at the end of year 11.

A wide range of assessment data is used to identify those students in need of support to achieve their potential and this in turn is used to inform planning. Student progress is closely monitored through an on-going intervention programme which targets the entire GCSE cohort through close monitoring, tutorial sessions and parental involvement.

At the end of his/her Religious Education at St Matthew's, we hope to inspire each student to:

  • Know where beliefs come from, how they have changed over time, how they are applied differently in different contexts and how they relate to each other.
  • Explore the diverse ways in which people practise their beliefs.
  • Understand the impact of religion and belief on individuals, communities and societies.
  • Find out how and whether things make sense and engage with questions of morality and ethics.
  • Develop the skills of reflection, discernment, critical thinking, and deciding how to act in accordance with an informed conscience when making ethical decisions.
  • Express their ideas clearly and creatively.
  • Show empathy and understanding of ideas we do not always support
  • Write successfully for a range of purposes.
  • Improve their literacy, communication and enquiry skills.
  • Approach sources of information analytically.


Homework and Assessment:

Homework is set on a fortnightly basis for years 7 and 8 and on a weekly basis for years 9-11 in line with the department homework policy. Pupils are assessed during each unit through keyword tests, end of unit-graded pieces of work and formal exams.

Resources and facilities:

St Matthew's is proud to house its own chapel. Jesus Christ is central to our school. His revelation, communicated through the Church, provides purpose and direction. Each classroom is equipped with interactive white boards and software. The shared area of the school’s network also includes many helpful resources to aid revision and learning, such as Power point presentations and lists of key words.

Curriculum and Spiritual Enrichment:

Extra support is regularly available at lunch and after school from teachers for pupils who want extra help or advice. There are also targeted revision and catch up sessions. All Key Stage 4 teachers provide after school revision sessions for GCSE classes in preparation for Mock and GCSE examinations. Extra Sunday sessions are also held when necessary. St Matthew’s R.C High School has an active pupil Chaplaincy group that lead and contribute to the prayer life of the school. In addition to the academic content delivered in lessons, pupils will be encouraged to observe the liturgical year with special lessons and services. There will also be opportunities for prayer and the Sacraments, as well as time for reflection during retreats or visits from outside speakers.

Blended Learning

As a result of the transition to remote learning, the curriculum offer had been adjusted in years 9 and 10 in Spring 1 and year 8 in Spring 2, to ensure that pupils are continuing to engage with concepts that form the foundation of their understanding in Religious Education. The other year groups are continuing with the units of work as published. Due to the nature of subject material in Religious Education, individual lessons or units of work which contain sensitive or controversial topics are better understood in a classroom setting led by a specialist teacher who can address any concerns or misconceptions as they arise. Therefore, topics of this nature have been postponed to later in the academic year when we return to face to face teaching.

The table below shows the adjustments that have been made for the Spring Term. This process is under continuing review.

Year 7 

Spring 1 - Bible Studies

Spring 2 - Judaism

Year 8

Spring 1 - Islam

Spring 2 - Islam Continued, replaces, History of the Church

Year 9 

Spring 1 - Faith in Action replaces, The Holocaust

Spring 2 - Christian Practices replaces Human Rights

Year 10

Spring 1 - Living the Catholic Life replaces Jewish Beliefs

Spring 2 - Marriage and Family replaces Jewish Practices

Year 11

Spring 1 - Crime and Punishment

Spring 2 - Peace and Conflict