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St Thomas Aquinas

Year 6 Transition

Religious Education

Head of Faculty - Ms Martina Moran

A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person.
And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints’ Pope Benedict XVI

St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School’s RE Faculty are firmly committed to academic excellence and developing the whole person. All students have been blessed with specific gifts by God, all have dignity, because they are made in God’s image. As a Catholic School RE has a special status in our curriculum with all students receiving their full entitlement of 10% of curriculum time.

Our curriculum is designed to help all students achieve their potential, not only in academic terms as theologians, philosophers and ethicists but also in their personal and moral growth. We are proud to be a fully inclusive, multi-cultural school where students can live, love and learn together in one community. We promote British values of democracy, freedom of thought and ideas, the rule of law, individual liberty, religious pluralism and mutual respect for those with ‘different’ faiths and cultures. Our curriculum is firmly grounded is Catholic Christianity and provides the opportunity for students to explore beliefs, teachings and faith values from other Christian traditions and world religions; including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. Humanist and Atheistic world views are also explored and discussed offering a rounded, balanced and holistic experience. In all Key Stages we pursue a knowledge-based curriculum because research and experience tell us it is the best way to enhance social mobility in disadvantaged communities. Reading is promoted to develop committed learners and students are encouraged to approach all topics with enquiring and questioning minds. Homework enables students to further deepen their understanding and academic achievement and takes them through structured revision activities to improve both knowledge and skills.

Our students deserve guidance on their next steps in education and beyond. Our intention is to develop self-knowledge in the context of ‘Vocation’ from God, who created each person with love and a purpose. As Aristotle pointed out ‘Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.’ We desire for our students to know their value and worth and ultimately become people of integrity, compassion and service.

Religious Education


KS3 Overview

The Key Stage 3 curriculum in Years 7 and 8 will change in 2023 (for Year 7) and 2024 (Year 8) in line with the new Diocesan framework. Nonetheless, many of the current topics will continue to be studied in some form. The Year 7 curriculum is entirely Christian to ensure that students coming from non-Christian or non-religious backgrounds close essential knowledge gaps. The liturgical times of the year are also explored to give meaning and purpose to the spiritual life of the school.
Although the school begins GCSE options in Year 9 the RE Faculty begin the GCSE course in the Summer Term. This will enable the Year 9 curriculum to cover essential aspects of the new framework as well as explore broader philosophical and ethical topics in preparation for GCSE. This clearly demonstrates our commitment to a broad curriculum whilst working within a two-year Key Stage 3 model. 

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KS4 Overview

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Disciplinary Knowledge in RE

Disciplinary knowledge specific to RE is sub-divided into Theology, Philosophy and Ethics. Each of these disciplines will be subject to the personal world-view of the student which, itself, requires academic rigour to reach a workable level of awareness. In other words, each student should bring to their learning a conscious awareness of their own world-view. The learning of one’s own world-view can be called personal disciplinary knowledge and it must be stressed that it is a life-time’s work.

Personal Disciplinary Knowledge: World-views make a difference

A student’s world-view is influenced by their culture, religion, ethnicity, social class, gender, historical and geographical context and political awareness. When students become aware of their world-view in relation to others it explains their ‘lens’, which informs the reasons for their understanding and assumptions about issues and content. Challenges to their opinions from RE content and from others are healthy and encourage sophisticated thought.

Subject Disciplinary Knowledge: Theology, Philosophy and Ethics


Theology is a systematic study of the Divine. Students will have the tools to justify, compare and challenge religious traditions and world-views. Students learn to understand the different ways people interpret and respond to sacred texts and other sources of authority, such as a church encyclicals and documents. Students become familiar with different Christian approaches to the Bible from a variety of world-views including fundamental world views, post-enlightenment/liberal world views and Catholic approaches to Scripture including other sources of authority. For example; students argue for and against God’s existence and consider God’s nature and revelation (Bible).

Philosophy is the study of the truth of human existence. Students will have the tools to ask questions beyond what is presented. For example, what is ‘Infinity’ and is it a working concept? Will science eventually explain what is, for now, unexplainable? Is religion an attempt by all cultures to find meaning and truth?

Ethics is the study of morality. Students will have the tools to reach a justified stance about right and wrong in moral dilemmas. For example, is war always wrong?

World-views will affect each of the three disciplines, especially in relation to sources of authority (the conscience, Bible and Church) and the extent of belief in the supernatural power of God.

Tools of Application? ‘Thinking and writing like a theologian’

Students are taught to think and write as ‘theologians’ and/or ‘philosophers, producing writing rooted in both disciplines.

To write like a theologian, students need to develop the ability to be able explain the following; the origin of a belief, the examination of authority and/or reliability of key texts, beliefs, concepts and ideas. The need to understand various world views and recognise the extent to which differing world views make a difference is of significant importance.

Students need explicit instruction and practice to learn and develop the skills to write as ‘theologians and philosophers’. Thus, activities such as ‘BECAUSE, BUT, SO’ and using subordinating conjunctions offer students the chance to practice greater precision in theological writing. Students also need instruction on interpreting key questions such as: What are the elements of knowledge needed to answer this question? What supporting evidence is needed? How do different world views impact the interpretation of this evidence?


KS5 Overview

The A Level Course is comprised of 3 components taught across 2 years. The Faculty follow the Eduqas Specification with Christianity forming the study of the world religion. The following topics are taught in Year 12 and 13. Teachers adapt the order of the topics dependent on appropriate cross topic links and personal expertise.
For the detail of each theme, please refer to the full specification using the link below:

Component 1 - Option A – A Study of Christianity

Written examination: 2 hours 33⅓% of qualification 100 marks
Theme 1: Religious figures and sacred texts
Theme 2: Religious concepts and religious life
Theme 3: Significant social and historical developments in religious thought
Theme 4: Religious practices that shape religious identity

Component 2 - Philosophy of Religion

Written examination: 2 hours 33⅓% of qualification 100 marks
Theme 1: Arguments for the existence of God – inductive & Deductive
Theme 2: Challenges to religious belief - the problem of evil and suffering and Religious belief as a product of the human mind
Theme 3: Religious Experience
Theme 4: Religious Language 

Component 3 - Ethics and Religion

Written examination: 2 hours 33⅓% of qualification 100 marks
Theme 1: Ethical Thought
Theme 2: Deontological Ethics
Theme 3: Teleological ethics
Theme 4: Determinism and Free will – Determinism

Useful Links

A Level Past Paper links: