St. Columba's Catholic Boys' School

Religious Education

Religious Education Department


The Religious Education and Chaplaincy Department’s Mission is a unique one. Our aim is to facilitate the pupils on a fourfold journey. Hence we combine the academic, the spiritual, the ethical and the philosophical. The process utilises the unique relationship between school, home, parish and the worldwide community of the Church. Through our RE lessons and Home Learning Projects, pupils are inspired by new knowledge, excited by faith and challenged to become critical thinkers. They will develop their skills in being open-minded and developing empathy which is much needed in our very multicultural society. Pupils are challenged to reflect and find their own views in an all-inclusive and supportive environment.


Resources are differentiated as much as possible for the varying needs of students. The RE department has high expectations for all pupils. We seek to stretch the more able and to challenge the less able, with all encouraged to develop a growth mindset. Appropriate assessments are essential to setting realistic and ambitious targets which will enable all pupils to fulfil their true potential. As such, we take account of all issues in relation to equality of opportunity, thus ensuring that there are no barriers to pupil achievement. The SEN Code of Practice is fully adhered to so that all pupils can gain full and equal advantage of every opportunity afforded through studies in RE.

Numeracy and Mathematics – Although numeracy might seem limited mainly to chronological analysis and quantitative work, mathematical skills are used extensively in the planning and creation of tables, charts and diagrams. There are numeracy related tasks inserted into quite a number of lessons such as calculating the percentage of adherents to different faiths in the UK. As part of the PSHE strand, the RE department also takes the lead on financial education and while the Maths department deliver ‘Financial Maths’, numeracy skills are used extensively throughout the Money Management lessons.


The RE department fulfils the government’s requirement that ‘all schools should make provision for PSHE, drawing on good practice’. We provide Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Education because we believe that focusing on the development of the personal, emotional, health and wellbeing of all our children is vital.  We prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life as future citizens in an ever-changing world. We also ensure that British values are consistently taught and emphasised in practice. Most of our PSHE in KS3 is delivered through the exciting John Paul II Foundation for Sports (JP2F4S) programme which focuses on a wide range of values and virtues that need to be developed in pupils.

  • Spiritual: Explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; 
    use imagination and creativity; reflect. 
  • Moral: Recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views. 
  • Social: Use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work. 
  • Cultural: Appreciate cultural influences; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. 

Educational Visits

To support their studies and make much of what is learned come to life, in collaboration with the Chaplaincy, we arrange exciting educational visits for our boys to a number of places of educational interest. This includes Rome, Lourdes in France, St Vincent’s Catholic Youth Centre in Whitstable, Catford & Bromley United Synagogue, Kidzania and university visits as part of the Learning about Science and Religion (LASAR) project.


All pupils study WJEC EDUQAS GCSE from the end of Year 9, through Years 10 and 11. Key stage 3 is spiral scheme which introduces and supports most aspects of the GCSE they will take at the end of KS4 and includes studies of all the 6 major World Religions. Their exams take place when they are in Year 11 and they take three papers, usually in May. The first exam paper is Component 1 Foundational Catholic Theology (Origins and Meaning along with Good and Evil). The second exam paper is Component 2 Applied Catholic Theology (Life and Death along with Sin and Forgiveness). The third exam paper is Component 3 Judaism (Beliefs and Teaching along with Practices).

Literacy in RE

Language – Many of the skills used in RE are similar to those used in English, reading, writing, comprehension, oral expression, etc. Hence RE is aligned with English across academic groups. By reading biblical texts and stories that are often already familiar to them, pupils are often able to engage more readily with literacy tasks. Language that is creatively introduced through RE lessons includes similes, metaphors, hyperbole, synecdoche and onomatopoeia.

Literacy – All are encouraged to read out loud in the class and participate in individual, small and large group work. Use of biblical texts, different views in the textbooks and other sources, engaging classroom debates help to develop literary skills. A broad range of other learned skills of theological analysis and evaluation are used to develop high level literacy in our pupils.

Specialist Vocabulary – In the RE department, we start introducing pupils to specialist vocabulary from Year 7 with vocabulary specific tests, which are then expanded upon as we progress from KS3 into KS4. These regular key concept tests are connected to the current units of learning and form the basis for definitional understanding of religious and theological terms. In essence, this ensures a robust academic foundation for RE right through to ensuring resounding success at GCSE

A detailed overview of the KS3 curriculum and the GCSE RE National Curriculum is available below (GCSE Years 9, 10 and 11) and a more detailed version is available here – Click Here

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Year 7
Autumn Term 1 Revelation and Faith
Autumn Term 2 God’s Promises Fulfilled
Spring Term 1 The Saviour
Spring Term 2 The Church
Summer Term 1 The Sacraments
Summer Term 2 Christianity and Other Faiths. Buddhism. Sikhism
PSHE in Year 7 John Paul II Foundation for Sports (JP2F4S). Responsibility, Worthiness, Curiosity. Intro to Money Management. Honesty. Simple Bank Statements. Ambition. Self-Awareness.

 Year 8

Year 8
Autumn Term 1 Creation
Autumn Term 2 The Covenant. Hinduism
Spring Term 1 Mystery of the Eucharist
Spring Term 2 The Paschal Mystery
Summer Term 1 Mission of the Church
Summer Term 2 The Church in Britain. Islam
PSHE in Year 8 John Paul II Foundation for Sports (JP2F4S). History of Money. Mobile Contracts. Recycling. Moral Courage. British Justice System. Perseverance. Zest. Pensions.

Year 9 

Year 9
Autumn Term 1 Spiritual Quest
Autumn Term 2 The Gospels
Spring Term 1 Life in the Spirit
Spring Term 2 God’s Call
Summer Term 1 GCSE RE Judaism: Beliefs and Teachings
Summer Term 2 GCSE RE Judaism: Practices
PSHE in Year 9 Political Engagement. Bank Accounts. GCSE Study Skills and Extended Essay Writing. Fake News in Media. Body Image.

Key Stage 4

Year 10 

Year 10
Autumn Term 1 GCSE RE Origins and Meaning
Autumn Term 2 GCSE RE Origins and Meaning
Spring Term 1 GCSE RE Good and Evil
Spring Term 2 GCSE RE Good and Evil
Summer Term 1 GCSE RE Life and Death
Summer Term 2 GCSE RE Revision and Y10 Mock Exams

Year 11 

Year 11
Autumn Term 1 GCSE RE Life and Death
Autumn Term 2 GCSE RE Sin and Forgiveness
Spring Term 1 GCSE RE Sin and Forgiveness
Spring Term 2 GCSE RE Revision
Summer Term 1 GCSE RE Revision and GCSE Exams
Summer Term 2