Religious Education

Head of Department - Mrs C. McCarthy

At Holy Family, RE is at the core of the curriculum. In RE lessons pupils seek to understand and reflect on their own faith as well as show understanding and respect for the beliefs of others. Our intention is excellent Religious Education where young people are religiously literate and engaged, who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to reflect spiritually, and think ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life. 

Our curriculum is ambitious for all.  Lessons are designed so that all pupils can make progress in Religious Education. We aim to present a comprehensive content which is the basis and understanding of the Catholic faith and also raise pupils’ awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities; therefore, pupils can have an understanding and respect for a variety of faiths and culture.  We aim to develop pupils’ critical thinking skills so that they can evaluate the impact of religion on society, culture and their own lives.  There are two main attainment strands to our work which are:  

a) Learning about religion 

b) Learning from religion 

In so doing, we bring clarity to the relationship between faith and life, and between faith and culture.   

Our curriculum coherently planned and sequenced in such a way that pupils can build on previous knowledge and understanding.  Opportunities are planned to enable pupils to revisit knowledge and make links between topics and teachings. In this way we aim to enable pupils to relate the knowledge gained through Religious Education to their understanding of other topics and indeed other subjects in the curriculum.   

Our curriculum is successfully adapted for pupils with SEND. The Religious Education curriculum has been designed so that it is inclusive and allows pupils to succeed at any ability level. We try to ensure that all pupils, including the high ability and those with SEND are able to access and succeed in Religious Education.   

The specific needs of SEND pupils are communicated by the SENDCO and through Provision Map SEND plans. Teacher also have reading age data and KS3 literacy targets. This information allows Religious Education teachers to adapt our curriculum so that it can be accessed by all.  

At KS3 we support students by providing structured support.  Our efforts at KS3 mean that our subject is popular at KS4 for students of all abilities.   

Religious Education is a compulsory subject for all pupils.  This means that in Religious Education we cater to a full range of abilities.  We adapt the curriculum to meet these needs by working closely with Teaching Assistants, providing writing frames, word banks and personalised support for individual students.    

In Religious Education, we support the whole-school priority to improve the literacy of all students by providing key vocabulary word banks and regularly using reciprocal reading techniques with longer texts.  This can be seen in our curriculum planning and in our resource area on Teams.   

Our curriculum is broad and balanced.  

At Key Stage 3 the curriculum is based on the People of God framework as recommended by the Bishops Conference of England and Wales.  This framework closely follows the Religious Education Curriculum Directory*.  Pupils receive 8% of Curriculum time at Key Stage 3.   

At Key Stage 4, all students follow the AQA GCSE in Religious Studies Specification A.  Pupils will carry out an in-depth study of beliefs, teachings and practices of both Judaism and Catholic Christianity and will also study religious, philosophical and ethical issues.  At this Key Stage, students receive 10% of curriculum time. 

The outcome of excellent Religious Education is religiously literate and engaged young people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to reflect spiritually, and think ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life 

*Currently under review by the Bishops Conference 

Key Stage 3

Religious Education - Key Stage 3 Curriculum Maps

Key Stage 4

Religious Education - Key Stage 4 Curriculum Maps


Collective Worship

Collective Worship forms an important part of the daily life of school.  During form time each morning there is a daily PowerPoint to enable pupils and their form teacher to reflect and join together in prayer. Student leadership of form worship is encouraged.  Each week there is a different theme which is developed as the week progresses.  Themes are based on the Church year and other important events such as Remembrance and Holocaust Memorial Day.  Year Group assemblies take place on a weekly basis and are led by Senior Leaders, Progress Leaders and a range of outside speakers. 

Whole School Liturgies

At the end of each term, there is usually Mass in the Sports Hall, where the whole school gather together in thanksgiving.  Fr. Dunstan Harrington usually the chief celebrant but we have frequently extended an invitation to the auxiliary bishops of Liverpool to come and celebrate with us. 


Pupils in Year 8 are invited to register for Confirmation at Liverpool CalledYou will then be invited to attend a preparation course by your local parish who will contact you directly.  The Sacrament of Confirmation will be covered in depth this term in RE lessons.

Careers in Religious Education

Contrary to the general misconception that the only career open to a student of Religious Studies is the priesthood, there are a large number of career pathways that are open to you. 

The top careers are: 

  1. Advertising 
  2. Archivist (Museums and Libraries) 
  3. Charity work 
  4. Human Resources 
  5. Law 
  6. Politics / Civil Service 
  7. Media (journalism) 
  8. Medicine 
  9. Publishing 
  10. Social / Public services 
  11. Teaching 

And ‘yes’, the Church

The fact is, the skills developed in studying religions are increasingly in demand in a complex, connected, global world. They help us to understand ourselves, our society, and the world.

  • The ability to understand how people have thought and acted in different places and times, and the complexity of how social behaviours are shaped by beliefs and values.
  •  Contextualised critical and analytical skills, applied to the real world, and dealing with issues arising from multiple and conflicting interpretations of texts and traditions with sensitivity and empathy;
  • Being able to understand different viewpoints and philosophies, from an interdisciplinary perspective—and apply that understanding to find practical solutions;
  • Studying religion encourages self-awareness, initiative, creativity and teamwork. Religious Studies students are excellent communicators and make great leaders.