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Religious Education

Curriculum Intent

RE is driven by understanding the beliefs and teachings of religions. For this reason, questioning and discussion is central to the teaching of RE at Corpus Christi. Teachers will constantly pose questions that need to be discussed and thought about leading to detailed answers including knowledge of beliefs, key words, expertly using sources of wisdom and authority to show deeper understanding of the topics and areas of study. This approach ensures that over time pupils understand and remember more as they progress through the curriculum and can remember key teaching and beliefs that have an impact on religious believers.

To prepare and develop pupils in the academic rigour of RE pupils will study, and engage with a range of texts, rather than textbooks, looking at key sources such as scripture passages, Church documents, and the Catechism. These are dealt with in a specific strategy to enable pupils to interpret these texts’ meaning and be able to weigh up their strengths and weaknesses using them in answers showing judgment and analysis. Exposing pupils to these sources of wisdom and authority is essential to enable pupils to engage in RE as a discipline as well as a subject in their curriculum. Moreover, this supports pupils’ language acquisition, which is essential to success in RE, ensuring pupils are continually building their religious language and knowledge.

KS3 Overview

KS3 pupils study a bespoke course called Scripture and Sacrament. This course is designed to best suit our pupils from various backgrounds, religious beliefs, and traditions. In each year of the KS3 course pupils will look at scripture, the Word of God and the Sacraments. The three years of the course are titled after the three theological virtues: Faith, Hope and Love.

Year 7 – Faith

In Year 7, we focus our studies on what it means to be a faith community leading to the structure and tenants of the Catholic Church. Pupils investigate the seven sacraments and focus on the sacraments of Welcome and initiations comparing these to humanist views. At the end of each year pupils explore a world faith beginning with Hinduism.

  • To understand that the UK is a diverse community with many different beliefs and values, including views of Humanism in the UK.
  • To understand the benefits and drawbacks of a multifaith and multi-ethnic society. What can we do to help people to accept and support each other (work of Catholic charities)?
  • To understand the nature and features of a Roman Catholic school community including the importance of the virtues.
  • To understand who the house saints are and why are they important role models for our school community.
  • To know and understand how to participate in prayer and forms of prayer in the Christian tradition. 
  • To understand the forms of community worship at CC, specifically year group prayer and Mass.
  • To understand the term Eucharist its origins and the beliefs of the Catholic Church with reference to the last supper and Transubstantiation.
  • To Understand the parts of the Mass and why Catholics believe the Mass is an essential and best worship of God: “The source and summit of the Christian life”.
  • To understand the nature and structure of the Bible.
  • To understand Christian beliefs about the Bible.
  • To know about the Creed and its role in unifying the Church and the beliefs of Christians.
  • To understand the beliefs and practices of different Christian denominations. 
  • To know and understand the Church as the worldwide community of Christians and that the Roman Catholic Church is a hierarchy and structure.
  • To understand the authority of the Pope for Roman Catholic Christians.
  • To know the features of a church building and understand how they help the community worship.
  • To understand how Roman Catholics and other Christian groupings interpret the Bible.
  • To understand The importance and significance of sacraments and grace.
  • To understand the gospel account of the baptism of Jesus and its importance for Christians today.
  • To understand the features and ritual of the sacrament of Baptism in the Roman Catholic Church.
  • To be able to compare and contrast the baptism ceremonies from other Christian denominations and Humanist naming ceremonies.
  • To understand the features of and importance of the sacrament of confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Study of a world Religion: Hinduism
  • To understand that there is a wide variety of major world religions and religious believers practising their faith in the UK (focus – Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Sikhism), including locations and origin dates of the religions.
  • To understand the history and origins of Hinduism, basic Hindu beliefs and the features of the religion.
  • To understand Hindu beliefs about God.
  • To understand a Hindu creation story.
  • To understand Hindu teachings about samsara and about the life and work of a famous Hindu activist, Mahatma Gandhi, with an emphasis on non-violent action.
  • To understand Hindu worship in the home, Mandir and festivals seen in the UK.

Year 8 – Hope

In Year 8 we focus our studies on the story of Salvation, the hope the people of Israel had for a messiah and what Christians believe about Jesus as the Messiah and what Christians do because of their beliefs focussing on the Mass, Discipleship ending the year with exploring the Islamic faith.


Year 8 pupils’ course title is Hope. In Year 8 we focus our studies on the story of Salvation, the hope the people of Israel had for a messiah and what Christians believe about Jesus as the Messiah and what Christians do because of their beliefs.

Kingdom of God
  • To understand the Catholic teaching of the doctrine of the Trinity and the Incarnation. (an essential reference to the transfiguration, resurrection and ascension of Jesus).
  • To know the difference between the 12 Apostles and the disciples of Jesus.
  • To know and give examples of, and know the meaning of, the three categories of parables: forgiveness, judgement, and the Kingdom of God. To understand that the Parables of Jesus teach us important truths about God.
  • To know that some people reject the parables of Jesus as false, useless, or irrelevant.
  • To know and give examples of the two types of miracles Jesus performed: healing and nature.
  • To know the reasons why some people might argue that Jesus’ miracles never took place, or that miracles no longer happen today.
  • To understand Catholic beliefs and teaching on Eucharistic miracles with specific reference to Blessed Carlo Acutis and his website on Eucharistic miracles and Evangelisation.
  • To understand what vocation is and the types of vocations.
  • To understand the different types of religious vocation including the sacrament of Holy Orders, linking the last supper to the Mass.
  • To understand the Sacrament of Marriage and its importance for family life. 
  • To understand examples of saints who have lived out vocations to religious life, marriage and Holy Orders.
Study of World Religion: Islam
  • To understand what the religion of Islam is and its main beliefs.
  • To understand who Muhammad is and his importance in Islam as a Prophet and their Holy text the Qur’an.
  • To understand what the Five Pillars are and their importance for Muslims today.
  • To understand Muslim pilgrimage through the fifth Pillar of Hajj.
  • To understand what the Mosque is and the importance of the Mosque as a place of worship.

Year 9 – Love

In Year 9 we focus our studies on making moral decisions. We look at the justice system, laws and what are the aims of punishment. Pupils then move onto to explore forgiveness and atonement for sin both in ancient Judaism and its links the language and beliefs in Christianity. Pupils investigate the sacraments of reconciliation and Jesus’ teaching of forgiveness and studying beliefs about life after death from both Catholic and humanist perspectives. Pupils in year 9 end their year with investigating Judaism as their world faith.

Conscience and Morality
  • To understand what morality, sin and crime are. Introduction to absolute and relative morality. 
  • To understand that Jesus has moral authority (incarnation revision).
  • To understand Jesus’ teaching in the sermon on the mount.
  • To understand the Catholic Church teaching on original sin.
  • To understand the Catholic Church’s teaching on conscience and formation of conscience with reference to the Virtues and vices (absolute Morality and Natural law).
  • To understand the Humanist view of Conscience (utilitarianism – relative morality)
  • To understand the example of King David and Bathsheba as an example of conscience, guilt and forgiveness.
Sacrifice and Atonement
  • To understand what Agape means and the Christian understanding of this sacrificial love.
  • To understanding the Jewish beliefs of sacrifice and atonement found in the book of Leviticus.
  • To understand the meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection for Christians.
Forgiveness and Reconciliation
  • To understand Jesus’ teaching about forgiveness and how Christians act because of this teaching.
  • To understand the features of the sacrament of reconciliation and biblical links and Church teaching.
  • To understand other Christian beliefs about forgiveness and non-religious views.
Life after Death
  • To understand the features and church teaching of the sacrament of the sick and its links to healing and scripture.
  • To understand Jesus teaching on God’s Judgment.
  • To understand personal and final judgment, including the Resurrection.
  • To understand Roman Catholic teaching on Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.
Study of world religion: Judaism
  • To understand the Roman Catholic teaching on Judaism Nostra Aetate.
  • To understand the varying groups and identities of the Jewish community: Orthodox, Reform, and Secular.
  • To understand the Jewish beliefs about God and the Temple.
  • To understand the Covenant of Abraham and the links to the Brit Milah.
  • To understand the Covenant of Moses and the importance of the Torah for Jews today.
  • To understand the Importance of Moses in Judaism and festivals celebrated because of Moses (Pesach and Sukkot).
  • To understand the features of a synagogue and examples of worship that takes place there.
  • To understand examples of Jewish worship at home and items used in worship and prayer.
  • To understand the weekly festival of Shabbat and the mitzvot involved.
  • To understand the Jewish laws of Kosher and the links to Jewish identity.

Year 7 and 8 Liturgical Year lessons 

During the year, Years and 8 will pause their learning to investigate and experience the liturgical seasons, feast days and celebrations of the Catholic Church. The Liturgical year lesson is intended to be different from an academic lesson as it should provide pupils with experience of prayer, art and information to guide pupils in their personal faith journey.

  Celebrations in the Liturgical Year Lessons
Feast day / Liturgical seasonDates celebrated/observedYear 7 LOYear 8 LO
The Liturgical yearSecond Week of TermWhat is the Liturgical Year?Test prior learning on liturgical year.
All Saints/Souls2 NovemberWhat is the feast of all saints and all souls?How do you become a saint?
Advent27 NovemberWhat is the feast of Advent? New Church year.What are we waiting for? – Past, present and future. “Be ready”.
Epiphany6 JanuaryWhat is the feast of the Epiphany about?How can we show to the world the Jesus is God?
Ash Wednesday/Lent22 FebruaryWhat is Ash Wednesday and Lent? – Stations of the CrossHow can we prepare ourselves for Easter?
Annunciation25 MarchWhat happened at the annunciation? Why is Mary so special?What does the annunciation mean to Catholics today? Her perfect example of virtue.
Paschal Triduum & Easter9 AprilWhat are the events of the Triduum?How do Catholic practice their faith on these holy days?
English Saints and Martyrs25 May How do these saints live out the Virtues?
Corpus Christi8 JuneWhat are Eucharistic processions? What is Adoration? Class Adoration and Benediction. 

KS4 Overview

The Key Stage 4 topics build on the Key Stage 3 programme of study and prepare for further study and enjoyment of RE. Pupils build on themes of salvation and evangelisation through the study of Mary and the nature of the Church and features of Catholic churches, Punishment, and forgiveness. Pupils will investigate the application of Church teaching and theology in Catholic social teaching, exploring the sanctity of life, stewardship and the nature of suffering and the problem of evil. Pupils will investigate throughout their course the views of other religious groups such a Judaism and opposing views of the Humanist community. Pupils deal with topics in looking at a variety of sources looking a music, art and articles to develop and deepen their understanding and skills. Each of these topic areas help pupils to broaden their knowledge of religious beliefs, teachings and practices based on the strong foundation of familiar concepts and themes.

Pupils at Corpus Christi study the Eduqas GCSE Religious Studies course in Years 10 and 11. At the end of Year 11 pupils sit three exams:

  • Exam 1 (37.5% of their overall grade) Foundational Catholic Theology
  • Exam 2 (37.5% of their overall grade) Applied Catholic Theology
  • Exam 3 (25% of their overall grade) 3 Judaism

Year 10

Sin and Forgiveness
  • To understand the nature of the Church and Mary.
  • To understand the purpose of and forms of Prayer.
  • To understand the authority of the Church and the forms of Magisterium
  • To understand the Catholic understanding of Salvation.
  • To understand different views of Salvation.
  • To understand the significance of the Sacraments and specifically the Eucharist link to Salvation.
  • To understand the features of a Catholic church with links to Salvation.
  • To understand the difference between crime and sin and the aims of different forms of punishment.
  • To understand Jesus’ teaching of forgiveness in Matthews Gospel.
  • To understand the various views for and against Capital Punishment
  • To understand the importance of Evangelisation for Catholics.
Life and Death
  • To understand what Euthanasia is and the law in the UK.
  • To understand Catholic Teaching on the Sanctity of Life and the catholic response to Euthanasia.
  • To understand other views on Euthanasia (Christian and Humanist).
  • To understand what the study of Eschatology is (Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell).
  • To understand the Catholic beliefs on Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.
  • To understand who other Christian denominations would reject belief in purgatory.
  • To understand why an all loving God would allow Hell to exist.
  • To understand the features of the Catholic funeral rite.
  • To understand the significance of the sarcophagus of the passion and the pascal candle linking to beliefs about the resurrection.
Judaism: Beliefs and Teachings
  • To understand the Jewish beliefs about the nature of God.
  • To understand the Jewish beliefs about the Shekhinah and the significance of the Temple.
  • To understand the Covenants of Abraham and Moses.
  • To understand the various Jewish views on the Messiah.
  • To understand the Jewish beliefs about free will and morality.
  • To understand the Jewish beliefs about the sanctity of life.
  • To understand Jewish beliefs about life after death.
Judaism: Practices
  • To understand Jewish practices of prayer, kosher and shabbat.
  • To understand the features of a Orthodox and reform Synagogue.
  • To understand the challenges that face Jews in the UK.
  • To understand the rituals of the Brit Milah, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Weddings and Funerals.
  • To understand the features and significance of the festivals of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Pesach.

Year 11

Good and Evil
  • To understand the Christian beliefs and teachings on the Trinity and Incarnation.
  • To understand the moral authority of Jesus and his teaching in Matthews Gospel.
  • To understand the argument of the problem of evil.
  • To understand the Christian response to the problem of evil.
  • To understand the Catholic teaching on suffering and its link to the Incarnation.
  • To understand the significance of statues for Roman Catholics and the arguments against statues from other denominations.
  • To understand the significance of the Pieta and the links that can be made to suffering.
  • To understand some examples of popular piety, specifically Lourdes and Rosary as responses to suffering.
Origins and Meaning
  • To understand biblical Interpretation and revelation.
  • To understand the meaning and teaching in the creation accounts (Genesis 1 and 2).
  • To understand the Christian beliefs about God shown in ‘The Creation of Adam’.
  • To understand the scientific understanding of Creation (Big Bang and Evolution).
  • To understand the Roman Catholic beliefs about the Creation.
  • To understand Creationist and Humanist views on creation.
  • To understand the Catholic beliefs about the Sanctity of Life and Abortion
  • To understand the Catholic teaching of Stewardship and the Humanist views.
  • To understand the Social Teaching linking to the work of CAFOD and SVP.
  • To understand the significant features of the tree of life apse mosaic.
  • To understand the importance of Interfaith dialogue.


At Corpus Christi, we believe that all pupils should be equipped with and supported in developing a high level of reading and literacy capability, as is required by each subject discipline. To achieve this, the RE department has clear expectations on how questions should be answered orally, use the correct language and phrasing is the style of dictating a written answer starting with “firstly”.

RE teachers should follow the whole school reading strategies when approaching literacy in lessons:

When reading passages, model reading the text with inflection and then ask a pupil to repeat the reading of the passages to develop their reading in RE. The meaning is discussed and questions are asked to check pupils’ understanding of the passage.

The use of key complex language in RE is an essential element of learning in RE. Staff should train and test pupils on keywords and definitions every lesson and have more formal homework keyword tests every other week.

When analysing key quotes from the Catechism and other sources it is important to highlight and translate vocabulary for pupils to access, then pupils can write their explanations in their books after your teaching and discussions.

When pupils want to ask for a spelling of a word it is department policy that the teacher says “let’s sound it out”. The word is dealt with phonetically and pupils are supported with working out the correct graphemes. This will allow all teachers to ensure that pupils show a deep understanding of their subjects using appropriate subject vocabulary. This is modelled by teachers and explained to pupils to continually reinforce the expected standard. Knowledge of the reading ages of the pupils in classes is an essential element for planning.

Vocabulary – Include keyword definitions in books. Regular testing and usage in discussions and written answers.

Scripture – We read with inflection and animation. Choose pupils to copy with inflection and animation. This helps with pronunciation and understanding.

Catechism – Read aloud. Translate. Annotate. Never let them copy annotations. 

The etymology of a word – This helps with dealing with misconceptions. Eg Liturgy, Sacrament…

Discussions – Paired work practising a developed answer using connectives. Pupils dictate a correct answer and we feed back.

Writing – We expect full paragraph answers. Make use of a visualiser so pupils can correct and improve.


Pupils are assessed every lesson by their subject specialist staff. Questioning is the primary strategy for assessing learning and levels of understanding. Following questions posed to a class, thinking time, preferably in the form of paired discussion, will increase the likelihood of high-quality responses and whole class engagement in thinking. As a result, the teacher can assess levels of understanding and adapt teaching where necessary using a mix of knowledge questions and more detailed questions to fully assess pupils’ knowledge.

Pupils will sit two formal cumulative knowledge assessments, one halfway through the year and one at the end of their academic year. All formal assessments are planned in advance and then reviewed by the line managers of religious education. As a department, RE staff meet and moderate assessments before marking using the mark schemes, following the NIBRA marking bands. Once the quality of marking and accuracy has been achieved, teachers will swap classes to mark. After assessment and exams are marked, the head of the department will review the marking with a selection from each class and check for quality and accuracy.

Year 7 and 8 assessments have two sections: a knowledge section which focuses on facts such as keyword definitions, key quotes and essential knowledge for the unit or in Catholic theology. The second section of the assessment will be questions which need to be answered in detail. One question will ask for an area before being explained for example How does Corpus Christi show it is a Roman Catholic school? The second question will be a discussion question in which pupils will need to show two points of view: Baptisms are just like birthday parties – discuss. In Year 7, pupils will need to show they can show the views of two groups. In Year 8, pupils will be expected to give their view as a conclusion.

Year 9 assessments use language which matches the KS4 Eduqas GCSE style a, b, c and d skill questions to assess pupils: describe, explain and discuss. While most lessons in KS3 will not include formal written assessment-style questions, all verbal questioning and practice in class are guiding pupils to be able to write in detail. 

In Year 9, pupils will be assessed on all their keywords as this allows pupils of all abilities to achieve. Pupils also see the essential nature of knowing their keywords to achieve marks and in being able to answer all other questions.

In Years 10 and 11 pupils follow the same structure of questions.

  • Key Word A skill questions are key terms/words and their definitions, these also need to be used in all other assessment questions so are essential knowledge. These are all in their books and should be constantly referred to in lessons. There needs to be at least a fortnightly class test on the keywords and definitions. 
  • Describe B skill questions are key knowledge and fact questions which need to include a source of wisdom and authority (quote). 
  • Explain C skill questions are a development of a B question and are asking for a description of WHAT the belief is, but also to say WHY people have these beliefs and what people do BECAUSE of these beliefs (what, why and do). C-skill questions can take two forms. They can ask for a comparison between two religions or religious groups, or ask for a detailed explanation of a belief and the effect and influences it has on the lives of religious believers. 
  • Discuss D skill analysis and judgement’ questions must compare two religious or non-religious groups’ views on a statement. Pupils are trained to write answers to D skill questions as a discussion and evaluate their answers.

Curriculum Impact

Outstanding RE Department

In March 2022 Corpus Christi had its diocesan inspection (section 48). The religious education department was judged to be outstanding. 

“Religious education is outstanding… The department’s strong planning, and the high quality of resources, lead to the pupils’ enjoyment of lessons. Leadership of the religious education faculty shows a strong commitment to the progress of all pupils, and the ability to generate an open and creative approach to teaching.”

“Pupils enjoy religious education at Corpus Christi. They are enthusiastic, articulate, and passionate when talking about what they learn, and most can establish clear links between what they learn in lessons and how this will be useful to them outside of school. Pupils aspire to the high expectations set by teachers”.

The impact of our curriculum is witnessed in the depth of secure knowledge acquired by our pupils. Significant improvement can be seen in the external examination results. Our Subject Progress Index (SPI) score was positive and indicates that our pupils performed better than similar pupils in other schools.

 Grade 4-9

Young Catholic Writers 

Two of our Year 9 pupils were recognised as runners-up in the national young Catholic writers award 2022 which all pupils in the year group entered, supported by the RE department. In this essay competition, participants were required to read some selected writings of St Pope John Paul II and Church documents on the theme of the importance of the Eucharist.

The essays were judged by Joanna Bogle, a British Roman Catholic writer and broadcaster, and a panel of published Catholic authors. They commented on how impressed they were with the high quality of the submitted essays.

Religious Education Peer Support (REPs)

20 pupils in Year 10 are volunteers in the Religious Education Peer Support (REPs) weekly afterschool club. KS3 pupils can voluntarily attend, or are encouraged to attend by the RE department, to support pupils in homework, keyword knowledge and to make progress with their learning. This has had a significant effect on supporting pupils in KS3 to make at least good progress in their learning.

Charitable Activities

All pupils are encouraged by the RE department to be involved in charitable fundraising and activities. Such as the senior citizens Christmas party, I’m a teacher get me out of here and the Corpus Christi talent show. These events raise money for our nominated charities during Advent and Lent.

Extended Learning Days

The RE department organises several extended learning days during the year. All pupils in Year 7 are taken on a tour of St Walburges RC Church, funded by the school. This gives all our pupils an experience of a Catholic church no matter their background or faith tradition.

All pupils in Year 8 are taken on a tour of a synagogue, funded by the school. This enables all pupils to have an experience which has a significant positive impact on future learning of Judaism.

For further information regarding our Religious Education curriculum please contact:
Mr Fetherston, email: or telephone school reception: (01772) 716912.

Together In One Body
Corpus Christi Catholic High School
St. Vincent’s Road, Fulwood, Preston PR2 8QY
Telephone: 01772 716912 Fax: 01772 718779 Email: