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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Feast day / Liturgical season
|Year 7 LO
|Year 8 LO
|The Liturgical year
|Second Week of Term
|What is the Liturgical Year?
|Test prior learning on liturgical year.
|What is the feast of all saints and all souls?
|How do you become a saint?
|What is the feast of Advent? New Church year.
|What are we waiting for? – Past, present and future. “Be ready”.
|What is the feast of the Epiphany about?
|How can we show to the world the Jesus is God?
|What is Ash Wednesday and Lent? – Stations of the Cross
|How can we prepare ourselves for Easter?
|What happened at the annunciation? Why is Mary so special?
|What does the annunciation mean to Catholics today? Her perfect example of virtue.
|Paschal Triduum & Easter
|What are the events of the Triduum?
|How do Catholic practice their faith on these holy days?
|English Saints and Martyrs
|How do these saints live out the Virtues?
|What are Eucharistic processions? What is Adoration? Class Adoration and Benediction.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: email@example.com or telephone school reception: (01772) 716912.