In Religious Education we believe that each person is created in the image and likeness of God and is called to live in a relationship with Him.  We celebrate and embrace the uniqueness of each individual as we work together to deepen our relationship with God.  Religious Education contributes to our learning and faith community by:

  • Helping us to know God and recognise his presence in our lives
  • Enabling all people to recognise their own value and worth
  • Assisting us to form good relationships
  • Teaching us to recognise the importance and dignity of others
  • Enabling us to understand the life and teachings of the Catholic Church
  • Promoting a sense of tolerance and respect for all people
  • Developing an awareness of our responsibility to care for God’s creation
  • Encouraging us to question and seek answers to the important questions in life.


Download Programme of Learning

Programme of Study


Religious Education is at the core of the curriculum here at Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School.  We are committed to supporting pupils at whatever stage they might be on their faith journey.  We strive to help pupils achieve their full potential as human beings.

We believe it is essential that all pupils should have an appreciation of the religious and spiritual dimension of life.  

Through our Religious Education programme we promote the common good, making real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others in their community, country and the world in general.

Religious Education is also an academic subject: pupils are expected to develop skills of research, thinking, reasoning, communication and co-operation.  We therefore strive to help to develop the skills for GCSE, as well as for GCE Advanced and AS Level when they leave for Sixth form studies.

We offer a huge range of activities outside of the classroom which we hope will inspire and increase enjoyment in the subject, e.g. pilgrimages, retreats, guest speakers, visits to places of worship. We also work very closely with Chaplaincy which gives many and varied ways for pupils to become involved and put their faith into action

All pupils at Cardinal Heenan study GCSE Religious Studies. The course content aims to develop knowledge, skills and understanding of religion. We explore the significance and impact of beliefs, teachings, sources, practices and ways of life.  RE lessons also give pupils the opportunities to express personal responses to the big questions in life, such as “Who am I?” “What happens when I die?”  “What is the meaning of life?”

“I have come” Christ said “that you may have life and have it in all its abundance.”

All pupils study the following areas in Religious Education:

Year 7

  • What does it mean to belong?
  • Why are sacred scriptures important to the believer?
  • How can significant people impact on my life?
  • How do we communicate with God and each other?
  • How do value the journey of faith?

Year 8

  • How can I discover my vocation?
  • What are the key beliefs and values of the believer?
  • What is the history of our story?
  • How do we communicate through worship?
  • What is the connection between freedom and responsibility

Year 9

  • What are the key beliefs and values of Islam?
  • What rights do people have and how must they be respected?
  • What choices should we make in our relationships?
  • How can we gain a deeper understanding of the bible, the teaching of the Church and the Eucharist?
  • Does God exist?

In Year 9 pupils begin a GCSE course in Religious Studies with the AQA examination board.  They study St Mark’s Gospel, Unit 5 (405005), and Roman Catholicism: Ethics, Unit 4 (405004).

Years 9, 10 and 11

St. Mark’s Gospel

  • Background to the Gospel
  • Jesus’s ministry
  • The Person of Jesus
  • Jesus’ relationship with others
  • Discipleship
  • Jesus’s suffering, death and resurrection.


Roman Catholicism: Ethics

  • Christian values
  • Marriage 
  • Vocation
  • Reconciliation
  • Christian healing and life after death
  • Global issues including war and peace, and poverty

Key Stage 4 Religious Education enhances pupils’ spiritual and academic progress in line with the gospel and the Church’s moral teaching.  Once pupils reach the end of Year 11 they will be examined on both units.  Grades for the two units will be combined to give an overall GCSE grade.


How the Religious Education Department actively promotes British Values through the curriculum

We aim to encourage awareness and appreciation of the pupils’ own worth and that of others and also to respect the rights of other people who have beliefs which are different to their own.  As a Catholic community it is our duty to deepen the knowledge and understanding of Catholic and other religious traditions but also to enable young people to explore their own story, experiences, personal beliefs and that of others whatever their faith background.

The Religious Education curriculum actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils' character and moral perspective, through the teachings of the Church.  We are confident that our continued focus on the gospel values will give our pupils the necessary awareness of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today, and embed in them the building blocks of a future successful and productive life.


GCSE Religious Studies

Board:  AQA   Subject Code: 8063



Component 1: Catholic Christianity - Percentage of total marks: 50%
Written Examination: 1 hr 45 minutes

Catholic beliefs, teachings, practices, sources of authority and forms of expression in relation to six topics:

  • Creation
  • Incarnation
  • The Triune God
  • Redemption
  • Church
  • Eschatology

Component 2: Perspectives on Faith - Percentage of total marks: 50%
Written Examination: 1 hr 45 minutes

A study of the beliefs, teachings and practices of Judaism
Religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes:

  • Religion, Peace and Conflict
  • Religion, human rights and social justice.

Students will sit both examinations at the end of year 11.

How it’s assessed

Two written examination papers: 1 hour 45 minutes. (One exam for each component).
95 marks (plus 5 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar).


In each exam series, questions will be set on any four sections of the Catholic Christianity component and on any two sections
of the Judaism and Religious, Philosophical and ethical studies themes.
One question will be set on each theme. There will be five parts to each question.
Each five part question will be marked out of 24.
Each group of five questions will follow the same structure of 1,2,4,5 and 12 marks.
The 12 mark questions will require extended writing and test analysis and evaluation.

Tips for Parents

Students should meet all homework deadlines. If students are absent from school, they should ensure that all missed
work is copied up.
Students should revise thoroughly and aim to achieve their target grade in all end of module tests.
A high level of concentration and active participation in class is essential at all times.
They should access the AQA exam board website and familiarise themselves with the course specification, specimen
exam papers and past papers as they are available.

Places of interest/ events connected with the syllabus

Immersing themselves in the theology and teachings of the Catholic Church
Visiting a Jewish synagogue, taking part in Jewish celebrations, eg Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Passover, Sabbath celebrations.

Helpful websites

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