Religious Studies Department


Head Staff:

Ms L. Phillips Head of KS4
Mrs C. Harrison Head of KS3


Additional Staff:

Ms K. Murphy
Ms G Byrne
Mrs P. Hasson
Mrs E. McKeown
Mr J. McGlade


Aims and Objectives of the Department:

Religious Education is part of the minimum requirement for every pupil at KS3. The core syllabus for Religious Education has been developed by the four main ChristianChurches and outlines the statutory Religious Education content at all key stages.

At New-Bridge we supplement the core syllabus with further provision which complements the ethos of our IntegratedCollege and the society in which we live.

The learning objectives of the core syllabus are:

• The Revelation of God;
• The Christian Church
• Morality
• World Religions other than Christianity (at Key Stage 3 only).


Along with the development of the core syllabus in RE, teachers are asked take into account the development of the Northern Ireland Curriculum by CCEA.

The Northern Ireland Curriculum places an emphasis on the development of cross curricular skills, thinking skills, personal capabilities and ‘Assessment for Learning’ to enhance motivation and ensure connected learning across the curriculum. This is an important development in education as it moves the emphasis from the teacher as an instructor to the teacher as a facilitator.

The aim and objectives of the Northern Ireland Curriculum are embedded in each subject strand through the statutory requirement (the Statutory requirement for RE can be found on the next page), which outlines the knowledge, understanding and skills that should be provided in RE through the curriculum objectives and the learning outcomes.


The purpose of this Statutory Requirement is to show how Religious Education can be developed through the Northern Ireland Curriculum objectives/key elements, and how Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities are an integral part of learning in Religious Education.  In addition, the Statutory Requirement highlights the statutory aspects of the Northern Ireland Curriculum that Religious Education should take account of.


These are:

• Learning for Life and Work;
• Cross-Curricular Skills (Communication, Using Mathematics and Using ICT);
• Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities.


Religious Education in keeping with the Northern Ireland Curriculum


The Northern Ireland Curriculum aims to empower pupils to achieve their potential and to make informed and responsible choices and decisions throughout their lives. It is about helping all pupils prepare for life and work:


• as individuals
• as contributors to society
• as contributors to the economy and the environment.


Religious Education has a significant role to play in this. It provides pupils with the opportunities to learn about, discuss, evaluate and learn from religious beliefs, practices and values by supplying opportunities to engage with challenging questions about:

• the meaning and purpose of life;
• our place in society and the world around us.


This presents pupils with chances to develop their personal understanding, moral character and enhance their spiritual and ethical awareness.


Meeting Curriculum Objectives


Religious Education develops pupils as individuals by:

• providing pupils with varying opportunities to develop a positive sense of themselves, their own beliefs, values and ideas;
• promoting the development of a sense of identity as individuals;
• challenging pupils to consider and analyse religious and moral issues, encouraging them to develop moral character and to communicate their responses in a sensitive and respectful manner.


Religious Education develops pupils as contributors to society by:

• enabling pupils to develop and reflect on their understanding and awareness of the influence religious beliefs have on themselves, others and society;
• highlighting the diversity of beliefs in our society;
• promoting cultural understanding and sensitivity towards the beliefs and values of others. By doing this it works against sectarianism, racism and prejudice, fostering a positive attitude towards reconciliation and inclusion.


Religious Education develops pupils as contributors to the economy and environment by:

• empowering pupils and preparing them for life and work in a rapidly changing and challenging world;
• helping them to become more aware of the responsibilities they have towards the world;
• helping them to become more aware of the responsibilities they have towards those around them and how this can have an impact on their lives now and in the future.



Links to KS2 and KS4


Key Stage 2


At Key Stage 3 the core syllabus builds on the learning from Key Stages 1 & 2.

The learning objectives ‘Revelation of God’, ’The Christian Church’ and ‘Morality’ are developed with pupils enhancing their knowledge and understanding in these areas and further developing their own beliefs and values.

The learning objective ‘World Religions (other than Christianity)’ has been included at Key Stage 3 to encourage pupils to develop a knowledge and understanding of and sensitivity towards, two major world faiths other than Christianity.

Throughout Key Stage 1 & 2 pupils are encouraged to develop the cross-curricular skills of Communication, Using Mathematics and Using ICT, along with Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities. At Key Stage 3 these skills can be built upon through learning and teaching strategies in all subjects. This links Religious Education closely to the aim of the Northern Ireland Curriculum and the other areas of learning/subject strands.


Key Stage 4


The flexible framework at Key Stage 3 allows: teachers to establish foundations for Key Stage 4 study by providing opportunities for;

• pupils to demonstrate deeper understanding;
• pupils to become more independent learners who will be more adept and experienced in managing their own learning.


Key Stage 3 experiences should provide a robust basis for learning at Key Stage 4. The knowledge, understanding and skills outlined in Key Stage 3 Religious Education provide a framework that enables teachers to tailor the breadth and depth of coverage to meet the needs and interests of their pupils.

Religious Education is a statutory subject at Key Stage 4 and pupils continue to follow the core syllabus. At Key Stage 4 pupils continue to develop their knowledge and understanding through the following learning objectives:

• Revelation of God;
• The Christian Church;•Morality.