Religious Education

Religious Education is central to the Catholic ethos of the school.


Our aim in the Religious Education department is to enable pupils to grow in the knowledge and understanding of their faith and in their personal relationship with Christ.  We encourage pupils to appreciate their own religious values and traditions whilst respecting the traditions of others and challenge them to live out Christian values in their daily lives.  Our approach to the teaching of Religious Education is both pupil-centred and experiential.  Through meaningful discussion we encourage pupils to make informed choices in their personal faith development. 


Key Stage Three


Religious Education at Key Stage 3 follows the Diocesan approved Fully Alive programme.  Our aim is to make the RE Department a place of faith and learning. In the spirit of the Revised Curriculum, we offer pupils a wide variety of active learning opportunities through which to grow in faith, explore the mysteries of life, deepen their relationship with God, and establish right relationships with others. As pupils mature in faith, our hope is that their lives bear witness to the witness of the Gospel.


In Year 8 pupils have the opportunity to explore in-depth: the community of Rathmore (enabling them to establish a personal identity with their new school, class and tutor group); Sacred Scripture (the relevance for their lives today); Advent (adorning of the Jesse Tree; Palestine at the Time of Jesus; the Sacrament of Baptism; Moral Decision Making (influences on our sense of Right and Wrong).


In Year 9 pupils focus on the topics of: Creation, Environmental Stewardship, Covenant Agreements, Conscience and Morality, Church History (the Reformation), Denominations of Christianity, Ecumenism and Judaism.


In Year 10 pupils have the opportunity to study: Human dignity and its relationship with equality and human rights; Friendship - with themselves, others and Christ; Relationships and Personal Development in the context of adolescence, and Islam.


At GCSE the department follows the CCEA specification for Religious Studies comprising of an in-depth study of Matthew’s Gospel in Year 11 and Christian Ethics in Year 12. Pupils sit a modular examination at the end of Year 11 and 12.


In Year 11, the study of Matthew’s Gospel allows pupils the opportunity to explore the life and teachings of Jesus in relation to the historical context of Palestine. Pupils examine selected passages relevant to the Identity of Jesus, his Passion and Resurrection, Discipleship, Miracles and Parables of the Kingdom of God. Pupils are encouraged to reflect on and evaluate the significance of the life and teaching of Jesus for contemporary Christian living. 

The study of Christians Ethics is undertaken in Year 12. Pupils explore pertinent ethical questions around the topics of Sanctity of Life (Abortion, Euthanasia, Capital Punishment), Environmental Ethics and Animal Rights, Equality, Marriage and Personal Relationships. In addition to the study of Biblical and Church teaching relating to these topics, pupils also consider the relevant teachings of other Christian denominations, secular viewpoints and the views of other major world religions. The connections between historical, political, and social viewpoints are made enabling pupils to make meaningful evaluation of the significance of these issues for Christians today.

Formal learning and teaching is complemented by guest speakers and a strong focus is placed on examining current trends and ethical issues in the media and contemporary society.


Pupils studying Religious Education at AS/A2 Level have the opportunity to study two of the options offered by the CCEA Religious Studies specification.


All pupils study Ethics with a special reference to Medical Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion.



By choosing to continue their A Level studies in Rathmore, all pupils participate in an “in-house” designed Social RE programme consisting of one period of RE each week. The overarching theme for Year 13 and 14 is Social Justice. Pupils are encouraged to discuss, with their peers, contemporary and relevant topics that address the three ultimate questions that guide the human search for meaning: Who am I? Why am I here? How then shall I live?

Liturgy and Worship


There are several times in the course of the academic year when the RE Department organises and leads the school community in ritual and worship. The RE Department is keen to involve the whole school community in preparation and celebration of formal liturgical worship.


At the heart of Retreat is the opportunity for our pupils to explore who they are as young people, their relationship with themselves, with others and with God.


Retreats form an integral part of the Religious Education Programme at Key Stage 3, in so far as they play a significant role in “leading pupils to a deeper, active and more personal faith”. 

The Retreats for Years 8, 9 and 10 are creative and inclusive and designed “in-house” to meet the age appropriate spiritual and faith based needs of our young people whilst complementing aspects of personal development shared by the Religious Education and Pastoral Programmes.

Pupils are encouraged to develop as individuals whilst developing their sense of connectedness and belonging. Gathering together for the day as a tutor group allows the pupils to continue to develop a group dynamic based on strong friendships and relationships.

Retreat days offer pupils a unique experience to develop their personal spirituality, mental well-being and a more positive outlook on life.


Year 8 - Who am I; Who are We? (Exploring personal, group and the wider school community, identities)


Learning Objectives/Outcomes


Pupils will have the opportunity to

  • reflect on their personal journey to date

  • reflect on their role and connection to the school community

  • identify their unique talents and abilities

  • consider the positive aspects of their personality and areas of their inner self that they might be able to change/improve on

  • to identify what the school might be able to offer them

  • to consider and identify areas in which they can involve themselves more fully in the wider life of the school

Teaching Staff

Mr Patrick O'Callaghan (HOD)

Miss Ciara Boyle

Miss Hannah Cassidy

Mrs Louise McCormick

Mrs Oonagh McKeogh

Ms Carolyn Hunter

Mrs Catherine Heaney

Mrs Verona McCavana

Mr Peter McClenaghan

Mr Noel McIlvenny

Miss Maeve Wright

Assistant to the Chaplain

Mrs Fiona Collins

Religious Education