Religious Education is a core subject at Saint Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School; the location in the middle of the building highlights that it is a central aspect within the school as well as within the curriculum, with all pupils studying it at GCSE level. Together with the wider school we aim to provide a community that thrives, worships and cares through its Catholic faith. Religious Education gives direction to the pupils' academic studies as they grow individually, spiritually and in their own faith.

"The Mission Statement impacts upon the pupils in their motivation to live life in all its fullness. They readily understand that the mission is about action and demands their living of the Gospel by best practice." (Section 48 Archdiocesan Inspection, March 2016)

Religious Education provides students with the opportunity to explore and express their own judgements and consider other worldviews. The subject benefits from a strong literacy base allowing students to confidently flourish in their investigation of a wide range of religious, social and theological issues. Teachers of Religious Education at the school take a challenging, engaging and skills based approach to teaching. Throughout their school life students will study and analyse the core beliefs of world faiths with in-depth study of Catholic Christianity and Judaism.


The RE department was graded as 'outstanding in the last Section 48 Archdiocesan Inspection. (March 2016)

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

All students follow a structured curriculum at Key Stage 3 based on the Archdiocesan Framework 'People of God – Called to Serve'.
They are taught in 5 periods over the two week timetable 10% curriculum time.
During Year 7 and Year 8 students in addition to Catholic Christianity students will study one world religion. Students have the opportunity to work individually, in pairs and in groups during the following topics which are studied in six half term blocks:

Year 7

  • About Belonging – Initiation , Mission Statement, Saint Edmund Arrowsmith
  • Is Jesus Special?
  • Is there more than meets the Eye
  • Our World
  • Why do we celebrate?
  • Is all life of value?

Year 8

  • Why do promises matter?
  • What are the signs of identity for Jewish people? Advent
  • How can we know what is true?
  • Are there limits to forgiveness?
  • Why is there suffering?
  • Is all life of value?

Students in Years 7 and 8 are given a homework project at the start of each half term, they will be expected to work on this each week. Students can access the school homework clubs for support.

Key Stage Four

GCSE RE at Saint Edmund Arrowsmith builds upon the key content and skills developed at Key Stage Three. All students study for the full course GSCE.

As a Catholic school all students are required to study Roman Catholic Christianity as the main religion with Judaism as the second religion.
Students follow the Edexcel specification A – Belief and Practice in the 21st Century GCSE

The Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9–1) in Religious Studies A consists of three externally-examined papers.

All students must complete:

  • Paper 1: Area of Study 1 – Catholic Christianity
  • Paper 2: Area of Study 2 – Judaism
  • Paper 3: Area of Study 3 – Philosophy and Ethics (Catholic Christianity)

Paper 1: Area of Study 1 – Roman Catholic Christianity
Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes
50% of the qualification 102 marks

Content overview

  • Beliefs and Teachings
  • Practices
  • Sources of Wisdom and Authority
  • Forms of Expression and Ways of Life

Paper 2: Area of Study 2 – Judaism
Written examination: 50 minutes
25% of the qualification 51 marks

Content overview

  • Beliefs and Teachings
  • Practices

Paper 3: Area of Study 3 – Philosophy and Ethics Roman Catholic
Written examination: 50 minutes
25% of the qualification 51 marks

Content overview

  • Arguments for the Existence of God
  • Religious Teachings on Relationships and Families in the 21st century

For further information about the GCSE R.E. specification, please follow this link - GCSE R.E.

Students in Years 9, 10 and 11 have 5 RE lessons a fortnight and homework is set regularly, in line with the school's homework policy.

Wider reading

As a department we encourage reading. The following are titles that link to the curriculum that pupils can enjoy reading for pleasure.

  • Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
  • The Imam's Daughter by Hannah Shah
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
  • My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr