“Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt.”
Paul Tillich 1886-1925 - German theologian
Mr Nigel Martin (Head of Religious Studies)
Mrs Hilary McGuire
- Promote an enquiring, critical and sympathetic approach to the study of religion, especially in its individual and corporate express in the contemporary world.
- Introduce pupils to the challenging and varied nature of religion and to the ways in which this is reflected in human experience, belief and practice.
- Enable pupils to identify and explore questions about the meaning of life and to consider such questions in relation to religious traditions.
- Encourage pupils to reflect on religious responses to moral and social issues.
- Help pupils to recognise and appreciate the contribution of religion to the formation of diverse patterns of human belief and behaviour.
The school follows the Core Syllabus for Northern Ireland which shapes the content of work covered at Key Stages 3 and 4. Overall, a theoretic approach is taken at Key Stage 3 as a basis for GCSE Religious Studies which is compulsory for all pupils.
Key Stage 3 Breakdown
Year 8 – Understanding Community
Year 9 – Peace and Conflict
Year 10 – The Christian Churches (first GCSE Year).
Key Stage 4 Breakdown
Year 11 – Morality
Year 12 – New Testament
(The current Year 10 is the first group going through the new Northern Ireland GCSE.)
A Level Religious Studies incorporates both AS and A2 courses. The EDEXCEL Syllabus is followed with an emphasis on Ethics and Philosophy of Religion.
Resources and facilities
The department has built up a wide range of up-to-date text books and resources.
We have developed an extensive video library including films and documentaries. This helps to sustain the relevance of lesson content and is motivating for pupils at all levels. We also have the use of a DVD player.
A computer work station with internet access is in each Religious Studies classroom. CD ROM facilities offer ‘interactive’ tours of issues such as festivals, pilgrimages and places of worship.
The department has recently acquired a data projector which makes PowerPoint possible within lessons. ICT development is a major focus within the Religious Studies department at all levels.
Achievements and recent successes
In recent years, A level Religious Studies classes have been growing. A good number of Upper 6th pupils go on to pursue third level study in Theology/Religious Studies in university.
Our popular 6th form residential at Corrymeela Centre enables Advanced Level students to think and reflect on issues and questions beyond the classroom within a cross-community and international context.
We have long experience of bringing in specialist speakers to address classes, participate in conferences and run workshops. The intention is to take pupils beyond the ‘narrowly academic’ and towards human experience and behaviour.