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Religious Education Activities


Religious Education


RE Staff : Mrs L Gough (Department leader), Mrs E Wallace, Miss L Orr and Miss S Groves 


Religious Education Syllabus

Pupils in Rathfriland High school will study a range of topics during their time within the Religious Education Department.  The following is a list of all the topics studied by each year group in detail.


Year 8


  • God and the Bible – Discovering the origins and backgrounds to the Holy Bible.  Finding out what others have to say about the Bible and its relevance for our lives today.  Learning to use the Bible as our textbook.


  • The Christmas story – Knowing the details of the Christmas story and looking at how this is more than just a commercial event. 


  • Who am I? – A study of the nature of human beings and what makes us who we really are.  Could we really be just a collection of cells and strands of DNA, or, is there more to our lives?  What does God have to say about our Identity and our Future?


  • ‘Respect for the Environment’ – Looking at how people believe that the world began and how we should care for our environment.


  • Judaism – Studying their key beliefs, the Synagogue, important Festivals such as Passover and Bar Mitzvah.


Year 9


  • God’s Covenant with Abraham – Studying the life of Abraham and his journey of faith.  Understanding what a covenant is and how God made a covenant with Abraham.


  • God’s Covenant with Moses – Knowing the life of Moses, the events that took place as the Israelites were released from slavery in Egypt, the 10 commandments and how the Israelites wondered in the desert.


  • St. Patrick – Looking at the life of Patrick and how he travelled throughout Ireland spreading the Christian message.


  • Islam - Investigate the Five pillars of Islam. Explore how the religious beliefs, practices and lifestyles of people of world faiths, other than Christianity, have influenced the development of various cultural traditions (in N. Ireland), for example, positive valuing of festivals and traditions from various cultures and religions.


Year 10


  • Parables – Using the stories that Jesus taught as a sign-post for life in our world.  Issues such as tolerance, prejudice, bitterness, forgiveness and hope will be considered in this unit.


  • Jesus’ Relationships – Investigating how Jesus valued the outcasts in society and how others need to be valued in our world today.  We will be learning how Jesus reached out to those in need and revealed that he was God in human form through his miracles.


  •  Easter – Examining the events surrounding the last week in the life of Jesus Christ as he make his way to Jerusalem and the Cross of Calvary. 



Year 11 and 12 Non Exam Class


This is a summary of the topics covered in Year 11 and 12 Non Exam Class:-


  • Prejudice and Discrimination
  • God’s Creation, Concepts of Stewardship and Justice
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Fair trade
  • Friendship
  • Appreciation of Sexuality
  • Right to Life
  • Marriage





The reason as to why people study Religious Studies at school is to enlighten them and educate them on the Bible’s teachings and to encourage them to respond to moral issues in light of what the Bible says.


The table below summarises the structure of the Full GCSE course.  Full course pupils study two units.


Pupils take both assessment units at the end of two years of study.






Units studied:

  •   St Mark’s Gospel
  •   Christianity Ethics

Two externally assessed written papers,   lasting 1 ½ hours each

Each written paper worth 50%



There will be a single tier of entry.


St Mark’s Gospel includes the following topics:

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


‘Christianity: Ethics’ includes the following topics:

  • The right to life (Abortion and Euthanasia)
  • The use of medical technology (IVF, Saviour Siblings etc)
  • Personal responsibility (Sexuality and Drugs)
  • Social responsibility (Marriage, Prejudice and  Discrimination)
  • Global concerns (Environment and Poverty)
  • Conflict (War, Crime and Punishment)


Career Opportunities

Social work, nursing, teaching, ministry, management, administration, insurance, community work, journalism and the media.


GCSE Results






A* - C



A* - C



A* -  C



A* -  C



A* -  E




External Agencies


From time to time we avail of the services of a number of external agencies to enhance the promotion of positive self-regard.  All agencies engaging directly with the pupils strictly adhere to the policies, values and ethos particular to our school. 


We currently offer the services offered by:-

Logos ministries

Scripture Union – Phil Howe

CEF - Marcus Somerville

Leprosy Mission – Sam Smith



If you wish to discuss any matter pertaining to the Religious Education Programme in Rathfriland High School, please contact Mrs L Gough (Department leader) who will be pleased to assist you.