Religious Education

“The invitation of Jesus Christ for all people to live life in all its fullness is the challenge that lies at the heart of Religious Education within a Catholic school”.

The RE department firmly believes that "Religious Education in the Catholic school is distinctive because of its focus on the faith development of children and young people within the context of a faith community."

Its central purpose is to assist learners to make an informed, mature response to God's call to relationship” Catholic Education Service 2013. At The Catholic High School, Chester we believe that Religious Education should focus on the whole child; their academic achievements as well as their faith journey. 

Departmental Achievements

“This is an outstanding department”

Section 48, 2017

In 2017  the Religious Education were delighted with the GCSE results with 70% students gaining A*-C and 26% gaining A - A*.

The last Section 48 RE inspection remarked that teaching in the sixth form was “outstanding”.  The groups at Advanced Level are large and Religious Studies continues to be one of the most popular courses. The large numbers are due, not only to the success of the department’s examination results, but is also a reflection of how much the students enjoy Religious Education, especially at GCSE. 

Educational Visits

Sixth Form students will have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge by attending a Philosophy & Ethics Conference led by renowned scholar, Dr Peter Vardy at various venues. 


A particular strength of the school are the RE Days that are run with each year group in Key Stage 3. The themes are “I am special in God’s eyes”, “Do not label me” and “It’s not fair”. The aim of the days is to develop the whole child and develop an understanding of central Christian beliefs. 

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 students will be taught according to the department’s own Religious Education scheme of work, which has been devised in line with the Curriculum Directory of the Bishops of England and Wales. The purpose of the Year 7 scheme of work is to enable our students to explore the whole nature of Religion at a fundamental and inclusive level. We begin with the students' own experience of exploring the world, then move on through some ways people have attempted to understand the universe. A look at some of the specifically religious insights, which people have experienced will follow, notably that of Abraham, Joseph and Moses and a study of Judaism. The Year 8 Scheme of Work is to reintroduce the students to the subject of Christianity and to present the religion in such a way as to give the students a very wide knowledge and understanding of it. The students will be expected to become familiar with the major practices and beliefs of Christianity, specifically the beliefs of Roman Catholicism, and the reasons why these beliefs are held today. There will be an in depth study of the life of Jesus.  Year Nine is one of reflection on the meaning of religion for the students themselves, particularly on the Roman Catholic tradition. The students will be asked to consider the nature of a religious way of life in greater depth in the hope of drawing them to a free and more mature commitment to the person of Jesus Christ. It is important to recognize the physical and emotional development of the students at this stage and to draw upon this in helping them to discover their own individual and unique role in the community of the Church and society. Students will study moral decision making including the role of conscience.  In addition they will learn about the importance of Light and the Sanctity of Life. 

Key Stage 4

The Edexcel GCSE course focuses on three areas;1) Catholic Christianity (50%) and 2) Judaism (25%) exploring beliefs, teachings and practices. 3) Ethical and Philosophical studies in the Modern World such as human rights and war and peace. 

Key Stage 5 

A Level OCR Religious Studies had three key elements, the Study of Religion, Philosophy and Ethics.

  • 1) The Study of Religion: This is an in depth study of Christianity including historical and social development, and key values, leaders and teachings.
  • 2) Philosophy of Religion: Arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, religious language and religious experience.
  • 3) Ethics and Religion: The study of a number of ethical theories, war and peace, sexual ethics, and medical ethics.

The course aims to encourage students to develop the critical and evaluative skills which will enable them to go on to university to study a wide range of courses. 

Key Stage 5 General RE Programme (Diocesan Approved) 

This course has been designed with a view to giving our students a deeper understanding of religion and greater sensitivity to the questions and issues which a study of religion raises. The Sixth Form programme includes Human Rights, Crime and Punishment, The Problem of Evil, Censorship and War and Peace. Sixth Form students will explore a range of moral, philosophical and religious topics through film, discussion and group work. 


Head of Religious Education: Mrs Anne-Marie Appleton: BA Religious Studies and Sociology (Hons) PGCE
Second in Department: Miss Victoria Ellison: BA (Hons) Theology and Religious Studies and English Literature PGCE

Mrs Durcan-Smith: BA (Hons) Theology and Religious Studies PGCE
Miss E Monk: BA (Hons) Religious Studies and Theology with Education

Awarding body:

GCSE RE Specification (1HI0)

A level:
A Level Specification (H573)