All students in Year 7 and 8 have two hours per week of Religious Studies lessons. In Year 7 we focus on teaching our Catholic faith to ensure that all understand the foundations of our faith and the main events over a liturgical year. This work continues in Year 8 alongside exploratory work about two other world religions, Judaism and Islam. At the end of Key Stage 3 we use the Diocesan resource ‘Where I am’ to deliver sex and relationships education.
From Year 9 students have 3 lessons per week and we start the GCSE course. We currently teach the Edexcel Specification choosing Unit 3 (Catholic Christianity) and Unit 8 (Religion and Society). Traditionally about half of the year group are fast tracked through their GCSE at the end of Year 10, this decision dependent on them making required progress. These students then have the opportunity to study a Higher Project qualification (Edexcel), this providing the opportunity for deep learning about our faith. At an appropriate point in Key Stage 4 we use the Diocesan resource ‘Who I am’ to deliver sex and relationships education.
In Year 12 and 13 we teach Edexcel AS and A level choosing the options Philosophy and Ethics. Our Investigations students currently study an issue relating to medical ethics and our Year 13 Implications paper is taught through Philosophy. Year 12 and 13 also take part in a variety of General RE options, this delivered through Extended Project (Edexcel), ASDAN Cope and Wider Key Skills and the wider enrichment curriculum. There is an active SVP group in our Sixth Form. Towards the end of year 12 students are given the opportunity to further explore their choices both now and in the future using the Diocesan resources ‘How I am’.
Director of RE Mr.M Brolly
Subject leader (Key Stage 3) Mrs S Weatherby
Teacher/ Deputy Ms G Hart
Teacher/Assistant Head Mrs E Todd
Teacher Mrs V Hall
Teacher Miss G Murphy
Teacher (p/t) Mrs C Deaville
Teacher (p/t) Mrs J Smith
There are currently three full time teachers of R.E. and two that are part time. In addition, two members of the Senior Management team teach R.E. at GCSE and A Level. Students enjoy their RE lessons and achieve superb results. Last year 72% of Year 11 students achieved an A*-C in GCSE RE (full course). All students are entered for a full GCSE in Religious Education.
About the Year 7 Curriculum
Students complete a base line assessment when they arrive in year 7 which allows the department to accurately assess which level they are working at. The first term is spent studying an 'Induction topic' which introduces them to the Catholic ethos of the college and there is a strong emphasis on community cohesion. Students visit a Catholic Church and also become familiar with the college Chapel. They enjoy Mass in the college Chapel as a form class during the term. Further year 7 topics include the sacraments and creation.
About the Year 8 Curriculum
Year 8 allows students the opportunity to investigate new topics in more depth. The content of the R.E. in year 8 covers Assessment in both written and creative forms. A highlight of the year is the chance to take part in a Seder meal which is thoroughly enjoyed by students each year. This is part of the Covenant assessment. Further topics include the 'All that I Am' topic which covers sex and relationships education.
About the Year 9 Curriculum
At St Thomas More Catholic Academy every student completes the Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies course. Students achieve outstanding results in the subject with the vast majority securing an A*-C grade and a significant number achieving the A* or A grade. All students are currently completing the Catholic Christianity Unit 10 in preparation for the new GCSEs that will commence from September 2016. This involves the study of the Catholic Church including Beliefs and Values, Community and Tradition, Worship and Celebration and Living the Christian Life.
Students examine the nature and the teachings of the Catholic Faith. They learn about how the Catholic Church brings people of faith towards God and how people can live their life in close relationship with God using festivals and the Sacraments.
About the Year 10 Curriculum
The majority of students complete the second part of the GCSE course which is 'Religion and Society'. This brings endless opportunities to engage in learning activities which challenge, motivate and enthuse students. This part of the course consists of four topics – Religion and Social Responsibility, Religion and Environmental and Medical Issues, Peace and Conflict and Crime and Punishment. Students explore these topical issues in a great deal of depth and in light of the teachings of the Christian faith. This part of the course brings the opportunity to explore the teachings of another world faith which is Islam.
About the Year 11 Curriculum
Some students complete their GCSE course during year 11. A majority of students enjoy the opportunity to choose an aspect of the GCSE course which interests them most. They complete a Level 2 Higher Project on this area. This is a 'deep learning' experience which allows incalculable opportunities to learn and develop the skills required for higher post-16 education. Students relish the opportunity to learn about an issue such as community cohesion, sanctity of life, human rights or evil and suffering in light of the teachings of the Catholic faith.
About the Year 12 Curriculum
Religious Studies at A level involves the study of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. Our department has an outstanding track record with Advanced level studies. We attract well over 20 students which makes us the most popular subject in the college. Students achieve higher grades than in any other department in the college. In Philosophy of Religion we deal with: Philosophical arguments for the existence of God, the problem of Evil and Suffering and Philosophical debates about miracles. In Ethics: the relationship between Religion and Morality and Ethical Theories such as situation ethics and utilitarianism.An investigation into a medical issue such as euthanasia allows an opportunity to tackle applied ethics.
About the Year 13 Curriculum
In year 13 students continue to study challenging Philosophical and Ethical issues. They explore more complex ethical issues in impressive depth and study philosophical concepts such as religious language and experience in equal depth. Students learn how to think vigorously and assess the strengths of arguments for and against the different views they encounter. This is a skill that has enormous benefits and shapes all areas of life, including the work place. The course offers students an opportunity to investigate the underlying ideas which shape our society.
Year 12 and 13 also take part in a variety of General RE options, this delivered through Extended Project (Edexcel), and the John Paul II award based on voluntary work within the school, parish and local community. There is an active SVP group in our Sixth Form. Towards the end of year 12 students are given the opportunity to further explore their choices both now and in the future using the Diocesan resources ‘How I am’.
Extra Curricular Activities
Students are able to take part in several retreats during their time at St Thomas More.
- Year 8 students visit Alton Castle for three days which is a hugely spiritually moving experience.
- During year 9, students participate in Vocations Day. This is an opportunity to learn about the nature and purpose of religious vocations which students benefit enormously from.
- During year 10 we visit Soli at Alton which provides students with a spiritual experience which is appropriate to their increased maturity. Students also have the chance to participate in the college's annual pilgrimage to Lourdes during this academic year.
- Year 12 and 13 students have the opportunity to attend a retreat.