Head of Department
Mrs B Sweeney
Mrs G Carey
Miss J Galbraith (Liturgical Co-Ordinator)
Mrs S Mc Carry
Mrs F Mc Closkey
Mrs A O’Harte
Miss N O’ Neill
Religious Education is at the heart of the curriculum in the College.
The aims of the Religious Education Department are pursued in an environment where the spiritual dimension in the education of pupils is emphasised in conjunction with their intellectual, social, emotional and physical development.
Every pupil participates in Religious Education programmes of study from years 8 to 14.
Key Stage 3
Key stage 3 students follow the Fully Alive Irish Catechetical Programme as published by Veritas.
Year 8: Fully Alive 1.
Year 9: Fully Alive 2.
Year 10: Fully Alive 3.
These resources are supplemented by the RE department with units of work that emphasise our core values as a Loreto school, such as the Life and Legacy of Mary Ward in year 8 and a designated ‘Mary Ward Week’ celebrated by all pupils in Key Stage 3.
The programme provides our students with the opportunity to develop their understanding and knowledge of the Catholic faith, however, students are also given the opportunity to examine the beliefs and practices of other Christian denominations (year 9), and some of the major world religions; Judaism (year 9) and Islam (year 10).
Key Stage 4
All students in KS4 study Religion at Loreto. Two different pathways are offered:
The majority of our students take the CCEA GCSE in RE.
Units of study:
-Year 11: Paper 5 Christianity through a study of the Gospel of Mark (50%)
-Year 12: Paper 6 An Introduction to Christian Ethics (50%)
Each paper is worth 50%.
-The year 11 paper (50%) is completed in May of year 11.
-The year 12 papers (50%) is completed in May of year 12.
There is no coursework or controlled assessment in this course. 100% exam.
In studying Religion to GCSE level, the students are provided with the opportunity to build on their communication and literacy skills – oral and written - through analysis, evaluation, selecting appropriate detail, research, debating, essay writing. Furthermore, the students are encouraged to explore moral dilemmas and refer to the Gospel message and Church teaching to help decision-making.
This is another pathway to achievement, and is also currently being offered as a GCSE equivalent. The OCN NI Level 2 Award and Certificate in Religious Studies is designed for learners who wish to develop knowledge and understanding in religious studies in order to make sense of religious choices people make in today’s society. It is intended that learners will develop empathy, respect and awareness of other religious beliefs and cultural diversity.
This course is assessed by continuous assessment. Students complete units of work, through building a portfolio.
Key Stage 5
We study CCEA AS/A2 Religious Studies
Units of study
-Unit 1: AS2 an Introduction to the Acts of the Apostles
- A2 Themes in selected letters to St. Paul.
AS 7 Foundations of Ethics with Special Reference to Issues in Medical Ethics.
A2 Global Ethics
All students in Years 13 and 14 are timetabled for General Religion. Year 13 are currently timetabled in a modular system, where they will meet with five teachers, and learn about the following: Charity; Positive thinking strategies; Morality; Prayer and Creation.
The Year 14 program is based on a series of speakers who are invited into the school to explain their work. Themes covered range from Stress Relief through Yoga and Reflexology, Alcoholics Anonymous; ACET; Simon Community; St. Vincent de Paul; Concern; Habitat for Humanity and Trocaire.
Not only does the provision of General Religion, give the students a much needed break from examination demands, but it also opens options to them, regarding the potential they might have to be a part of the many outreach programs available to them. It also conveys the Christian responsibility to be aware of moral dilemmas and systems of social injustice and act on these. With this in mind, many of our students partake in the Pope John Paul 11 Award in Year 13 and Year 14. Here they are encouraged to take an active role in their parish and in participating in groups to promote social justice.
Study of Religion is useful but not essential for those who wish to study Theology or Religious Studies. It is very useful for those considering a career in teaching as Religious Education can be chosen as a component in the BEd degree or the PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education). Students wishing to study in areas such as Law, Social Work and Psychology or any vocational professions have also found studying Religious Studies advantageous. Due to material covered in Ethics, those who are considering careers in medicine find the ethical debates on medical issues beneficial. As Religious Studies is a literacy based subject and focuses on contemporary and historical issues relating to human experiences, the skills promoted and required in the teaching and learning of the topics might be seen as advantageous in careers such as Journalism and other related areas.