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Religious Education at Newman

The Catholic directory states “…Religious Education is central to the curriculum of the Catholic school and is at the heart of the philosophy of Catholic education” (The Catholic directory pg. 3). The aim of RE in a Catholic school is to educate the whole person, recognising that each person is unique and made in the image of God. 


In a Catholic school, RE is taught as a core subject and each Diocese has a responsibility for guiding the RE curriculum. In addition to this, the provision of Catholic religious education is distinctive as religious literacy of pupils is crucial. Religious literacy enables pupils “ think spiritually, ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life” (Religious Education Curriculum Directory for Catholic Schools, CBCEW, 2012, p. 6.). The RE curriculum deepens religious and theological understanding, particularly in the Catholic faith. We enable students to be religiously literate and engage in a fully informed critique of knowledge, through enquiry and critical thinking. 

Teachers of RE:

  • Miss Catherine McManus | Subject Leader & Associate member of SLT

  • Mr Michael Thompson | KS4/5 Leader

  • Mr Daniel O'Brien | KS3 Leader

  • Mrs Gráinne Byrd | Director of Faith & Ethos and member of SLT

  • Mr Ron Gordon | Teacher

  • Mr Henry Howard | Teacher

  • Mrs Katy Holbird | Teacher

  • Ms Kassi Terry | Teacher

  • Mr Eric Verkade | Teacher

  • Ms Jo Goldenberg | Teacher

  • Ms Nicola Kaye | Teacher

Our vision for RE at Newman

RE teachers have an important role to play in strengthening the promotion of Gospel values and teachings of the Church. Through our interaction with pupils in our teaching we model Gospel values such as forgiveness, justice and dignity. RE teachers have a significant impact on the faith journey of pupils, showing them that everyone has a vocation in life and helping them to encounter Christ on their journey.  


We raise awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them and students are given the opportunity to reflect upon their own spiritual journey, developing an understanding of how people respond to God’s call in their lives.


In our most recent parent survey, the majority of parents reported that their children enjoyed RE lessons, and that they knew what to do to improve. One parent wrote “Although we are not a religious family, I appreciate the sense of community the school is able to foster through its Catholic faith, and I feel this benefits the students regardless of their religion or not.”

RE Curriculum at Newman
Key Stage 3
At KS3 the curriculum complies with the Religious Education Directory. It is sequenced to develop the foundation knowledge and skills students need to succeed at GCSE and beyond.

Key Stage 4
The KS4 curriculum is taught over 2 years and draws on the skills and knowledge developed at KS3. Students follow the AQA course; the specification can be found here.  We aim to prepare students for L3 study by further developing their independent study skills and literacy:
  • Catholic Christianity Paper - 50% of grade
  • Perspectives of Faith: Islam Paper - 25% of grade
  • Themes (Theme B&C) Paper - 25% of grade
Key Stage 5
The KS5 curriculum follows the OCR course; the specification can be found here.   We make relevant links to existing KS4 knowledge and aim to prepare students for post-18 study as well as the wider world of work by refining their independent study and communication skills as well as their ability to apply knowledge flexibly:
  • Philosophy of Religion Paper - 33% of grade
  • Religion of Ethics Paper - 33% of grade
  • Developments in Christian Thought Paper - 33% of grade

    College Religious Education (CoRE): All students participate in our CoRE programme, This is compulsory for all students, unless they are studying Philosophy and Ethics at A level. The course broadly follows the Philosophy, Ethics and Developments in Christian Thought topics covered at A Level, as well as allowing comparisons with other worldviews. It gives students an opportunity to explore different perspectives while deepening their understanding of the Catholic faith and consider ways they can respond to it personally. As part of the course, students will become involved in volunteering and social action across the community.

    Year 12 CoRE overview
    Year 13 CoRE overview
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