Religious Education


Religious Education at Ripley St Thomas is a rigorous, academic and engaging subject, studied by all pupils across all Key Stages within the Academy. RE plays a central role in the core curriculum as well as in the academic, personal and spiritual development of our pupils.

We use a Big Question approach to each topic studied which encourages pupils to explore their own and their peers’ reactions to important ethical and philosophical dilemmas and then compare these with the responses of various followers of major world religions and world views. Through their study of religion, philosophy and ethics, pupils gain an understanding of how different beliefs and values affect our lives on a personal level and develop an awareness of the influence of religions in shaping contemporary British society. Pupils are introduced to world religions as living and contemporary faiths, the study of which contributes towards pupils learning to respect and critically engage with beliefs and practices. We continually seek to break down stereotypes, prejudices and ignorance of people’s beliefs, cultures and practices and challenge pupils to critically reflect upon and discuss their views, beliefs and opinions. We encourage our pupils to develop well-informed personal opinions about the religious and moral issues studied and equip them to challenge the beliefs of others in a respectful and academic manner whilst upholding our core Christian and British values.

The RE department has a shared passion for our subject and for every pupil to flourish as they study it with us. At the heart of all we do is the desire to develop within our young people a personal spiritual awareness and to facilitate the opportunity for them to critically explore matters of faith, belief, morality and spirituality as a part of their own personal spiritual journey. Christianity lies at the heart of the curriculum and we aim to reflect the Christian Gospel in all we do. However, Religious Education is also an academic discipline and there is no burden upon pupils to change their personal beliefs through the course of study. Pupils from all faiths, and none, are able to enjoy engaging with inspiring R.E. whilst developing transferrable skills that will help to prepare them for life-long learning.

At Key Stage 3, we use the Illuminating Pathways syllabus as our starting point for a fascinating 3-year course which allows pupils to flourish as curious minds and gain insights into the views of others, both inside and outside of the classroom. We also deliver the Archbishop of York award through an extra RE/PSHE lesson every fortnight. This award has proven to be exceptionally popular with our pupils and acts as a significant contributor to not only their personal moral and spiritual growth but also to the overall Christian ethos of the school.

RE at Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

The Archbishop of York Award (Year 7)

At Key Stage 4, all pupils study the AQA Religious Studies full course GCSE (specification A – Christian and Muslim beliefs and practices as well as four separate thematic studies). Pupils enjoy their learning at Key Stage 4 because of the relevance of the course to their lives and the interactive style of teaching adopted by each member of this dynamic, enthusiastic department. Final outcomes are very good and compare well with other successful subjects in the school as well as national trends for RS GCSE. We are also beginning to see a significant increase in uptake for our RS A-level course as a result.

RS GCSE at Key Stage 4 – Year 10 2022-23

RS GCSE at Key Stage 4 – Year 11 2022-23

RS A-level at Key Stage 5 – Year 12 2022-23

RS A-level at Key Stage 5 – Year 13 2022-23

Finally, we deliver core RE to all pupils in the 6th form on a twice weekly basis using the new Key Stage 5 Illuminating Pathways resources.

RE Core at Key Stage 5 – Year 12

RE Core at Key Stage 5 – Year 13

For further details about the RE curriculum at each Key Stage and the Archbishop of York award delivered through RE in year 7, please click on the links provided throughout this document. Alternatively, you can contact the RE department directly using the school’s ParentLine service.

Related Documents

Please click on the links below to download the relevant documents.