Presently most RC schools choose to use the CCEA Specifications and many students study the units on The Early Church with their second area being The Celtic Church. Some schools favour St Luke instead and ethics .
Most RC schools in N Ireland are currently offering AQA specifications for Religious Studies. The most common options being Unit 1 Christianity, Unit 2 Christianity Ethics. Unit 3 Roman Catholicism, Unit 4 Roman Catholicism Ethics, Unit 5 St Mark’s Gospel.
For convenience you can download these options here:
For students with Learning Issues :
For students that would not be able to accomplish a GCSE because of learning difficulties the former Diocesan Christian Lifestyle Programme is no longer an option. Some might like to offer the Entry level Programme offered by Edexcel selecting the Roman Catholic Option and combine this with the Faith Award offered by the Archdiocese of Armagh “The Muireadhach Award “. This combination would offer these students a challenge and a very good personal experience of religious education at this stage in their schooling.
Another possible resource that might be worth your consideration is the NOCN General Religious Education Entry Level 1 to 3 Awards (QCF)
Some work has been undertaken to formalize the lived vision for all Catholic education community. You may find the enclosed documents helpful.
Catholic Schools FAQs – Ethos
Maeve Mahon gives an insight into what is different about a Catholic school in regard to the characteristic spirit or ethos of the school. Check out this link to her video :
Guidelines for the inclusion of students from other faiths in Catholic Schools.
These guidelines offer suggestions to Catholic secondary schools as to how to welcome and facilitate students of different faiths and no faith, while remaining true to the characteristic spirit of the school. The guidelines seek to address some of the challenges faced by Catholic schools in a 21st Century diverse Ireland and to encourage schools to be truly Catholic in its approach to hospitability and inclusiveness of all faiths and none in their schools. These guidelines can be downloaded in pdf below.
Catholic Schools Week is an important way of reminding ourselves of our special ethos. We have attached this year’s address by Bishop McKeown as a resource for thought and discussion.
Assembling and updating an RE policy will help develop a clear vision of RE in your school. ‘Towards a Policy on Religious Education in Post-Primary Schools’ is the document published by Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference which will greatly help you in developing your school’s RE policy. Developing, putting in place and reviewing regularly this policy document will give your department a clear picture of the aims, procedures, expectations and roles in RE in your school.
Junior Cycle Religious Education (JCRE) may be taught from three points of departure: 1. Following the JCRE syllabus and students taking the examination 2. Following the JCRE syllabus and not taking the state examination 3. Junior Certificate Schools Programme.
Do visit this site for news and support:
- Share The Good News p. 156 states, “All second-level schools, encouraging critical thinking across the Curriculum among adolescents and recognising the multi-faceted world they inhabit, should give significant time and space to support young people in developing the spiritual and moral dimension of their lives. Two hours of Religious Education, that is, three class periods, is the accepted minimum for all classes at second level, a time allocation that the Irish Catholic Bishops join in affirming as the least amount of time that can be considered appropriate. Anything less is clearly insufficient. These class periods should be taken by qualified religious educators, whether or not the class group is sitting a State certified Religious Education examination. (Share the Good News – National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland: Irish Episcopal Conference, 2010)
- Bishops’ Guidelines p.10 states “In non-examination classes religious education should be allocated a minimum of two hours per week. It is not acceptable, for any reason, that this requirement be reduced in schools where the education of Catholic students takes place. Boards of management and principals should do all in their power to prevent the erosion of this small number of hours on the timetable.” (Guidelines for the Faith Formation and Development of Catholic Students: The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, 1999)
- The Model Agreement for community schools and designated colleges states: “The religious worship attended by any pupil at the school/college and the religious instruction given to any pupil shall be in accordance with the rites, practice and teaching of the religious denomination to which the pupil belongs. Religious instruction as aforesaid of the order of 2 hours shall be given to all pupils in the school (except those who are withdrawn from religious instruction in accordance with the provisions of sub-clause (i) of this clause) in each week during which the school is in session.”
Within the Archdiocese of Armagh there are schools providing students with the opportunity to study Religious Education as a subject for the Leaving Certificate. You can access the syllabus and coursework titles here.
Vist the link below for further support 2011/12
One of the great and burning issues is the provision of suitable religious education for 5th and 6th Form students alongside whatever examination subjects they may be taking. The Churches asked the NCCA to prepare a Framework for Senior Cycle Religious Education and we hope you will use this to resource your teaching of modules at this level. It is an attractive and most helpful document. You should review the themes offered and fit them to your own needs and programme.
People of Faith:
Research someone who has really tried to live their discipleship of Jesus and examine how their example has inspired others on their faith journey : Some examples:
Greetings. For some time we have been anxious to start a website to help resource religious education teachers within our two areas of work. We were not comfortable with the formality of a website with the kind of restrictions and care one needs in any kind of institutional setting. We were excited when using a blog was suggested as it is both informal and personal, more interactive and in truth much more alive than any website we have experienced so far. During this year we hope to hold discussions and share resources within the RC post primary sector and hope that it will be a new tool to assist in ongoing contact, discussion and the generous sharing of resources and practical advice. Declan & Susan