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Breda Academy, Belfast

Religious Education


Aims of Department

In Breda Academy we believe that Religious Education does the following things:

  • Helps children to be empowered.
  • Helps children to reach their full potential.
  • Enables children to make responsible, informed choices.
  • Helps to make children responsible members of their community and in turn enables, them to contribute positively to society, economy and the environment.
  • Teaches essential skills which can be utilized in many other areas.

The Religious Education staff are committed to a study of religion which contributes to the personal and social development of the pupils, alongside the moral and religious aspect.  We believe that all pupils need to develop their own beliefs and values.  To do this every child is given the help to explore a wide range of religious beliefs and practices and to relate these to their own experience.  To do this we use the following strategies:

  • Church visits
  • Cinema trips
  • Synagogue Visits
  • Bible exhibition
  • Guest speakers
  • Local Church involvement
  • Scripture Union
  • Student teachers
  • You Tube clips
  • Carol Services
  • Charity work

Pupils are encouraged to become “active learners”.  They are given the opportunity to raise questions about what they are observing.  Pupils do not simply gather information but try to develop their understanding.  In doing so, they relate to their peers and to adults and they express their own commitments and convictions in an atmosphere of open enquiry, mutual respect and tolerance.

Key Stage 3

In years 8-10, pupils follow the Key stage 3 Core Curriculum for Religious Education, created by representatives from the four main church denominations in Northern Ireland and the Department of Education.  At Key Stage three, there are four Learning Objectives which all pupils should be given the opportunity to develop:

  1. The Revelation of God
  2. The Christian Church
  3. Morality
  4. World Religions

These learning Objectives are spread across the three year groups.

Year 8 Year 9 Year 10

Unit 1: The Bible as a Book

Unit 2: The Bible as a Guide

Unit 3: Family - Abraham

Unit 4: Question of Authority - Moses

Unit 5: Take Good Care of Yourself - Creation - Choices

Unit 6 - Friendship

Unit 1: World Religions - Judaism

Unit 2: Jesus - his background

Unit 3: Jesus - who is he?

Unit 4: Jesus - what he did?

Unit 5: Jesus why he came? (Teachings)

Unit 6 - Take Good Care of Yourself 2 - Creation - Problems with Adolescence 

Unit 1 - World Religion 2 - Islam - a comparison with Christianity and Judaism

Unit 2- The beginnings of the Church

Unit 3 - We are all equal 1 - Gender

Unit 4 - We're All Equal 2 - Ethnicity

Unit 5 - What I do - my future

Unit 6 - My Friends - the challenges

Active learning is a huge part of the delivery of this subject.  We use a number of the following teaching strategies on a regular basis:

  • Group and paired work
  • Drama
  • Discussions and debates
  • Ipad lessons
  • Carousel lessons

We strive to meet the individual needs of every pupil through the delivery of RE across both Key Stages.  We us IEPs when we are planning teaching and learning activities and have created differentiated work booklets for each of the different year groups.

Key Stage 4 Pathway

Pupils in years 11 and 12 follow the CCEA GCSE syllabus and can be entered for either a Full Course GCSE or a Short Course GCSE.  The same specification is used for both of these courses.  This has recently been revised and for the first time ever, pupils can sit a modular exam in Religious Education.  Coursework is no longer a requirement with either of these courses.  There is now only a single tier of entry.

This specification gives students opportunities to:

  • develop their interest in religion;
  • explore religions and beliefs and relate them to the wider world;
  • reflect on fundamental questions related to belief;
  • understand different cultures locally, nationally and in the wider world;
  • enhance their spiritual and moral development;
  • enhance their personal, social and cultural development;
  • adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion; and
  • reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes.

This course prepares students for further study of religious studies (or related vocational subjects) at post-16 level.

Pupils will follow the CCEA syllabus and will study the following two modules:-

1.     Christianity through the Study of the Gospel of Matthew.

2.     Christian Ethics.

Summary of the course:

Full Course GCSE Short Course GCSE

Full Course students study TWO of nine units.

They take TWO external written exams, one for each of their chosen units: each paper lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Each paper equals 50% of the total mark.

Each paper is sat in the summer term only.


Short Course students study ONE of nice units.

They take ONE external written exam paper for this unity, lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes.

This paper equals 100% of the toal mark.

The paper is sat in the summer term only.


To find out more about the current CCEA CGSE syllabus click on the link below:

For pupils in Year 11 and 12, we also offer the OCN NI Religious Studies course.  This is a new course which was only created in 2016. 

It offers students, who might struggle with the demands of two written external exam papers, the chance to achieve a Level 2 Certificate which is the equivalent to a grade B at GCSE.

Students must complete 9 pieces of controlled assessment over a two-year period.  There is no written external exam for this course.

The controlled assessment modules are as follows:

  • Addiction
  • Charity and Religious Charities
  • Exploring Personal Identity and Faith
  • Exploring Religious Traditions within our Own Community
  • life and Death Issues
  • Life of a Famous Person of Faith
  • Marriage and Divorce
  • Prejudice and Reconciliation
  • World Faith

Each coursework booklet is marked by the class teacher and then verified by another teacher and then by an external verifier from OCN.

Every pupil who is entered for this course is guaranteed a grade B equivalent at GCSE if they attend lessons on a regular basis and complete all 9 pieces of controlled assessment.

To find out more about the OCN NI Syllabus for Religious Studies syllabus click on the link below:

Key Stage 5

We offer the opportunity for year 13 and 14 pupils to study A Level Religious Studies.

We follow the CCEA A Level syllabus.

The modules are as follows:

Pupils are required to study two modules for AS and two modules for A2. The A2 modules must be the same as the AS module

An Introduction to the Acts of the Apostles A Study of Acts, Galatians and 1 Corinthians
Religious Ethics: Foundations, Principles and Practice Ethics and Society
Each AS examination paper will have two sections: A and B. Candiates must answer two questions: one from Section A and one from Section B. Each A2 examination paper will have two sections: A and B. In Section A, candidates answer two questions from a choice of four. In Section B, there will be a compulsory question assessing the synoptic strand based on a pre-released theme.

For more information on this course refer to the following website:


Our policy for Homework is that we set at least one per week or one per fortnight depending on the timetabling of classes. 

The homework tasks are differentiated to meet the needs of the pupils and to assess previous learning.

We have written tasks, spellings and learning homework and other research tasks, which are relevant to the course requirements and the ability of the pupils.

The length of each homework depends on the task set, but should normally take approximately 30 mins.

Extra -curricular activities/Clubs

  • After School GCSE class
  • Weekly revision classes
  • Easter revision classes
  • Scripture Union
  • Guided tour of the Holy Lands (Belfast!!)

Subject Specific Revision Websites