Vicariate for Education

Secondary Religious Education



Religious Education is at the heart of the Catholic school. It seeks to lead students to an awareness of God in their lives. It is designed to assist young people to be able to make an informed and mature response to God in faith and to nurture that faith. This takes place within the context of the wider Catholic faith community, working in partnership with home and the parish.

England in the 21st century is a diverse and multi-cultural nation. Our schools reflect this. Within Roman Catholic schools we recognise that young people will be at different places in the spectrum of faith development. Some will belong to the Catholic tradition; others will be of other Christian denominations or other world faiths. Many may have no faith at all. Religious Education should support all young people in their personal search for truth and meaning in life. As such, it offers opportunities for both evangelisation, proclaiming the Gospel message to all and catechesis, the deepening of existing faith commitments among believers. So it is central to their educational development.

Religious Education enables young people to:

  • Develop their knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith.
  • Investigate and understand the relevance of the Catholic faith to questions about truth and the meaning of life.
  • Highlight, develop and foster the values, attitudes and practices which are compatible with a positive response to the invitation to faith.
  • Develop the skills of reflection, discernment, critical thinking, and deciding how to act in accordance with an informed conscience when making ethical decisions.
  • Nurture the spiritual life of the individual and of the school community.
  • Understand and appreciate significant aspects of other Christian traditions and world religions.
  • Make a positive difference to themselves and the world by putting their beliefs and values into action.

"Religious education is never simply one subject among many, but the foundation of the entire educational process. The beliefs and values studied in Catholic religious education inspire and draw together every aspect of the life of a Catholic school."

Statement from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, May 2000

Religious Education Curriculum Directory

The Religious Education Curriculum Directory (3-19) for Catholic Schools and Colleges is designed to provide guidance for the RE classroom curriculum in Catholic schools.

This link directs visitors to the Catholic Education Service, which is an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.


Age Related Standards in RE


Key Stage 3