Religious Studies

‘Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all’ Aristotle

‘I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.’ Thomas Jefferson


Miss C Bingham

Mrs D Francis

Miss M Perkins


Why is Religious Studies important?

Whether we are personally religious or not we live in a society which is dominated by religion and religious thought. At the Rainey we strive to challenge pupils to understand their own beliefs, the beliefs of others and how they impact society, today and in the past. Religious Studies is a very valuable subject. It is multi-disciplinary; involving textual study, history, politics, philosophy, ethics, understanding society and the skills of analysis and reasoning. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to engage with today’s contentious issues, developing cultural, political and ethical awareness. In Religious Studies pupils learn to understand their own opinions and religious identity, as well as respecting the beliefs of others. We live in a time where there is an even greater need to tackle religious ignorance and intolerance by fostering understanding through greater religious literacy.


Key Stage 3

Pupils are introduced to the variety of disciplines studied within Religious Education. They will study the Bible, Old Testament figures such as Moses and Abraham; New Testament stories such as the events of Holy Week and the background to Jesus’ life and teachings. They will also study important figures from Christian History such as Martin Luther King, Corrie ten Boom and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Modern Christianity also plays a large part in our studies with an investigation of modern churches, which includes a field trip to local churches in Magherafelt; as well as a thematic study of moral issues and the role of women in religion. We also undertake studies of two world religions, Judaism in year 8 and Islam in year 9.



All pupils are required to take a GCSE in Religious Studies. Pupils who choose GCSE as an option will complete the CCEA GCSE Full Course, while all other pupils will undertake a Short Course GCSE.

Module 6: An Introduction to Christian Ethics (Full and Short Course):

  • Personal and Family Issues: Christian views on the meaning and purpose of sexual relationships, marriage, divorce
  • War and Peace: the Just War Theory and Pacifism
  • Matters of Life and Death:
    • Abortion: arguments for and against, Christian viewpoints
    • Euthanasia: arguments for and against, Christian viewpoints
    • Capital Punishment: Social, Christian and Ethical issues; Repentance and restorative justice
    • Bio Ethics: infertility, IVF and surrogacy
  • Contemporary Issues in Christianity: Prejudice and Discrimination, Poverty, Fair Trade and Biblical views on supporting people in need.


Module 4: A study of the Gospel of Matthew

  • The Context of Matthew’s Gospel
  • The Birth Narratives
  • Teachings of Jesus
  • Miracles and Parables
  • The Passion Narrative
  • The Nature and Purpose of Christian Discipleship


Additional materials including full specifications, assessment objectives, past papers and mark schemes are available at


A Level

At AS and A2 pupils study two modules:

Module 2: The Church of the New Testament

  • Introduction to the Acts of the Apostles (AS)
  • Selected New Testament writings – Galatians and I Corinthians (A2)


Module 4: Early Church History

  • The Christian Church in the Roman Empire: Beginnings, Expansion and External Pressure (AS)
  • The continued development of the Christian Church in the Roman Empire to AD 325 (A2)


Both Modules contain a human experience element which requires pupils to engage with issues of modern relevance in today’s society.


Additional materials including full specifications, assessment objectives, past papers and mark schemes are available at




We believe strongly that pupils need to not only learn in the classroom but experience the modern application of what they are learning. We therefore undertake a number of trips to enhance our classroom learning:

Year 10 – Visits to various churches in Magherafelt to allow pupils to undertake a study project on modern churches



Further afield

At A level we offer two trips, an A level study trip to Rome to allow pupils to visit sites of importance to their early church course. We have also undertaken two trips to Israel to see important Biblical sites.


Community Group

This is a vibrant part of the school’s extra-curricular life. Launched five years ago the community group has become very popular amongst 6th form pupils, with over 100 taking part in the group’s activities. Lower 6th Community Group Members undertake weekly visits to Milesian Manor Care Home and in Upper 6th pupils visit Kilronan Special School. We also work with other local Charity organisations to provide help and support to those in need in our local area. This has included organising collections for Magherafelt Foodbank and working for Charis Charity Shop and Agewell.