Religious Education

Staffing: Mrs K Stedman (Head of Department), Miss K Chapman, Miss H Croft, Mrs H Martin, Mrs T Astley


Religious Education in Church of England Schools

As ‘schools of faith’ Church of England schools, including Bury Church of England High School, recognise the common search of all humanity for ultimate truth and a relationship with the Divine.  RE is key to fulfilling the purpose of a church school as described by the late Lord Runcie when he was Archbishop of Canterbury: ‘to nourish those of the faith; encourage those of other faiths and challenge those who have no faith.’ Inspired by this statement, the North West of England dioceses set out that the principal aim of Religious Education is to affirm and nourish, encourage and challenge all pupils on their spiritual journey.

In an Anglican school, the educational process is rooted in the Christian foundation of the school community.  Therefore all teaching, learning and planning take place within the ethos of the school community.  Religious Education lies at the very heart of the curriculum, reflecting and conveying the distinctively Christian character of the school community as reflected in the Anglican tradition.

RE has a key role in helping pupils to:

  • engage with the living faith of the school;
  • understand how religious faith can provide a vision to sustain and develop their spiritual and personal life;
  • develop a sense of themselves as significant, unique and precious;
  • become active citizens, understanding and serving their neighbour;
  • find reason for hope in a troubled world.


In order for these aims to be fulfilled, pupils are entitled to the highest standards of teaching and learning in Religious Education. This will enable them to:

  • think theologically and explore ultimate questions;
  • reflect critically on the truth claims of Christian belief;
  • face the challenge of Jesus’ teaching in a pluralist and post-modern society;
  • analyse and explain the varied nature and traditions of the Christian community;
  • respect those of all faiths in their search for God;
  • reflect critically on areas of shared belief and practice between different faiths;
  • enrich and expand their understanding of truth;
  • reflect critically and express their views on the human quest.





Teaching and learning in world religions and world views

Church schools such as ours have a duty to foster accurate and increasing understanding of world religions and world views.  As a result pupils will gain greater insight into the world and the society in which they are growing up.  They will also be able to appreciate the faith of others and develop a deeper understanding of their own beliefs and practices.  These outcomes must contribute to building up harmonious relations within and between communities, promoting inclusion for all and combating the evils of racism.  The principal aim for Religious Education sets out that all pupils should be enabled to explore and grow in understanding of their own faith or philosophical stance.
Key Stage 3

  • Two thirds of the curriculum each year is spent in the study of Christianity;
  • At least two other religions will be studied overall, and one in depth.

Key Stage 4

  • The study of Christianity is required as part of an accredited course (GCSE);
  • Pupils will study at least one other principal religion.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7 pupils are taught RE for three hours a fortnight.

They study:


  • What makes Bury Church High School a Christian school?
  • Introduction to World Religions
  • The Old Testament
  • Hope and Faith; contributing to the Arch Bishop of York Award’s Personal Volunteering Challenge.


In Year 8 pupils study

  • An Introduction to Judaism (which also offers Christian insights into the shared background of Judaism and Christianity)
  • An Introduction to Christianity (through deeper study into the life of Jesus Christ)
  • An Introduction to Islam (which also offers Christian perspectives on the relationship between Christianity and Islam)






All pupils are entered for GCSE Religious Studies a year earlier than their other GCSEs. Pupils sit their examination in Year 10.


Pupils will sit AQA Specification A. Assessment is purely via two examinations, with each paper lasting for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Topics covered include:


Paper 1: The Study of Religions: beliefs, teachings and practices.

  • Christianity: Beliefs and Teachings
  • Christianity: Practices
  • Islam: Beliefs and Teachings
  • Islam: Practices


Paper 2: Thematic Studies

  • Theme A: Relationships and families
  • Theme B: Religion and life
  • Theme D: Religion, peace and conflict
  • Theme F: Religion, crime and punishment


A link to the specification pages can be found below:


Year 11

In year 11, pupils study a General RE course designed by the department. This course provides a challenging look at some issues of contemporary debate within theology, including the philosophical arguments for God’s existence and also prejudice and discrimination. The syllabus is delivered during one hour per week throughout year 11.

Extra-curricular Activities


  • Scripture Union Bible Quiz Teams
  • Annual Faith Trail with visits to local places of worship
  • Prayer Space week
  • 2019 trip to Amsterdam to visit the Ann Frank Museum