Welcome to the Theology Department

Catholicism WOW! — Newman Hall-Holy Spirit Parish


Department Staff

Mrs L Carter Director of Theology & Philosophy
Ms C A Afonso Teacher of Theology & Chaplaincy Lead
Ms T Aleshe Teacher of Theology
Ms C Cunnigham Teacher of Theology
Mr J Hartley Teacher of Theology & Philosophy
Mr R Hebbs ITT Teacher of Theology / Philosophy
Ms M Robb Teacher of Theology

Theology is the “core of the core subjects” in a Catholic school (Pope St. John Paul II)

As such, the teaching of Theology is at the very heart of our mission and vision within Catholic education.

The Aims of Theology

  • To present a comprehensive content which is the basis of knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith;
  • To enable pupils to deepen their religious and theological understanding and be able to communicate this effectively;
  • To present an authentic vision of the Church’s moral and social teaching so that pupils can make a critique of the underlying trends in contemporary culture and society;
  • To raise pupils’ awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them;
  • To develop the critical faculties of pupils so that they can relate their Catholic faith to daily life;
  • To stimulate pupils’ imagination and provoke a desire for personal meaning as revealed in the truth of the Catholic faith;
  • To enable pupils to relate the knowledge gained through Theology to their understanding of other subjects in the curriculum;
  • To bring clarity to the relationship between faith and life, and between faith and culture.
  • The outcome of excellent Theology is religiously literate and engaged young people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to reflect spiritually, and think ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life.


Theology Intent Statement

Our Rationale:
Theology at Trinity aims to “Inspire and develop the mind, heart and soul for today’s world”.

Our Intent:
As a Catholic school, the Theology department curriculum follows the Religious Education Curriculum
Directory syllabus as set out by the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

Our intent within the teaching of Theology aims to foster and promote a genuine passion, excitement and intellectual curiosity in our pupils in their consideration of Religious & Philosophical understanding, including the study of world religions, faith and reason, morals and values, equality and diversity, tolerance and understanding of secular and non religious views and an ability to critically assess within ethical debate. As a Catholic school, we aim to develop the pupil’s knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Catholic Christianity as well as a deeper understanding and respect for other world faiths, including Judaism & Islam. We encourage all our pupils to learn about and from different religions, beliefs and traditions so that they can develop their own sense of identity as citizens of a global community. Our ambitious Theology curriculum supports the school vision of enabling every student to achieve their full potential – a vision which is at the heart of everything we do as a school. We see this as reflecting the words of Jesus Christ, “I have come so that you may have life and have it to the full.”
(John 10:10)

The study of Theology provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances pupils’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum has been designed to build upon the students’ learning and experiences at Key Stage 2. The curriculum aims to give students access to active and creative approaches to the subject. With this in mind, our subject specialists promote the use of ICT, independent study and multimedia activities which form part of our well sequenced curriculum planning. The curriculum also aims to give the students a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the teachings of scripture, in addition to a deeper understanding of Catholic moral and social teaching and its genesis.

Students in Key Stage 3 follow ‘The Way, The Truth, and The Life’ programme of study and in the summer term of Year 9 begin the study of Judaism to prepare the foundation for the Edexcel GCSE programme of study which is divided into three areas, namely: Catholic Christianity, Philosophy & Ethics, and Judaism. Student progress is assessed through continuous assessment in the form of graded tasks and summative and formative assessments at the end of each half term, term and academic year.

In years 10 and 11, students study the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) specification through Catholic Christianity, Philosophy & Ethics, and Judaism, which is taught across the two years. Student progress is assessed through examination style practice questions, which are set regularly in lessons and continuously for homework. End of unit assessments are used to determine current and target grades. There are mock examinations in July of Year 10 and twice in Year 11. The students sit the GCSE examination itself at the end of year 11.

A wide range of assessment data is used to identify those students in need of support to achieve their potential and this in turn is used to inform planning. Student progress is closely monitored through an on-going intervention programme which targets the entire GCSE cohort through close monitoring, tutorial sessions and parental involvement.

At the end of his/her Religious Education within Theology at Trinity, we hope to inspire each student to:

● Know where beliefs come from, how they have changed over time, how they are applied
differently in different contexts and how they relate to each other.
● Explore the diverse ways in which people practise their beliefs.
● Understand the impact of religion and belief on individuals, communities and societies.
● Discover how concepts make sense and engage with questions of morality and ethics.
● Develop the skills of reflection, discernment, critical thinking, analysis, and deciding how to act
in accordance with an informed conscience when making ethical decisions.
● Express their ideas clearly, creatively and cohesively
● Show empathy and an understanding of ideas we may not always support
● Improve their literacy, communication and enquiry skills.
● Approach sources of information analytically.

Homework and Assessment:
Homework is set on a fortnightly basis for years 7 and 8 and on a weekly basis for years 9-11 in line with the department homework policy. Pupils are assessed during each unit through keyword tests, end of unit-graded pieces of work and formal assessments and exams.

Resources and facilities:
Trinity is proud and honoured to have two consecrated Chapels, with one on each site, which are used on a daily basis for liturgical worship and religious study. Jesus Christ is central to our school. Our school motto translates to ‘In Christ we shall flourish’. The revelation of Jesus Christ is communicated through the Church, and provides purpose and direction. Each classroom is equipped with interactive white boards and software. The shared area of the school’s network also includes many helpful resources to aid revision and learning, such as Powerpoint presentations and lists of key words. Theology promotes the use of an extensive range of textbooks and learning support resources at all key stages, including the use of IT equipment, the use of many artefacts and displays which promote and foster generate debate and discussion and the clarification of misconceptions.

Curriculum and Spiritual Enrichment:
Extra support is regularly available before school, during lunch and after school from teachers for pupils who want extra support or advice. There are also targeted revision and catch up sessions. All Key Stage 4 teachers provide after school revision sessions for GCSE classes in preparation for Mock and GCSE examinations. Trinity Catholic High School has an active pupil Chaplaincy group that leads and contributes to the prayer life of the school. In addition to the academic content delivered in lessons, pupils will be encouraged to observe the liturgical year with special lessons and liturgical services. There will also be opportunities for prayer and the Sacraments, as well as time for reflection during retreats, pilgrimages and visits from outside speakers.

As a Catholic school our mission is to promote and nourish an ethos based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, which upholds the values of love, wisdom, integrity, justice and compassion and to develop a community that is welcoming and inclusive. Our school values of ‘Compassion, Vocation, Wisdom’ encapsulates this.

According to Pope St John Paul II, Religious Education is the “core of the core curriculum” in a Catholic school. The Theology department therefore is central in supporting students and staff at Trinity to fulfil our mission to educate the whole person in discerning the meaning of their existence and empowering
young people to contribute to society and the common good.

Key Stage 3

Students follow an adapted version of ‘The Way, The Truth and The Life’ syllabus in Key Stage 3

Year 7 

  • ABC (About Being Catholic)
  • The Old Testament
  • New Testament (Jesus and the Gospels)
  • New Testament (The Early Church)
  • Additional unit – Focus on Hinduism 

Year 8

  • The Church in Britain
  • The Covenant
  • Mystery of the Eucharist
  • The Paschal Mystery
  • Mission of the Church
  • Mission of the Church ( History of the Church)
  • Additional unit – Focus on Islam

Year 9

  • The History of the Church 
  • The Beauty of Church
  • Life in the Spirit and Truth
  • God’s Call to Goodness
  • Additional unit – Focus on Judaism


Key Stage 4 – Year 10 & 11

GCSE Religious Studies for Edexcel A: Catholic Christianity with Islam and Judaism Student Book: Amazon.co.uk: Lewis, Andy, Rowan, Paul, Hobday, Cathy, Wood, Cavan: 9780198370468: Books

Students study the GCSE in Theology (Edexcel Specification A). They will take the following exam papers:

Paper 1A: Catholic Christianity (1h 45mins / 50%)

Paper 2F: Judaism (50mins / 25%)

Paper 3A: Philosophy and Ethics [Catholic Christianity] (50mins / 25%)

Edexcel GCSE Specification

This specification includes contemporary and philosophical topics such as the ‘Existence of God’, the ‘Problem of Evil’, Life after Death, Abortion, Euthanasia, Freedom of Speech, Marriage and the Family.  However, pupils also gain a deeper insight into the Roman Catholic faith studying such topics as the Trinity, Apostolic Tradition, Papal Authority, the Sacraments, Vocation and the Sermon on the  Mount.

As a result, the course asks students to consider various challenges to the Catholic faith and the Church’s moral teaching. From this enquiry, pupils will search their own conscience and be equipped to articulate their faith in the wider world. Moreover, they will also have the critical thinking skills and the knowledge to follow their own vocation with confidence.

Key Stage 5

Students of Philosophy (Philosophy, Theology and Ethics) at Trinity are invited to grapple with some of the most profound questions of the human experience: Is there a God? Why are we here? Why is there anything at all? What is it to be moral?

This rigorous course often takes learning beyond the classroom.  Lectures, visiting speakers and societies combine to develop in all our pupils a scholarly and multi-disciplinary understanding of the world building up fundamental, transferable skills.

The subject welcomes people from all faith traditions and none. Be prepared to read up on everything from Plato to NATO as we hope you enjoy constructing and deconstructing arguments and working together to solve the problem of knowing what we do and do not know.

Students study A Level Philosophy & Ethics (OCR Religious Studies).

This course comprises three units: 

Philosophy of Religion, Religious and Ethics and Development of Christian Thought.