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Religious Education at St Augustine’s

The team    Aims of the department    Information by years    How can I help my daughter    Career progression    Trips and activities

Our school curriculum for Religious Studies is based on the Religious Education Curriculum Directory (RECD) for Catholic schools. It has been developed by teachers to provide a clear framework for effective, systematic and rigorous teaching and learning which is equal to other curriculum areas for learning in both content and methodology. The primary content of all our Religious Studies material is the teaching and practices of the Catholic Church and their implications for the lives of children as pupils today and the citizens of tomorrow.

The Team

Lisa McDermott – Head of Department

Mrs McDermott joined St Augustine’s Priory in 2005.  She is currently a Form Teacher for UVA and in the past has been a Form III and UIV Form Mistress.  Prior to becoming Head of RS, Mrs McDermott was the PSHE co-ordinator for the Senior school.  She was also a GCSE examiner for Edexcel.

Claire Costello - Junior Subject Co-ordinator

Mrs Costello joined St. Augustine’s in 2006. 

Sarah Raffray

Our headteacher delivers RE to the UV and team teaches with other members of the department at other points accross the school.

Thea Gibbs

Miss Gibbs is our school SENCO

Junior Form Teachers

We are also fortunate to include the Junior Form Teachers as part of our team.

Nursery - Miss Drury

Prep I - Miss Keane

Prep II - Mrs Day

Lower I - Mrs Tippen

Upper I - Mrs Round

Aims of department


At St Augustine's Priory we aim to develop the children's knowledge and understanding of Catholicism. We present the pupils with the teachings of Jesus, mediated through the teaching of the Catholic Church. Children reflect on what it means to have faith and develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding.


The Religious Studies subject material reflects the three key elements of the Catholic faith:

  • that every human event is marked by the creative activity of God, who communicates goodness to all beings;
  • that the reality of sin limit and numb every person;
  • that the life and death and resurrection of Christ, communicated by the Holy Spirit, gives believers the hope of 'fulfilment'.

Other faiths are addressed as a consequence of, and in the context of Catholic teaching. A respectful and tolerant approach to other faiths is fundamental to our mission. We have girls of different faiths who participate in our liturgies and assemblies enriching the spiritual life of our School.

Information by years

Ages 3 – 11 (Foundation to Key Stages 1-2)

In order to deliver the Religious Education Curriculum Directory our Religious Studies syllabus for Foundation to Key Stage 1 – 2 is based on the 'I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life' programme.

Ages 11 - 14

We continue to deliver the Religious Education Curriculum Directory (RECD) through the use of the ‘Icons’ scheme of work.  We find this enables the girls to develop a deeper understanding of the historical and theological issues studied.

Ages 14 – 16 (Key Stage 4)

GCSE - Edexcel Examination BoardReligious Studies 2RS01

Mark’s Gospel Unit 16 (5RS16)

Religion and Life based on a study of Christianity Unit 2 (5RS02)


In Lower V we study St. Mark’s Gospel.  This involves a study of the nature of St Mark’s Gospel and its effects on the lives of Christians in the UK. There are four sections covering discipleship, conflict and argument, death and resurrection, and the identity of Jesus. This unit is assessed through a one-and-a-half hour examination at the end of Upper V. Students choose one of two questions set for each section — four questions in total.

In Upper V we study Religion and Life Based on a Study of Christianity.  This involves a study of the relationship between Christianity and life in the UK. There are four sections covering believing in God, matters of life and death, marriage and the family, and religion and community cohesion.  This unit is assessed through a one-and-a-half hour examination at the end of Upper V.  Students choose one of two questions set for each section — four questions in total.

Religious Studies in the Sixth Form

Age 16 - 18  (Key Stage 5)

GCE RS - AQA Examination Board

RSS01 AS Unit A Religion and Ethics 1 (LVI AS)

RSS03 AS Unit C Philosophy of Religion (LVI AS)

RST3B Unit 3B Philosophy of Religion (UVI A2)

RST4A Unit 4A Religion and Human Experience Topic III Religious Experience (UVI A2)


The specification includes topics such as; Religion and Ethics, Philosophy of Religion and Religion and Human Experience.

During their studies the students will be encouraged to develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, a rigorous study of religion and its relation to the wider world.  The course also enables the girls to treat the subject as an academic discipline by developing knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to a specialist study of religion.  They will learn to adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion.  Through this we hope they will be able to reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes.  The course helps develop skills of enquiry and engagement with ideas; those of others and their own.  Girls will also explore and debate the strengths and weaknesses in arguments and finally be equipped to formulate their own philosophy and worldview.

All our A Level Language students have the opportunity to attend an Ethics conference in Lower Six and a Philosophy conference in Upper Six.  We subscribe to ‘Dialogue’ the journal for sixth form Religious Studies students so your daughter is encouraged to read the relevant articles from this in the Scriptorium.

How can I help my daughter?        


There are some interactive activities based on ‘The Way, The Truth and the Life’ scheme that we use:


There are some interactive activities based on ‘The Way, The Truth and the Life’ scheme that we use:


Although this is aimed at Junior school pupils this is an accessible and child friendly start for a study of different world religions:


Your daughter can use the exam board website to access past papers.
Some useful revision sites are:


Your daughter should be reading the newspaper daily and keep up to date with discussions relating to practical ethics such as abortion and euthanasia.

Career progression

The AQA Religious Studies Specification course encourages the girls to develop the critical and evaluative skills that will enable them to go on to Higher Education to study a wide range of courses, including Religious Studies, Theology, Philosophy, Law, Sociology and the Social Sciences.

We are still hoping to produce the first female Pope!  Other career choices include Education, Journalism, Law and Human Resources.

Trips and Activities


Visit type

Target Group

Westminster Cathedral

Hindu Temple


Good Shepherd Mass May

A guided tour and visit of the Mandir when we study Hinudism during the Summer term

Upper II

Form III

Quaker meeting house and Haven Green Baptist Church



British Museum

Guided tours and speakers from these denominations welcome us to their place of worship and explain their form of religious practice


Hajj exhibition March 2012





SPEC London Colony

Retreat at Diocese of Westminster’s Pastoral Centre.

LIV (day)

U IV & UV (residential)

Bloomsbury Baptist Church

Philosophy and Ethics A-level conferences hosted by Peter Vardy