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Strangford College, Newtownards

Religious Studies

In Strangford Integrated College Religious Studies, we seek to develop the ability in all our students to understand the faith or belief of individuals and communities, and how these may shape culture and behavior. We aim to explore religious and non-religious worldviews in an academic way allows young people to engage with the complexities of belief, avoid stereotyping and contribute to an informed debate. We believe that this is an invaluable asset for all young people in the contemporary world. We encourage the integrated ethos of all our students and staff in all aspects of school life.


Mr Ben Kirk (Head of Department); Mr. Alistair McCulla; Mrs. Leah McBride; Ms Nicole Hatchell

Key Stage 3

At Key stage 3, the students will look at Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

In Year 8, students will look at the life and times of Jesus which will include some of the miracle stories and influence of Jesus as well as Jesus the person and what he would have experienced or encountered throughout his life. Students will study his life and times and the Jewish faith he would have practised. This will lead to looking at the person of Moses and his life and times.  Students will also look at the Egyptians and the impact they had on Judeo-Christian history.

In Year 9 students begin by looking at creation. We look at both the religious and scientific explanations for creation, namely the 7 days of Creation, Big Bang Theory and Evolution.  The students are encouraged to explore all 3 and compare and contrast the contents of each. In the second term, the students will look at Islam.  They will study and explore the beginnings of Islam, the core beliefs and 5 pillars and Islam and the similarities as well as the differences between Islam and Christianity. The students will then look at Gospel of Mark and research the core messages and stories of Jesus from his Gospel.

In Year 10 the students will begin by looking at morality. They will explore what morality is and what can help shape and define someone’s moral compass.  The students will be challenged to find their own understandings of issues such as the death penalty, war and peace and homophobia/Islamophobia etc.  Students then move on to looking at the History of the Christian Church, from its origins in Acts of the Apostles to the reformation period and its influence today.

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4, some students will undertake 2 CCEA GCSE modules.  There will be one in each year; An introduction to Christian Ethics and introduction to Christian Philosophy.  Each course will be worth 50% of their overall GCSE result.

An Introduction to Christian Ethics will include topics such as marriage and divorce, the right to life and war and peace. An introduction to Christian Philosophy will include topics such as ‘Does God exist?’ and explore the nature of God.

Also within Key Stage 4, students will complete OCN Certificate qualification in Religious studies.

Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5 students will study two modules.  With Mrs McBride the students will study the Acts of the Apostles, Corinthians and Galatians and with Mr Kirk the students will study Ethics.

Extra-Curricular Visits and Trips

Each year we embark on a shared education visit to Portaferry to partake in a church trail around the village.  We also hope to extend our extra-curricular visits in the future.




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