Religious Education

About the Department 

 

The Religious Education Department has a pivotal role to play in sustaining the distinctive Catholic Ethos of the St. Comhghall’s College Community which continually strives to achieve the mission statement “to pray and work together”.

 

The emphasis on prayer, collective worship, liturgical celebration and display sustains the spiritual and moral development of all students and enriches the climate and culture for learning within the College.

The Religious Education Department aims to promote the Gospel values of faith, hope and love through the provision of curricula to support each student’s holistic faith formation.

The Religious Education programme is vibrant, challenging and accessible to all students across all Key Stages. The programme is taught using a wide range of teaching and learning strategies and extends far beyond the statutory components of the Core Syllabus for Religious Education and Northern Ireland Curriculum.

The study of Religious Education makes a particular contribution to students’ understanding of spiritual, moral and cultural issues by encouraging them to reflect upon their own attitudes, and those of others, to the topics under consideration.

The study of Religion provides students with the opportunity to learn about, discuss and evaluate religious beliefs, practices and values. It provides opportunities for students to engage with challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, the place of people in society and the world around them.

Inclusivity and diversity are the core values which underpin the teaching and learning outcomes for all students within the Department.  Each student is valued and their self esteem affirmed at every opportunity. Self respect and respect for others characterise the relationships that exist at all levels within the Religious Education Department in St. Comhghall’s College.

As members of a living faith community we strive to fulfil Jesus’ command to “Go and teach all peoples my Gospel” with confidence, mindful of His promise that “I am with you always, even to the end of time”.

Liturgy and Spiritual Development

The R.E. Department plays a vital role in all aspects of school life.

Throughout the school year the Department leads and organises many charitable and liturgical events and displays within the school.

Pupils are regularly encouraged to reflect on their personal experiences of faith through the celebration of the Eucharist and other key events/seasons in the Church’s calendar. The Religious Education Department plans and facilitates a variety of liturgical celebrations throughout each academic year, including, Masses for the opening and closing of the school year, Christmas Carol/Prayer service, Penitential Service in preparation for Easter, Leaver’s Mass.

Examples of Liturgical resources available for use within the Religious Education Department:

The Religious Education Department also contributes to the spiritual development of pupils through regular displays which highlight specific feast, festivals and seasons in the Church’s calendar.

Examples of displays for the Remembrance of the Dead (month of November) and Christian Unity:

Social Awareness

As a Catholic school, St. Comhghall’s aims to contribute to the holistic development of the child as an individual, physically, emotionally, spiritually and personally. The R.E. Department plays a key role in fulfilling this aim.

The Department also contributes to the development of links between the school and the local community, for example we take part in parish events and raise funds for local charities.

In 2008 the Religious Education Department facilitated the annual Trocaire 24hr Fast within the College which raised over £1,000 for the Lenten Campaign. The top fundraisers were invited to a special assembly to present the cheque to a representative from Trocaire’s Belfast office:

In March 2009 the Religious Education Department assisted Year 14 students in organising a week of events in aid of Trocaire. This week of fundraising included events such as the Trocaire 24 Hour Fast a Sponsored Silence, ‘St. Comhghall’s Got Talent’ Show, Sponsored hair cutting, a ‘Big Sale’ and street collection. The total amount raised was over £3,000 and a cheque was presented to Laurence Mc Bride from Trocaire.

Career Opportunities

Religious Education opens up a wide range of opportunities for further and higher education leading to interesting and rewarding careers. Students engage with topical debates on a variety of moral, ethical and social issues and are, thus, provided with the opportunity to develop their skills in ‘arguing a case on the basis of evidence’-a skill which is absolutely central to progress in the world of work. The programme of study across all Key Stages also affords students the opportunity to develop their ability to recognise and deal with diversity, a skill which is necessary in any field of employment within out increasingly cosmopolitan society.

There are a many career opportunities available for those who study Religious Education. These include Teaching and Ministry (both Ordained and Lay), Counselling, Nursing, Social Work, Pastoral Work , Journalism, Personnel Management.  Many employers favour candidates who have an awareness of themselves as individuals and are also aware of their role in society, attributes which are developed through a study of Religious Education.

Staff in Department

Miss C O'Connor - Head of Department and Teacher of Religious Studies

Mr J Conlon

School Chaplain

Canon Dawson