Religious Education


  • Mr P. McParland
  • Mr B. Fearon
  • Mr K. Daly 

"Where there is no vision the people perish"

Proverbs 29:18



In our school we in the Religious Department endeavour to live our mission statement.

Daily we will strive to be a Christian Community within the wider Catholic body with the broadest possible links necessary to promote the full life of the community.
We will design an appropriate and challenging curriculum based on Gospel values to enable pupils to grow in every way to Christian maturity.
We will celebrate the life and achievements of the school by giving thanks to God in appropriate prayer and liturgical worship.
We will develop interpersonal relationships to enable individuals and groups in all spheres of school life to find friendship, care, fulfilment, hope and joy.
We will sustain clear means of communication and organisation that will foster and affirm the community life in the school.

In Religious Education we seek to help the pupils not only to know about God, but to know God. As Religious educators our starting point for education is prayer. Therefore, we will foster in our pupils an attitude towards prayer – an awareness of God’s presence, the ability to be silent, to reflect and listen to God.
It is the expectation of the Religious Education Department that there will be an opportunity for prayer in each class, either at the beginning, during or at the end of each lesson. These prayers may be formal or informal, as suites the occasion. It is however important that pupils have the occasion to re-enforce our traditional prayer life.

St Joseph’s is a Catholic school committed to the Statement of Aims of Catholic Schools and the promotion of an ethos throughout the school, which reflects the Christian teaching, and values of the Catholic Church.

In the Religious department teachers ensure that St Joseph’s is not an isolated institution on the Armagh Road in Newry but part of the local community, responsible to it and providing an important community service. We take this accountability seriously and we seek to promote the involvement and interest of parents and others in the local community in the welfare of the pupils and in the welfare of the school as a whole.

In the Religious department we seek to provide a caring service, which recognises the human value of each person who is a part of the total school community.
We seek to create a climate of relationships, attitudes and styles of behaviour whereby every member of the school community will feel accepted and know that they have a role to play, and will be keen to play their part for their own personal development and for the common good of the whole school community.

We seek to provide an effective educational service – one that is planned, developed to the highest professional standards and constantly evaluated so as to maximise the benefit each pupil receives from his experiences in school.

Jesus The Teacher

He never taught in a classroom. He had no tools to work with such as blackboards, maps or charts. He used no subject outlines, kept no records, gave no grades, and his only text book was ancient and well worn. His students were the poor, the lame, the deaf, the blind, the outcasts – and his method was the same with all who came to hear and learn. He opened eyes with faith. Opened ears with simple truth and opened hearts with love born of forgiveness. A gentle man, a humble man. He asked and won no honour, no gold awards of tribute to his expertise or wisdom. Yet this was a quiet teacher from the hills of Galilee has fed the needs, fulfilled the hopes and changed the lives of many millions. For what he taught brought heaven to earth and revealed God’s love to mankind.

In working with young people do not try to call them back to where they were and do not try to call them to where you are, as beautiful as that place may seem to you. You must have the courage to go with them to a place that neither you nor they have ever been before.


The RE department provides a purposeful programme of study within KS3 covering a variety of meaningful themes including the following:

  • Catholic faith and prayer
  • Respect for human life
  • Poverty and its causes
  • Appreciating other peoples differences
  • The sacraments
  • Other world religions

The RE department also incorporates use of the school oratory, spiritual retreats, the school chaplain and guest speakers to deliver an evocative religious experience in which pupils can develop in a more dynamic and spiritual way.


At KS4 level the RE department follows the CEA GCSE course and this involves pupils sitting two examinations; the first is based on St Mark’s Gospel in 4th year and the other is based on Christian Ethics in 5th year.



Contact Us

St Joseph's Newry

20 Armagh Road
BT35 6DH
Tel: (028) 3026 2595
Fax: (028) 3026 4420


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