Last Updated: Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Improving RE in the Senior Phase: Our Lady

What is this?

​These resources suggest a range of approaches to RE in the Senior Phase focused on 'Our Lady' to support learners in developing their own beliefs and values at this important time in their learning journey. Produced in partnership with the Scottish Catholic Education Service, they support learning linked to This is Our Faith: Senior Phase.

Who is this for?

​Practitioners and those supporting learners in deepening their understanding of beliefs, values and practices and traditions in the Senior Phase of RE and those working with the This is Our Faith Programme.

How to use this Learning and assessment resource to improve practice

While using this resource, the following reflective questions may be helpful:

  • How does learning in the Senior Phase build upon prior learning in RE throughout the Broad General Education and in the This is Our Faith Programme?
  • How might learning in RE in the Senior Phase be meaningfully linked to accreditation programmes, such as the Caritas Awards?
  • How does core Religious Education in a Catholic school play a role in terms of pupils’ personal faith development and offer planned opportunities to learn about and through faith?
  • Senior Phase RE must ensure that learners have the opportunity to engage in higher order thinking skills. Senior Phase learners are young adults, and RE in the Senior Phase should provide them with the opportunity to explore religion, beliefs, viewpoints and values in a manner which matches their age and ability. How does Senior Phase RE offer learners the opportunity to continue to develop their awareness of the role of religion, beliefs and values in today’s world?
  • How does learning in RE in the Senior Phase support the development of higher order thinking skills and other relevant skills for learning, life and work?
  • How does learning in RE in the Senior Phase continue to support the learner’s own faith development and assist learners in putting their beliefs and values into action in positive ways.?

​Explore the resource

The materials are designed to be varied. There is no 'one size fits all' for Senior Phase RERC and the materials exemplify different approaches which practitioners can amend accordingly for their own learners in their own context.

Senior Phase RERC must follow on from the principles of Curriculum for Excellence RERC as outlined in the Principles and Practice paper for RERC and in the RERC Experiences and Outcomes.

Senior Phase RERC should reflect progression from This is Our Faith for the broad general education phase and deliver the core learning contained within This is Our Faith - Senior Phase.

Core Religious Education in a Catholic school has a particular role to play in terms of pupils’ personal faith development and therefore RE in the Senior Phase offers planned opportunities to learn about and through faith. In most cases RE is the only classroom where pupils learn in a 'comprehensive' way, i.e. pupils of all learning levels are within the one class. Careful consideration must therefore be given as to whether or not to use external certification of core RE.

It is possible to link approaches to RERC in the Senior Phase to the Caritas Awards as well as the SQA course in Religion, Beliefs and Values. These are two possible routes to external certification, though there are other ways to accredit learning at this stage which practitioners can explore, in relation to their chosen approach to Senior Phase RERC.

Senior Phase RERC must ensure that learners have the opportunity to engage in higher order thinking skills. Senior Phase learners are young adults, and RERC in the Senior Phase should provide them with the opportunity to explore religion, beliefs, viewpoints and values in a manner which matches their age and ability.

Senior Phase RERC should also offer learners the opportunity to continue to develop their own beliefs and values, and their awareness of the role of religion, beliefs and values in today’s world. RERC in the senior phase should also assist learners in putting their beliefs and values into action in positive ways.

Senior phase RERC should complement and develop each learner’s journey of exploration in relation to their own beliefs and values and those of others. Its presence in the senior phase of a learner’s experience is central to developing a holistic understanding of the world in which we live and our place in it.

Download (s)

1) Mary, the Mother of God

PDF file: Mary, Mother of God - P4 Planning Exemplar (313 KB)

These materials allow progression in RERC where children and young people will have been exploring the role of key figures in the Catholic faith.

These materials explore Catholic teachings about:

  • The unique relationship Mary has with God and the example she gives.
  • The unique place Mary has in the life of the Church
  • Connecting learning about the Sacraments of Initiation to the working of the Holy Spirit in the life of Mary.
  • The importance of personal prayer is important in developing a relationship with God.
  • Participating in the devotional life of the Church and understanding the importance of communal prayer.
  • The structure of the Rosary and how it leads to reflecting with Mary on the life of her Son.

2) Mary, The Model of Prayer

PowerPoint presentation: Mary, the Model of Prayer (5.1 MB)

PDF file: Mary, the Model of Prayer - S4 Planning Exemplar (217 KB)

PDF file: Mary, the Model of Prayer - S4 Handout (66 KB)

These materials explore Catholic teachings about:

  • Mary’s fiat
  • The implications of Mary’s fiat for Christian prayer
  • Mary as a model of prayer