St Columbanus' College

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Religious Education

Achieving success in a happy and hardworking atmosphere, where each individual matures in a supportive environment.

Our work within the Religious Education Department is centred upon the needs of the individual child. We strive to work in close partnership with our pupils, parents, colleagues and community to develop the whole person academically, vocationally, physically, morally, spiritually and emotionally. Each pupil will have the opportunity to develop all their talents and skills to the full and in doing so create independent, confident and responsible young adults of the future.

Members of Department

Head of Department: Ms Marie Canavan, BEd Religious Studies with History RE Certificate Distinction PQH
Staff members:

Mrs Anna Kennedy, BEd Religious Studies with English RE Certificate Distinction

Mrs Michelle Keyes, BEd Religious Studies with Geography RE Certificate Distinction

School Chaplain: Fr. Joseph Gunn

Subject Information

Religious Education is a compulsory subject for all students at Key Stage 3 and 4. Some pupils may choose to continue to their study of RE at Advanced Level.

At Key Stage 3 students follow the Fully Alive series endorsed by the Diocesan Advisors. The series successfully fulfills the demands of the core curriculum. Within this programme students study a variety of topics such as the Bible, the Sacraments, Friendship, Justice, Islam, Judaism and Moral Issues.

At Key Stage 4 students follow the CCEA GCSE specification in Religious Education Unit 5 St Mark’s Gospel in Year 11 and Unit 8 Christian Ethics in Year 12. Another course offered at KS4 is the CCEA Entry Level. Accreditation will be awarded on successful completion of the course.

At Key Stage 5 a growing number of students take up GCE Religious Studies. The students follow the CCEA specification for AS and A2 and have the opportunity to study two of the following modules:

Year 13 Year 14
An introduction to the Gospel of Luke  The Theology of the Gospel of Luke
The origins of the Celtic Church in Ireland and the beginnings of its missionary outreach  A Study of the Development and Impact of the Celtic Church in the 5th, 6th and 7th Centuries
The Christian Church in the Roman Empire, Beginnings, Expansion and External Pressure Development of the Christian Church in the Roman Empire to AD 325

Departmental News

Our school chaplain plays an integral part within the College life by assisting throughout the year with our liturgical services. Para liturgies are celebrated for the opening of the new academic year, Christmas and Easter. There is a celebration of Mass for parents, students and teachers to welcome our New Year 8 students and a Thanksgiving Mass to acknowledge our leavers in Years 12 and 14.

Throughout the year students will also have the opportunity to attend the Life Conference, retreats and visit places of religious significance.

We have a school oratory for prayer services and quiet reflection. The students have successfully set up a Faith Development Group to assist with the strengthening and nurturing of the faith of all our students. A Saint Vincent De Paul group has also been established to help those less fortunate in our community. The College is actively involved in fundraising and our main charities are Trocaire, and SVP. Sterling work has already been achieved for which we are very proud and we will strive to sustain this in the future.

Faith Development

The College Faith Development Group was set up in September 2008 by a group of Sixth Year students. The group consists of pupils from a variety of Christian traditions working together to instill and promote the Christian values of Love, Truth and Justice. The students are involved with the organization and delivery of the liturgical services throughout the year both in school and in our local parishes, as well as assisting with fundraising activities.

This year marked the start of a very significant journey for the College. As a member of the Bangor Parish Family of schools we have been working very closely with St Comgall’s Primary School, St Malachy’s Primary School and St Anne’s Primary School. Collectively we organize joint events and have representation at Masses to celebrate key moments within the liturgical year. Recently we celebrated a joint Ethos Day with all the staff from the Family of Schools. We were delighted to have Fr Tim Bartlett as our guest speaker.

St. Vincent De Paul Society

The society of St. Vincent De Paul is a Christian Voluntary organization, working with poor and disadvantaged people. The society is involved in a diverse range of activities such as the organization of Christmas Hampers and visitations to those in local Nursing Homes.

The College St. Vincent De Paul Society consists of a number of pupils from Years 13 and 14. The society is open to all year groups and new members are always welcome.   They attend the annual SVP conference.

Retreats

Each year we take various year groups to De La Salle Retreat Centre in Belfast. A retreat is a break from the routine of everyday school activities, where young people are given the opportunity to look deeply at their own lives and the nature of their own belief. This is done through games, discussion, craft-activities, prayer and liturgy.

 

Year 10 Bronze Visit to the Museum

Year 10 students had the privilege today of being invited to a demonstration of a bronze casting in North Down Museum.  Holger Lonze the artist demonstrated the techniques of bronze casting and just how the famous Bangor Bell was created.

The students were very responsive and enjoyed the experience.  This was one of the many events we attended this weekend to celebrate the feast day of our Patron St Columbanus.

Year 8 Welcome Mass

On Thursday 8 October all Year 8 students, their family and teachers came together to celebrate the celebration of the Eucharist.  This event is one of the milestones to mark the beginning of their journey in St Columbanus’ College.  Fr Gunn our College Chaplain joined us to celebrate this special event.  The evening was very special.  The Year 8 students did themselves very proud.  Some of them read, brought the gifts to the altar during the offertory, altar served or were part of the College choir.  The Year 8 community excelled themselves and certainly made their parents and grandparents very proud.  We gathered after the celebration of Mass in our College canteen for some light refreshments. This enabled parents and teachers to get to know each other and continue to strengthen out strong partnership with parents.  Well done to all involved.