Religious Education in Finn Valley College


Junior Cycle Religion – Non Exam

Junior Cycle Religious Education focuses on developing knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and values to enable young people to come to an understanding of religion and its relevance to life, relationships, society and the wider world. The course is built around three interconnecting strands: Expressing Beliefs, Exploring Questions and Living our Values.

Religious Education promotes the holistic development of the person. It facilitates the intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual and moral development of students. Religious Education provides a particular space for students to encounter and engage with the deepest and most fundamental questions relating to life, meaning and relationships. It encourages students to reflect, question, critique, interpret, imagine and find insight for their lives. The students’ own experience and continuing search for meaning is encouraged and supported. Religious Education supports the development of students by helping them to explore how religious and other beliefs are expressed; engage with life’s big questions; and reflect on moral values for life. 

As students learn to live in an increasingly pluralistic world, Religious Education has a critical role to play in the curriculum in providing opportunities for them to consider the variety of religious beliefs found in Ireland and elsewhere, become aware of different understandings of the Divine, and examine other interpretations of life. It encourages respect and understanding of different beliefs, perspectives and ways of living, including both the religious and non-religious response to human experience. Religion has shaped and been shaped by historical events, something which continues today. 

Religious Education gives students an important framework for understanding past and present events, actions and beliefs and their impact within the context of people’s lives. It also promotes an understanding of religions as dynamic, internally diverse and evolving over time. Religious Education within an Irish context offers students an opportunity to develop an understanding of how different religions, and Christianity in particular, have contributed to the society in which we live. People today are faced with concerns, many of which require an ethical response. 

Religious Education has an important contribution to make in encouraging students to engage critically with belief systems and principles of moral behaviour which can serve as a foundation for decisions. Religious Education helps to equip students with the knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and values to support their life journey and enable them to participate in their communities and in the world as informed, respectful, responsible and caring members of society. 

Religious Education aims to develop knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and values to enable young people to come to an understanding of religion and its relevance to life, relationships, society and the wider world. It aims to develop the students’ ability to examine questions of meaning, purpose and relationships, to help students understand, respect and appreciate people’s expression of beliefs, and to facilitate dialogue and reflection on the diversity of beliefs and values that inform responsible decision-making and ways of living.

junior cycle


Leaving Certificate Religion – Non Exam


Leaving Certificate religious education promotes tolerance and mutual understanding. It is a broad course which seeks to develop the skills needed to engage in meaningful dialogue with those of other or of no religious traditions.


This framework has been designed with particular sensitivity to the variety of contexts in which it may be used – religious, social, school ethos, etc. In  teaching students  a broad range of religious issues, religious traditions and ways of understanding the human search for meaning, the framework can help contribute to the spiritual and moral development of students from all faiths and none. It can also help develop a healthy respect for the beliefs of others and an openness to dialogue in search of mutual understanding. The use of exploration options at the end of each section will help schools to use the framework in a flexible manner and tailor it to suit both the particular ethos of a school and to the particular interests of students. 

Section A – The Search for meaning 

Section B – Christianity

Section C – Religious faiths in Ireland today 

Section D – Morality in action 

Section E – God-talk 

Section F – A living faith – doing justice 

Section G – Celebrating faith 

Section H – Story


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