In Religious Education (RE) you will learn about what people believe, why they believe and how these beliefs influence their own lives, the lives of others and the world around us. You will explore how many religions, particularly Christian religions, have shaped the Ireland you live in today.

What will I learn in Religious Education?

Some of the things you will learn include:

  • about at least one of the major world religions in detail
  • how different communities of faith organize themselves: their leaders, celebrations, forms of worship and guidelines about their members’ behavior.
  • the different religious and non-religious ways of trying to understand the world
  • how religious beliefs shape some ideas and laws
How can I learn more about Religious Education outside of school?

Some of the things you may do are:

  • talk to family and friends about their different beliefs and different ways of celebrating religious festivals
  • listen to accounts of different religious beliefs in news reports from around the world
  • notice how often films, books and art include signs of religious actions, beliefs or events
  • look at religious buildings near your home or when you are on holidays.
How will I learn Religious Education in school?

Some of the things you may do with your teacher and your classmates are:

  • visit religious centres and places of worship
  • listen to speakers from different organizations and religions
  • work on your own, but also in pairs and in groups
  • use textbooks and other materials as well.

Some other things that will help you learn in class are:

  • asking questions and taking your own notes
  • keeping a file for your notes and handouts; they will be useful for learning and for revision!
How will I know how I am getting on?

Your teacher will let you know:

  • what you did well
  • where you need to improve
  • what you could do to improve.

Other things you may do are:

  • ask a friend to look at your work
  • look back over your work to see how you have improved.
Is learning Religious Education anything like what I did in primary school?

Different primary schools offer different kinds of religious education: you may have participated in an Ethics Programme; your religious education may have been separate from school; or you may not have taken part in a religion class yet.  You will still be able to study Junior Certificate RE because you will use a lot of the things you have learned already, such as communicating your ideas, questioning, working in groups and finding out information using technology.

What is the Religious Education Junior Certificate exam like?

In your school, you may have the option of choosing to do RE as a Junior Certificate exam subject.Not every student/school will do/offer RE for their JuniorCertificate.

During the school year you will choose one topic from twelve and research this for a special project called a journal.  Before your exam you will complete a booklet describing your journal work.In the exam, you will read and respond to different types of questions: short-answer questions, a comprehension passage, longer questions and some photos or pictures.

How will Religious Education be useful to me?

RE will be useful to you in:

  • helping you understand how people make decisions, how people are inspired by their religious beliefs, how conflict happens and how it can be solved
  • helping you solve problems and thinking for yourself when working with others
  • planning to travel to or live in other countries.

You can also continue studying RE as part of some courses and degrees when you leave school.

Will Religious Education be very different after Junior Certificate?

After the Junior Certificate you may be able to choose RE as an option for your Leaving Certificate.  On the other hand, your school may offer a RE course that reflects the values of your school.  This would not be examined at Leaving Certificate level.

For more information about the Religious Education course:

For more information about the Junior Certificate exam:

For more information about Religious Education: