Religious Education – Exam
Religious Education in the Leaving Certificate programme calls for the exploration of issues such as meaning and value, the nature of morality, the development of diversity and belief, the principles of a just society, and the implications of scientific progress. It has a particular role to play in the curriculum in the promotion of tolerance and mutual understanding.
The syllabus offers extensive choices and areas of study, e.g. Christianity, world cultures, moral decision making, religion and gender, issues of justice and peace, religion and science, etc.
It seeks to develop in students the skills needed to engage in meaningful dialogue with those of other or of no religious traditions.
The Subject: Religious Education is a relatively new subject for the Leaving Cert. (It was first examined in 2005). Since then many students throughout the country have taken this option to build on their experience of Religious Education at Junior Cert even though it is not necessary to have taken the exam at Junior Cert to succeed at Leaving Cert.The subject consists of one core obligatory section, The Search for Meaning and Values and a choice of two other core sections from a list of three, Christianity: origins and contemporary expressions, World Religions, and Moral Decision Making.
There is one optional section also from a list of six which gives the students the opportunity to explore a topic of their own liking.
An exciting feature of this subject is the Coursework element, which is like an extended essay on a topic supplied by the DES which accounts for 20% of the marks in the final exam. This means in effect that students will have one fifth of the examination covered before they begin the Leaving Cert itself.
The RE syllabus supports the development of the inquiry, thinking and problem solving skills central to the Leaving Certificate.