The work of the Religious Education Department embodies the core aims of the school in the education of the whole person. Our teaching and learning is Faith driven with the teachings of Jesus Christ at the heart of everything we do. Our school is dedicated to Mary and this is reflected in our School Prayer which is prayed each morning in Assembly. Mary our Mother, as patron of our school, we enTrust ourselves to your loving care. May Respect for each other be the light that guides us. Help us in our Understanding so that we may appreciate rather than condemn. Hold in our hearts a love of Truth so that by following your example and supported by your grace, We may reflect God's Hope for all who share life together in this place of learning.


The Aim of the Religious Education Department is • to promote our commitment to the Catholic Values as outlined in our school motto Truth • to enhance the links with the Faith Family of Home – School - Parish • to enhance the Faith formation of the individual • to provide opportunities for religious observances throughout the year • to encourage respect and esteem for all peoples and their traditions • to promote a sense of service towards others.


The Liturgical Calendar is reflected in the School Calendar. Masses, Penitential Services, Advent, Christmas and Lent etc form an integral part of the work undertaken in St Mary’s providing the whole school community with opportunities for Faith development and for the celebration of our Catholic Faith. Our School Prayer, dedicated to Our Lady, is prayed each morning at Assembly.

The Oratory

Our Oratory is a central space in the school. It is open to all throughout the day. It provides both staff and pupils with a quiet space for prayer and reflection. The Student Liturgy Team and Pope John Paul 11 Award candidates conduct Morning Prayer each day in the Oratory. Mass is celebrated there each week during the Season of Lent. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available to all staff and pupils during the season of Lent also. We are indebted to the Priests from the local parishes who assist us each year. Just as we mark the beginning of each academic year with the celebration of the Eucharist, we also end each year with special Masses to mark the ‘moving on’ of our Years 12 and 14.


  • Miss D McElholm (Acting Head of Department)
  • Mrs R Rice (Acting Vice-Principal)
  • Miss E J Kelly
  • Miss C Haran
  • Miss K Sweeney
  • Mrs K Callaghan
  • Mrs L M Kelly


The Programme of Study at KS3 is designed to reflect both the requirements of the Northern Ireland Religious Education Core Curriculum and our own unique core values. Diocesan guidelines have informed the Revised Curriculum units of work devised by the Religious Education Department. The core text used at Key Stage 3 is the Catholic Religious Education Programme “Fully Alive” by Morgan and O’Reilly. It is supplemented by “The New Religion for Living Series” by Connie Duffy.   We use a wide range of interactive and on line resources to enhance the learning and teaching of Religious Education in the classroom. Year 10 students participate in the "Ambassadors of St Paul" programme.  The programme aims to enable young people to experience the love of God in a positive and life giving way through encountering Faith, Hope and Love.  The programme is based on the example of St Paul.


GCSE Religious Studies is offered as an optional subject. Year 12 students follow the CCEA GCSE Specification in Religious Studies. Year 11 students follow the CCEA GCSE Specification in Religious Studies. Key Stage 4 students who do not opt for CCEA Religious Studies follow can acquire OCN Level 2 Certificate in Religious Studies.

Post 16

AS and A2 students follow the CCEA specification for Religious Studies.

Examination Performance

 2018-2019 Number of Entries Achieved Number of Pupils
GCSE A*-B 40 35% 14
GCSE A*-C* 40 63% 25
GCSE A*-C 40 85% 34
GCSE A* -E 40 100% 40

Extra Curricular

Pope John Paul 11 Award

All sixth Formers are encouraged to participate in the Pope John Paul 11 Award. Its purpose is to actively engage young people in both the life of their parish and the community. Since its inception, the number of candidates enrolling in the programme has been impressive.

Charity Work

St Vincent de Paul Society St Mary’s College has an active SVP Conference. The girls work tirelessly throughout the year but their main focus is at Christmas time when we see the benefits of their charity work at first hand. The presentation of gifts to the local branch of SVP at our Christmas Carol Service is almost met with gratitude and humility. Trocaire All classes are involved in raising funds for the annual Trocaire Campaign. Each class has a Trocaire Box and are encouraged to make a contribution as often as they can. Foyle Hospice One of our chosen charities is the Foyle Hospice. It is encouraging each year to see staff and pupils alike participating in the walk/run from the Everglades to the Sports Complex. Other chosen charities which the school promote are Foyle Search and Rescue, Children in Crossfire.