Essential features of the Catholic school are the prominence of Religious Education within the curriculum and the role of the liturgy in creating a Christian ethos within the school community. Parents who elect to send their children to this school, therefore, are expected to accept these traditions.

Religious Education in Catholic Schools follows ‘This Is Our Faith’ (TIOF) a national curriculum developed under the auspices of the Catholic Hierarchy of Scotland. In Turnbull High School, our unique courses enable pupils of all stages to access varied and engaging lessons, which have academic and spiritual formation as their goal.

Rooted in philosophy, theology and with an emphasis on Higher Order Thinking Skills, young people across the BGE and Senior Phase engage with a range of sources and learning contexts to deepen their understanding of the Catholic faith. Courses offer young people a firm grounding in the nature of the Blessed Trinity, the unique place of Our Lord Jesus Christ as the saviour of the world, salvation history, the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments, the Sacred Scriptures, Sacred Tradition, the nature of the Church, Catholic Social Teaching and the Kingdom of God, apologetics and ethics and morality (in particular the protection of human life from conception to natural death and human relationships) in an atmosphere of respect and openness. Young people undertake studies on Judaism, Islam and Sikhism in order to understand other worldviews in comparison to our Catholic faith and have opportunities to formalise their achievement through presentation for the SQA Religion, Belief and Values units at levels 4 and 6.

Academic formation is accompanied by continuous spiritual development as pupils apply their learning to their own relationship with Our Lord and the discernment of their vocation in life. Pupils consider the ways in which they are called to serve God and neighbour and learn to pray through participating in the Sacred Liturgy (Holy Mass and parts of the Divine Office), programmes on Vocal and Mental Prayer (Lectio Divina) and seasonal devotions such as prayers for the Holy Souls, litanies, novenas and a consistent focus on the Holy Rosary.

Both academic and spiritual formation are greatly supported and enhanced by our collaboration with many partners who deliver talks and retreats as well as our school chaplains who offer the sacraments for us. At a whole school level, the formation of our young people is enhanced by an extensive programme of retreats. These range from our school prayer that starts each school day, a weekly timetable of devotions and services, ‘in-house’ retreat experiences and pilgrimages, to large-scale missions with visiting leaders.

A Catholic education is not limited to the Religious Education classroom but consists of a coherent presentation of, and search for, beauty, truth and goodness in all subject areas. In order to strengthen this within the school, Interdisciplinary Learning (IDL) initiatives, such as our Star of Bethlehem project with the Physics department, are being developed.

Full details of the RE curriculum and chaplaincy provision can be found on our RE and Chaplaincy Blog (

Senior Phase