Foundation Stones 2023/24

Foundation Stones

Foundation Stones is a twelve hour introductory course to Catholicism, structured around the four main sections of the Catechism. Participants learn about the key Catholic beliefs and practices. It is simple and straightforward and is excellent CPD for non-Catholic teachers or those who are not confident teaching RE. The course is structured to allow participants to ask questions and discuss ideas so they can gain insights into the Catholic faith. This in turn aids the teaching of RE and understanding of the Catholic Life of each school. The online structure enables schools across the Diocese to access the course and it means a group of teachers can take part without needing to leave school.

Course Cost

The cost of Foundation Stones is £200 per staff member or £300 per school for two or more staff members. There needs to be a minimum of 3 schools and 10 participants for each course to run.  ​Each school will be responsible for purchasing participants the course text book. The title of the text book is Catholic Foundation Stones: Exploring the Basics of the Faith by John Wilson and Andrew Allman. 

Please click on the image below to order: 

FS pic

October 2023 to May 2024

Our next course is over 12 sessions. Included within your ticket are all the PowerPoints and notes which can be used to support teaching as well as other support materials.

Course Day and Timing

Mondays between 3.30 – 5.00pm

Course Dates

October 2023 Foundation Course

Course Lead: Jo Marsh

  • 5th October – Catholic Faith
  • 12th October – God the Father
  • 19th October – God the Son
  • 9th November – God the Holy Spirit, Mary and the Saints
  • 16th November – Church
  • 23rd November – Liturgy, the liturgical year and the seven sacraments
  • 30th November – Baptism and Confirmation
  • 7th December – Eucharist
  • 11th January – Reconciliation and Sacrament of the Sick
  • 18th January – Marriage and Holy Orders
  • 1st February – Prayer
  • 8th February – Life as a Christian

January 2024 Foundation Course

Course Lead: Flic Hensen

  • 10th January – Catholic Faith
  • 24th January – God the Father
  • 31st January – God the Son
  • 7th February – God the Holy Spirit, Mary and the Saints
  • 28th February – Church
  • 6th March – Liturgy, the liturgical year and the seven sacraments
  • 20th March – Baptism and Confirmation
  • 17th April – Eucharist
  • 1st May – Reconciliation and Sacrament of the Sick
  • 8th May – Marriage and Holy Orders
  • 15th May – Prayer
  • 22nd May – Life as a Christian

Target Audience: 

  • Teaching staff
  • Non teaching staff
  • Governors


“Very inspirational. Very good ideas to do with the children at school and with my own children at home.”

“Thank you, I now understand a lot more and feel more confident in helping the children develop their own understanding in RE”

book here

Foundation Stones Course Content:

Session 1:

  • This course will introduce participants to the Catholic Faith.
  • It will explore what Catholics believe about the Fall and Original Sin.
  • It will explain the Biblical narrative of salvation through Jesus Christ.
  • It will consider what it means to be a Catholic today.

Session 2:

  • This course will introduce participants to God’s Revelation and God the Father and Creator.
  • It will explore how God has revealed himself through Jesus, Scripture and Church Teaching.
  • It will explain the Magisterium.
  • It will develop an understanding of the Holy Trinity and God as Father and Creator.

Session 3:

  • This course will introduce participants to God the Son: Jesus Christ.
  • It will explain the Catholic belief in the Incarnation.
  • It will consider what the Gospels teach us about Jesus Christ.
  • It will explore the importance of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Session 4:

  • This course will introduce participants to God the Holy Spirit, Mary and the Saints.
  • It will consider who the Holy Spirit is and the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.
  • It will explore what makes someone a saint.
  • It will explain the Immaculate Conception and how Mary is a saint and the Mother of God.

Session 5:

  • This course will introduce participants to the Church.
  • It will explore the history of the early Church and Apostolic Succession.
  • It will consider the structure of the Catholic Church.
  • It will explain the mission of the Church today.

Session 6:

  • This course will introduce participants to the Liturgy, Liturgical Year and the Seven Sacraments.
  • It will explain the structure and purpose of the Liturgical Year.
  • It will explore what a Liturgy is.
  • It will explain what a Sacrament is and the importance of the Seven Sacraments.

Session 7:

  • This course will introduce participants to the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.
  • It will explain the importance and significance of Baptism.
  • It will explain the importance and significance of Confirmation.
  • It will explain why Baptism and Confirmation are two of the three Sacraments of Initiation.

Session 8:

  • This course will introduce participants to the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
  • It will consider the relationship between the Passover, Last Supper and the Eucharist.
  • It will explain transubstantiation.
  • It will explore the four parts of the Eucharist (Mass).

Session 9

  • This course will introduce participants to the Sacrament of Reconcilation and Anointing of the Sick.
  • It will explore the origin of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and what happens and why.
  • It will consider the origin of the Sacrament of the Annointing of the Sick and what happens and why.

Session 10:

  • This course will introduce participants to the Sacrament of Marriage and Ordination.
  • It will explain the purpose of the Sacrament of Marriage.
  • It will explore what happens at the different Sacrament of Ordination and why.

Session 11:

  • This course will introduce participants to Living a Christian Life.
  • It will consider the Catholic obligations.
  • It will explore the Catholic belief in the sanctity of life.
  • It will explain how Catholics are guided to live their lives.

Session 12:

  • This course will introduce participants to Prayer.
  • It will explain the importance of prayer and the Our Father.
  • It will consider the public prayer of the Church.
  • It will explore different ways Catholics pray, including devotions and mediation.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What exactly is Foundation Stones?

This is a basic introduction to the Catholic faith which was initially written by Archbishop John Wilson and Fr Andrew Allman. It is simple and straightforward and can be used with all kinds of groups and individuals including all of those involved with Catholic education. This online course includes 12 modules relating to the Catholic faith. The adviser will communicate with delegates before/after the course and address questions where appropriate.

How much does it cost?

£200 pp or £300 per school for as many members of staff as you wish.

Who can take part?

Although it was initially designed for those wanting to know more about the Catholic faith, it is suitable for anyone involved in Catholic education including TAs and governors. Members of SLT including RECs as well as those with a theology degree or CCRS who have completed the course have fed back to say that this is extremely useful in terms of their own role within the school.

What are the benefits?

· Improves or reinforces Catholic theology and spirituality

· Develops religious literacy on a personal and professional level

· Offers ideas and resources for teaching and learning of different ages

· Efficient and effective CPD

· Enjoyable and rewarding

All delegates who interact with and complete the course will receive a certificate.

Is there any extra work?

There are no tests or assignments, although there is some recommended reading and extra support materials provided should the delegate wish to follow this up.

What materials are provided?

A Support Document has been created with a glossary and summary of each session as well as links and recommendations for further reading (various levels). Each session also has a supporting PowerPoint with detailed notes.

How does Virtual Learning work?

Before the course, each delegate will get a welcome email from the adviser as well as the details of the course and the Support Document.

Each delegate will then get an invitation to Microsoft Teams or Zoom. The adviser will run the session for an hour using a PowerPoint which includes theology, Scripture, videos and quizzes. The chat function is a way in which delegates can interact during the session or to ask any questions to which the adviser can respond at an appropriate time.

After each session, the supporting PowerPoint and any other useful materials will be sent to each delegate and there will be an opportunity for the delegate to communicate with the adviser via email for feedback and further support where appropriate.