St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

POLICY FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

The beliefs and values studied in catholic religious education inspire and draw together every aspect of the life of a catholic school [1]

Rationale

Religious Education lies at the heart of the Church’s response to the call of Christ to ‘go out into the world and teach all nations’ and covers both what is explicit and what is implicit.

The Governors and Staff of St. Joseph’s hereby set out their Policy with the understanding that,

“Teaching has an extraordinary moral depth and is one of our most excellent and creative activities. For the teacher does not write on inanimate material, but on the very spirits of human beings.”[2]

 

Religious Education in St. Joseph’s aims to promote:

  • The content of the Curriculum Directory for Religious Education
  • Knowledge and understanding of The Catholic Church
  • The foundation for a life of faith
  • Knowledge and understanding of the response of The Catholic Church to the ultimate questions about human life, its origin and purpose
  • The skills required to engage in examination of and reflection on religious belief and practice
  • A degree of understanding and awareness of other major world religions
  • St. Joseph’s School Mission Statement

 

Broad Guidelines

  • To provide opportunities for spiritual growth and development through participation in a variety of forms of worship and all forms of prayer – formal, informal, spontaneous, private, shared, petitionary and meditative.
  • To foster a catechetical community involving children, staff, parents, school governors and the parish.
  • To inspire a sense of responsibility, to witness to the Gospel in word and deed.
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of the mystery of God and of the person of Jesus Christ as well as of the Church and the central beliefs which Catholics hold.
  • To develop awareness and appreciation of Catholic belief and an understanding of its impact on personal and social behaviour by encouraging children to explore and reflect on the Scriptures with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
  • To develop the ability to listen; to think critically, spiritually, ethically and theologically; to acquire knowledge and organise it effectively and to make informed judgements in the light of the Catholic Faith.
  • To engender the Gospel values of love, peace and justice, that influence all our activities and relationships in a caring, yet challenging manner.
  • To foster appropriate attitudes; for example, respect for truth, respects for the views of others; awareness of the spiritual, of moral responsibility, of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life, and especially the challenge of living in a multi-cultural, multi-faith society.
  • As priests, parish assistants, governors, parents, teachers and support staff of the school, we are called to reach out and respect the school community whatever stage they are at in their journey of faith.[3]
  • To demonstrate visibly that St Joseph’s is a Catholic School by the evidence of sacramental objects, posters, prayer tables etc. around the school.

 

Teaching and Learning

An important aspect of Religious Education is to ensure that it permeates throughout the curriculum and all other areas of school life.

  • St Joseph’s dedicates 10% of teaching time to the teaching of Religious Education as required by the Bishops of England and Wales.
  • Regular inset and appropriate funding for resources, together with rigorous assessment and monitoring of the subject to ensure that R.E. has the same status as that of the other core subjects of the school’s curriculum.
  • The ‘Come and See’ programme of study is used by all classes at St Joseph’s.
  • The Levels of Attainment are used to assess children in Religious Education.[4]
  • The Sacramental programmes in preparation for receiving the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation are based in the children’s parishes.  It is up to parents to make the necessary arrangements with this regard.  The Priests from our Parish (St Mary’s, Cadogan St.) are regular visitors to the school to supplement these programmes.

 

Conclusion

The outcome of Religious Education is to develop religiously literate young people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to think spiritually, ethically and theologically and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment of every day life.[5]

Each member of the school community has a part to play in the implementation of this policy which seeks to maintain and strengthen the ethos of St. Joseph’s as a Catholic School.

 

 

[1]          Statement on Religious Education in Catholic Schools issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales –  May 2000

[2]          The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium: 1998

[3]            ‘..the primordial mission of the Church is to proclaim God and to be his witness before the world.’   General Directory for Catechesis 1997: Congregation for the Clergy 23

[4]           As advised by the Bishops’ Conference Department for Catholic Education and Formation (2007)

[5]          Statement on Religious Education in Catholic Schools – issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales May 2000