Religious Education at St Joseph's
Our Mission statement is re-affirmed by staff, parents, governors and children working together. It brings together their beliefs of the purpose and daily mission at the heart of our school.
Religious Education at St Joseph’s
Our rich curriculum embraces our Catholicity at its heart and complies with the Religious Education Directory requirements.
We currently follow the 'Come and see’ programme. Links are made with the children’s own experiences and the curriculum is adapted to make it real and meaningful to our children. We teach Religious Education through the process of Explore, Reveal, Respond. This follows the pattern of the human search for meaning, God’s initiative in Revelation and the response in faith.
We are very blessed to be supported by weekly class visits from our Parish Priest, Father Nicholas James. He helps us to understand the scripture from our current topics and relate these teachings to our everyday lives. Father Nick works closely with the children, guiding their journey of faith and being on hand to help them wherever he can.
We are also fortunate to be able to experience the richness of the liturgical life of the church in many ways throughout the year such as Feast Day Masses, the celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation at least twice a year, as well as a special Advent Concert to prepare us for the coming of Christmas.
OUR LENTEN PROMISES
It is important to us that our children see themselves as part of a wider community. To ensure we have real and lasting experiences we include a variety of visits and trips so that children can learn about the many similarities between major world religions. Therefore other religions are taught from EYFS to Year 6. These are Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and the philosophy of Buddhism.
At St Joseph’s we always strive to provide quality experiences of prayer and liturgy that support pupils’ spiritual development. These communal acts of prayer and the liturgical celebrations of the Church form part of everyday life in our school. Every child is given the opportunity to pray by giving praise and thanks to God using traditional prayers of the Catholic Church and many other sources of prayer that enable this to take place. We encourage the children to nurture a relationship with God through words, symbols, song, gestures and silence. Prayer is such an integral part of school life that it can never be confined to ‘timetabled’ slots but may take place in a variety of contexts other than those specifically structured.
Collective Worship at St Joseph’s
So what might a typical week look like? Central to our prayer life in St Joseph’s is the weekly Collective Worship. Every Monday we come together as a whole school community to celebrate our faith; reflecting on Sunday’s Gospel message and sharing ideas on how we can spread the Good News to others. Every Tuesday afternoon Key Stage 2 come together and the children take responsibility for leading their weekly Liturgy. Children participate in a variety of ways: praying, reading, singing, playing musical instruments, preparing a display to emphasise a specific focus of the Collective Worship, to name but some.
Wednesday afternoon Key Stage 1 also partake in a weekly Liturgy and they too enjoy writing their own prayers and poems to share during this time. In addition to Collective Worship, each class attends our local church to celebrate Mass with our parishioners, in order to further help their understanding of the richness of the Eucharist.
Other opportunities for prayer take place within the classroom at the start of each day, before and after lunch and again at the end of each day. Prayer in the classrooms and in assemblies always includes use of symbols and a focal point for prayer which is appropriate to the liturgical season, for example, Lent, Advent or Easter. During all these times of prayer, both staff and pupils are involved in leading and participating.
It is thus our aim at St Joseph’s to provide our children with opportunities to experience a variety of forms of prayer that help each individual in the school community to foster their own relationship with God.
The Christian values of our school permeate the whole curriculum.
The Wednesday Word
We also support our RE Curriculum by distributing the Wednesday Word in school each week for children to take home and enjoy with their families. Parents and children can find out more about the Catholic faith at: www.wednesdayword.org & www.catholicchurch.org.uk
First Holy Communion
Our school support the parish and hold First Holy Communion preparation lessons after schools in Spring in readiness for them receiving First Holy Communion.
If you would like your child to receive First Holy Communion please contact the school office for more details.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation
All children who are preparing for, or have received, their First Holy Communion are able to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation in school with Father Nicholas James during both Advent and Lent.