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Religious Education

Religious Education at St Joseph's

 

RE Curriculum Statement

INTENT

At St Joseph’s we are committed to the Catholic faith, valuing every individual as special and unique, made in the image and likeness of God. We recognise Religious Education is a core curriculum subject and as such, is taught as a subject in its own right.  The Gospel Values and teachings of the Catholic Church permeates through everything that we do, across all areas of the school curriculum.

 

Religious Education at St Joseph’s respects and promotes each child’s innate capacity for wonder, awe, reverence and spirituality. Through effective use of the ‘Come and See’ Programme, our Religious Education curriculum enables our children to develop their faith journey, in a progressive manner, enabling them to grow in their religious literacy and understanding.

 

They are taught about God’s love and learn about their Christian responsibilities; they are provided with experiences of church, Catholic and Christian traditions.  Children are taught about other faith religions and are provided with the opportunity to visit different places of worship, to support their understanding.

 

The teaching of British Values is paramount in the development of our children and so tolerance and respect are pivotal in their leaning. 

Through Religious Education, our children learn about their unique place within the home, school, parish and global community.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

Teaching

At St Joseph’s, RE is a core subject. 10% of teaching time is allocated to RE. This is usually two RE lessons, on two separate days.

 

Planning

The basis of our planning is taken from the ‘Come and See’ scheme of work. Class teachers plan lessons accordingly, to ensure suitable curriculum coverage, sufficient challenge and creativity is implemented to motivate and inspire.

 

Teachers plan and adapt where necessary, to meet the specific needs of the children. Each unit of learning begins with an Explore lesson, where pupils relate the concept of the unit to their own lives.

 

This is then followed by a series of Reveal lessons, where children explore and investigate the theme in a religious context. The unit is then concluded with a Respond session, where pupils plan a liturgy in celebration of their learning within the topic.

 

Across each Key Stage

  • Scripture forms the basis of work within the RE curriculum. Pupils explore the Word of God, its meaning within a historical context and its relevance to us today. This can be through reading from the Bible, scriptural video clips and cartoons, contemporary and historical scriptural art, the work of religiously inspirational people, listening to guided meditations or singing hymns.

  • Children are engaged in learning religious doctrine and the meanings behind it. They explore practices within Catholicism, so that they can understand their own faith more, and explore the doctrines of other faiths at set points within the year.  

  • Pupils are guided along their faith journey through prayer development. Children are taught how to write their own prayers, write group prayers or join in with spontaneous prayer. Pupils are also taught common catholic prayers, to enable them to engage more thoroughly in masses and other practices.

  • RE learning is embraced through a range of responses. Written activities are interspersed with discussion, drama, music responses, art, technology based responses, presentations and collaborative tasks. This makes learning in RE distinctive and engaging. 

  • With the support of our parish priest, Canon Nicholas James, who plays an active part in pupils’ faith development, a sense of respect and reverence is fostered and dispersed throughout the school. This is also evident in RE lessons and in other prayerful activities. It is modelled by adults in school and mirrored by the pupils.

 

Assessment

At the start of each topic pupils complete a cold task to establish their current knowledge and understanding, before embarking upon the new given topic. 

This informs the class teacher of their current understanding and possible gaps in knowledge and so the class teacher is able to start the topic from an appropriate learning point. 

Lesson by lesson, pupils’ learning is assessed, in order to provide effective feedback. This ensures the pupil has a clear understanding of what they have achieved and what their next steps are.  Mis conceptions are also addressed as part of effective class teacher feedback.  

At the end of the topic pupils complete a hot task and this provides the teacher with the opportunity to assess ow much knowledge and understanding has been achieved throughout the topic.  This task is known as ‘The Big Question’. 

 

The attainment and progress of each child is tracked using the key skills for each year group, as outlined by the Catholic Education Service. Over the term, skills (as outlined in our RE skills document) are planned for within the broader areas of ‘Knowledge and Understanding’ (learning about), ‘Engagement and Response’ (learning from) and ‘Providing Opportunities for Spiritual Reflection’.

 

IMPACT

We ensure that pupils:

  • develop a sense of respect and reverence within their own faith and for the beliefs of others;

  • build an ability to pray, in a range of different ways, to support pupils on their own faith journey;

  • foster an enthusiasm for faith learning, by providing engaging and challenging activities;

  • develop a sense of awe and wonder through deeper activities that give pupils an opportunity to explore and question;

  • learn key scriptural stories that underpin practices within the Catholic church and the wider Christian faiths.

 

The high-quality Religious Education curriculum enables pupils to make good and better progress in this subject, as a core subject within the whole school curriculum. It enables pupils to flourish, grow and work in the love of Christ as we live out our mission statement. 

 

‘Treat others as we would like to be treated.’

Matthew 7-12

Learning all about other faiths in RE

Judaism

Please click on the document below to access our RE curriculum overview for this academic year (2023/24).

RE PARENTS NEWSLETTERS

COLLECTIVE WORSHIP POLICY 2023

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. 

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