We follow the scheme The Way, The Truth and The Light following Bishop Mark’s Directive.
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School our Religious Education Policy encompasses our mission statement and our School Aims.
We believe that the whole of the educational provision in a Catholic Primary School is rooted in a religious understanding of life based on the Gospel. Worship and Religious Education in the classroom constitute the specific, but not exclusive, Religious Education provision. For the purposes of this document, Religious Education is considered as the professional area of the curriculum flowing to and from the life and values that the school seeks to proclaim and celebrate. As a Catholic school we offer Religious Education as an important contribution to the faith development of pupils. It may also be received, in our classrooms, by some pupils, as catechesis, deepening and enhancing their personal faith, or for some as evangelisation, this being the first time they have been presented with, personally, with the truths of living faith.
At St Joseph’s School we believe that Religious Education is at the heart of our curriculum as we strive to proclaim and live the Gospel Values. We see our role as supporting parents in leading their children to a greater understanding of who God is and to celebrating, with deeper faith and more understanding, the liturgy of the Church. We believe that Religious Education provides children with opportunities to recognise, affirm and celebrate the gifts and talents they and others have been given and to develop the skills which will enable them to think and question more deeply and lead, ultimately to a greater understanding and appreciation of their faith.
In proclaiming the Gospel message we endeavour to share the Gospel spirit of love in all that we do and say by providing a warm, family atmosphere reflecting the fact that all children need to feel respected, trusted and loved. We believe that Religious Education is about the “meaning” and the need to discover answers about human existence. Love and security are the most basic human / religious needs. We teach that God is love and faithfulness, but understanding of this concept can only grow from our own experiences of kindness and love. Therefore every effort is made to create, in our school and in our classrooms, a community where the children know they are loved and feel confident and secure. Through our teaching of Religious Education we endeavour to enrich the lives of the individuals in our school.
Aims for the Teaching of Religious Education
Our subject specific aims for the teaching of Religious Education, complementing our general curricular aims, are to enable children to:
• Gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the teachings of the Catholic Church and the ways in which it seeks to express the significance of human life while respecting the rights of people to hold beliefs which are different from their own.
• Examine their own feelings views and responses in the light of their knowledge and understanding.
• Be helped towards an awareness of who they are – a unique person endowed with the gifts of the spirit.
Towards the realisation of these aims we have regard to the guidance provided by the National Board of Religious Inspectors and Advisors.
The Way, the Truth and the Life series proposes that each of the following areas should, as far as possible, be covered in each book of the primary series.
LIFE IN JESUS
Through the programme of study the children are given opportunities to search and question using strategies to help them to focus on the development of ways of thinking, feeling and acting, enabling the children to become more reflective, open and enquiring. This will begin a process that will hopefully lead to a genuine understanding and the basis of a mature faith commitment in adult life.
How will we achieve our aims?
As an aid to educating the child in the ways of personal development and personal relationships the school has devised its own resource materials – “In the Beginning…” is a wholly Catholic life education programme covering Years 1-6. The scheme consists of a carefully structured series of pupil workbooks designed to be completed by the child, partly in school under the guidance of the class teacher, and partly at home alongside parents/guardians who are encouraged to involve themselves in the child’s work through open discussion and assisting in the completion of each task. It provides both teacher and parent with appropriate ‘starting points’ on which to build a greater understanding of God, life and life processes, the sanctity of life, personal development, and the values underpinning socially acceptable behaviour. The children will also learn on a day-to-day basis from the Christian example set by adults.
- The friendly school environment created by staff who work in the building
- The care we have and the patience we show towards children when dealing with accidents, incidents, disputes etc.
- The messages we give out through religious celebrations, assemblies, discussions etc, which bring home to children the importance of
- The family unit, the protective love and care given by parents and guardians, and the ways children should respond to this love
- The way they should treat and relate to each other
- The hardship endured by developing communities and the means by which we can help
- Tolerance, understanding and forgiveness in both work and play situations
- The friendly interaction we promote with other schools (sporting competitions, choral performances etc) and the willingness to share (and enjoy) the company of others on these occasions
- The encouragement we give and the standards we uphold in terms of sportsmanship….fair play, accepting decisions and taking both winning and losing in the same spirit
- Our desire to respond to the needs of others (CAFOD, The WellSpring, St. Joseph’s Penny)
- The respect we have for and show to all members of our community
- Our acceptance of (and having children to take up) the stewardship of a world created by God.
As first educators parents are expected to lay the foundations for all acceptable patterns of behaviour, leading by example, and sharing with school the joint task of bringing the child through to age of eleven with a balanced understanding of life and a healthy appreciation of the human relationships they may form in years to come.