As a Catholic school, Religious Education plays a central and vital part at St. John the Baptist Catholic Primary School. At the heart of Catholic Education lies the Christian vision of the human person. This vision is expressed and explored in Religious Education. Therefore, Religious Education is never simply one subject amongst many, but the foundation of our entire educational process.
The beliefs and values studied in Catholic Religious Education inspire and draw together every aspect of the life of a Catholic school. We are committed to classroom RE, then, because all pupils have the right to receive an overall education which will enable them, in the light of the faith of the Church, to engage with the deepest questions of life and find reasons for the hope which is within them
‘But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.’ (1 Peter 3.15).
Religious Education is therefore, the core subject in a Catholic school.
Parents/Families as Educators
The first educators in the faith are parents. It is they, above all others, who establish in their children the first sensitivity and responsiveness to the presence of God, to the practise of prayer and to the patterns of life in the community of faith, the parish. The foundations of life-long faith and discipleship in their children are laid down in the home.
At Saint John’s, we come together in our key stages and as a whole school for collective worship. Collective consists of a group of people coming together at an appropriate time, in an appropriate place, intentionally to focus upon things of worth and value for the group.
Collective worship gives us:
A sense of special time
A sense of special place
The intention of focusing on matters of worth ‘beyond the everyday’
A sense of occasion
Times of collective worship are educational, planned learning experiences. They contribute to the education of the pupils and facilitate spiritual growth and respect of each other’s religious beliefs and practises. This may be done by evoking the sense of beauty, awe, wonder or feelings of pride, pity, sharing or by exploring the spirituality of life and experience.
In his life on earth Jesus showed a respect for those within and outside his own faith community. Children today live in a fast changing global world, where communication and travel opens children to diversity and challenge. It is important that we prepare them for this.
The Church calls us to be committed to respecting people from other religions and to recognise that God is at work in them. The Church teaches that, whilst living out our Christian faith, we are called to dialogue and be ready to learn from those of other faiths, many of whom may, be our neighbours.
Pupils are encouraged not simply to learn facts about other religions but to also reflect upon them and gain insights from them. Children will learn:
how members of different faiths live as a community
how other faiths worship
At Saint John's, we teach other faiths separately in order to avoid confusion. Comparison can lead to inaccurate teaching and does not do justice to the integrity of each religion. Comparisons may be noted by the pupils, but that will not be the starting point of teaching.
We do strive to match our teaching of other faith religious festivals with the time that they occur in the calendar year. This adds meaning and provides greater opportunity to invite visiting speakers or indeed engage with members of our school community who have a different faith.
Implementation 'Living and Growing as the People of God' is the curriculum strategy for Religious Education in the Diocese of Birmingham.
The RE strategy provides a curriculum that addresses pupils' intellect, hearts and imagination. It covers a systematic study of Catholic faith and life and makes learning about our faith lively, interactive and relevant.
Its content also provides the foundations for a partnership between school, home and parish, a partnership that lies at the centre of Catholic Education.
There are numerous opportunities for cross curricular activities that link with and often stem from RE lessons. We make active links within our parish and local community, we visit places of worship and we invite people to speak about their faith.
At St John's, RE is not one single subject amongst many, but the foundation of all that we aim to learn and live out each day.
Children are happy learners within RE. They experience a wide-ranging number of learning challenges in RE and know appropriate responses to them.
Through RE, children deepen their appreciation of their faith and fulfil their God-given talents
Visits within RE have enriched the lives of the children and they are able to discuss how the experience impacted their knowledge and understanding.
Children of all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in RE, reflected in outstanding progress that reveals a clear learning journey. Children talk enthusiastically about their learning in RE and are eager to further their learning in the next stages of their education.
There is a proven track record of success in assessments that reflects the impact of deep learning.
Clear outcomes focus and guide all RE development plans and drive improvement.
Fundamental British Values are evident in RE and children understand how RE can celebrate difference.
Children will understand the Catholic virtues which will be focused on each half term and how these relate to their personal life and to British Values
The children will grow to know and love God, develop their moral and spiritual nature and deepen their faith.
Children will live their faith in an active and positive way, always aware of the presence and love of Christ guiding them.
Children will develop their relationship with God and become religiously literate.
Through religious practice, the church’s traditions of prayer and worship will be upheld.
Faith plays a central role in the lives of the children and the decisions they make.
Children are confident, resilient and actively engaged in the wider society.
The school environment will reflect and celebrate our Catholic faith.
Children will be able to define, describe and discuss areas of RE. They will confidently use skills such as retelling, describing, comparing, giving reasons, explaining the meaning of biblical stories and considering the impact of beliefs.
Children will be able to reflect and consider important questions about RE.
Through wider reading in RE, children will know about a wide variety of Saints, how we can learn from their example, and historical religious events and figures. They will be able to make links between Jesus’ life and teaching and link it to their own lives, making links between different forms of Christian action, such as in rituals and charitable acts.