Religious Education (RE)
It is the policy of the Governing body that the school should provide a curriculum and syllabus for Religious Education, which fulfils Diocesan recommendations and corresponds to the Curriculum Director for Catholic Schools. As part of the Salford Diocese, St. Sebastian’s follows the teaching and assessment guidelines given in the syllabus “Come and See.” This is also supported by the scheme Caritas in Action.
Within our curriculum, we ensure all children are prepared for life, with the skills they need to achieve, aspire and accomplish both academically and spiritually, regardless of their faith, creed or race; meeting every child’s potential and their needs. Our intent is for learning without barriers so that all children can succeed.
Our intent is to meet these needs by:
- having Christ at the centre of the St. Sebastian’s R.C. Primary School family and all that we do
- establishing close links between home, school and parish to provide the best for all the children
- treating every individual child as a unique and valued member of God’s family, so that respect for each other is centred on the Gospel values of justice, tolerance, peace and forgiveness
- providing a curriculum that is rich and broad, with high expectations and a culture of challenge for all
- providing a RE curriculum that is appropriate to the needs of all our children, from all ethnicities, backgrounds, faiths and home lives
- nurturing a sense of belonging by developing our responsibilities as citizens in the local, national and global community, especially within the Catholic tradition and the Liturgy of the Church
- by giving children opportunities to develop understanding and tolerance of all faiths, creeds and cultures including their own
- by developing positive links between all stakeholders including the wider community
- by working with parents in their role as first educators
- by growing in knowledge and understanding of Jesus’ life and teachings
- gaining a deeper knowledge and understanding of the Catholic tradition and the liturgy of the Church
- recognising and appreciating the spiritual and religious dimensions of life through feelings of awe, wonder, delight and joy
- examining their own religious feelings, views and responses
- using their own knowledge and understandings of the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ to follow his footsteps in their behaviour, work and play
PROGRAMME OF STUDY
Religious Education is an Enriching Subject, a subject at the heart if life, which all children should enjoy. As a Catholic school we offer religious education as an important contribution to faith development of pupils.
To fulfil the above aims and to address the four areas of study outlined in the Religious Education Curriculum Directory, 2012 – Revelation, Church, Celebration and Life in Christ - the ‘Come and See’ programme, in conjunction with ‘Caritas in Action’, is used as recommended by the Diocese.
These schemes are specifically designed for children in Catholic Primary Schools and cater for children of all abilities and complements the catechesis which may take place at home and parish. An overview of the syllabus in Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 is provided in Appendix 1.
As far as possible, this scheme is enriched by using a wide range of resources to stimulate, engage and challenge the pupils. These include relevant film clips, music, posters, stories and use of the Bible, both hard copy and electronically.
The scheme covers many aspects of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
All Sacramental Preparation takes place in the Parish, with the full support of the school. Also work done in Religious Education does help the children to grow in their knowledge and understanding of the sacraments of the Catholic Church and supplements work carried out at home and in the parish in preparing children to receive the sacraments.
The curriculum is seen as a unity in which religious and secular elements cannot be separated. Every human experience is seen as an opportunity to deepen our knowledge and love of God.
We try to enable our children to be able to speak about the faith with some coherence and competence, and to express it in their prayer, worship and daily life. To ensure that this happens, approximately 10% of teaching time is allocated to RE.
The school community is expected to reflect the values of the Gospels and to express this in forgiveness, trust, freedom, justice, non-violence and discipline which is neither demeaning nor humiliating and the recognition of all achievement and talent.
COME AND SEE
Religious Education is taught throughout the school using the 'Come and See' programme.
“Come and See” is an invitation and a promise of life for everyone. The invitation is open to all. In response to the question ‘Where do you live?’, Jesus invited the disciples to ‘Come and See.’ They went with Jesus ‘and spent the rest of that day with him.’
We recognise that all children are at different stages in their journey of faith; for some children RE is catechesis and part of their formation in the faith. Those who receive the invitation to ‘Come and see’ may also offer it to others. In the same invitation we remember that for some of our children RE will be evangelisation, the first opportunity to hear the good news.
Religious Education is a core subject of the curriculum for Catholic Schools and as such teaching and learning in RE makes up 10% of curriculum time. As such it is taught rigorously with all the same expectations as other core subjects whilst maintaining a creative element and encouraging children to question and think at a high level.
What pupils learn
Each term pupils study three topics, each lasting four weeks and following a common theme across the school. As the children move through the school this theme is developed further, appropriate to the pupils age and stage of learning.
Each year group approaches the theme through a different topic e.g. the Autumn term topic 1 is a 'Domestic Church' theme which is explored through:
Early Years – Myself
Year 1 – Families
Year 2 – Beginnings
Year 3 – Homes
Year 4 – People
Year 5 – Ourselves
Year 6 – Loving
In the Autumn term theme of Belonging (topic 2) Early Years children will be learning about Baptism as being welcomed to God’s family, in their “Welcome” topic, Years 1,2 and 3 further develop their understanding of Baptism, including Signs and Symbols (Yr2) and Promises (Yr3), whilst in their “Community” topic Year 4 move on to learn about Confirmation, Yr5 learn about the commitment of Marriage in their Life Choices topic and Yr6 learn about the vocation to priesthood and religious life in their “Vocation and commitment” topic. Scripture is at the heart of each topic.
The termly themes are as follows:
The three autumn themes are developed in the light of an understanding of Creation.
- Family - Domestic church
- Belonging - Baptism/Confirmation/Marriage/Vocation
- Loving - Advent/Christmas
The three spring themes are developed in the light of an understanding of Incarnation
- Community - Local church
- Relating - Eucharist
- Giving - Lent/Easter
The three summer themes are developed in the light of an understanding of Redemption and the work of the Holy Spirit
- Serving - Pentecost
- Inter-relating - Reconciliation
- World - Universal Church
Each four-weekly topic is broken into 3 aspects
EXPLORE (1 WEEK)
- Introduces the topic
- The children’s life experience is explored
- The questions raised are wondered at, shared, investigated and their significance reflected upon
- Focus on Reflection on Meaning
REVEAL (2 WEEKS)
- Heart of the programme
- Knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith revealed through Scripture Tradition, doctrine, prayers, rites and Christian living
- Focus on Knowledge and Understanding & Reflection on Meaning
RESPOND (1 WEEK)
- Learning is remembered, celebrated and responded to in daily life
- Prayer and celebration are integral to Come and See
- Opportunities for reflection are present within Explore, Reveal and Respond
- Traditional prayers are introduced in the different Key Stages
- Prayer styles: children are introduced to a range throughout the scheme
Children all have a RE book where their Come and See learning is both treasured and shows high expectations for learning. In addition, each class will have a moral issue question which they can answer in RE lessons, Collective Worship and cross curricular subjects.