In the life of the Catholic school, religious education plays a central and vital part. At the heart of Catholic education lies the Christian vision of the human person. This vision is expressed and explored in Religious Education. RE is not simply one subject among many, but the foundation of the entire educational process. It is the core subject in our school. The beliefs and values studied in Catholic religious education inspire and draw together every aspect of the life in our school. We are committed to classroom RE 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 to find reasons for the hope which is within them (1 Peter 3.15).
(Statement from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales 2000).
The aims and objectives for RE in our school are essentially as listed in the new Bishops’ Curriculum Directory as published in 2012. These are listed below but may be summarised as stating that RE in a Catholic school is the comprehensive and systematic study of the mystery of God, of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the teachings of his Church, the central beliefs that Catholics hold, the basis for them and the relationship between faith and life; in a manner which encourages investigation and reflection by the pupils, develops the appropriate skills and attitudes and promotes free, informed and full response to God’s call in religious education ‘is religiously literate young people who have the knowledge and understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to think spiritually, ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life’. (p.10)
We aim to promote:
• knowledge and understanding of Catholic faith and life;
• knowledge and understanding of the response of faith to the ultimate questions about human life, its origin and purpose;
• the skills required to engage in examination of and reflection upon religious beliefs and practice.
• To develop knowledge and understanding of the mystery of God and of Jesus Christ, of the Church, and of the central beliefs which Catholics hold.
• To develop awareness and appreciation of Catholic belief, understanding of its impact on personal and social behaviour and of the vital relationship between faith and life, life and faith.
• To encourage study, investigation and reflection by the pupils.
• To develop appropriate skills: for example, ability to listen; to think critically, spiritually, ethically and theologically; to acquire knowledge and organise it effectively; to make informed judgements.
• To foster appropriate attitudes: for example, respect for truth; respect for the views of others; awareness of the spiritual, of moral responsibility, of the demands of a religious commitment in everyday life and especially the challenge of living in a multicultural, multi-faith society.
We recognise our responsibility to ensure that our children have the opportunity to:
• Explore the beliefs of other Christian Churches as well as other World Faiths.
• Explore the importance of Deanery structures within our diocese and the significance of the Cathedral.
• Ensure that RE in this school makes a significant contribution to the Common Good and Community Cohesion.
• Offer the opportunity for Key Stage 2 children to have an experience pilgrimage and retreat.
We recognise two aspects of RE in our school:
• Implicit, or informal RE: those opportunities which arise in the course of a school day to lead pupils through curriculum content or through relationships to a religious understanding of their implications. It is the policy of this school to use such opportunities as they arise.
• Explicit, or Curriculum RE: those timetables or planned periods of time given to an explicit consideration of Religious Education in the classroom. It is the policy of this school to give 10% of curriculum time to RE.
All pupils in our school, irrespective of ability, faith and background will have appropriate differentiated access to the RE programme.
Programmes of Study
To fulfil our Aims and Objectives we use the “Come and See” programme to adhere to the Curriculum Directory, as prescribed by the Bishop.
We adhere to the process recommended by the Curriculum Directoryof Search, Revelation and Response. We use “Come and See” as our core scheme. Within the scheme, the ‘Search’ element is contained in the Exploreparts of the process, the ‘Revelation’ element in the Revealsection, and the ‘Response’ in the Respondsection. We enhance the scheme with a variety of other carefully chosen resources.
We acknowledge and concur with the Bishops’ view of the importance of high quality religious education: “Excellence in religious education, then, will be characterised by a clarity of succinct religious learning objectives and of key content, by appropriate methodologies, rigour, richness of resources, achievement of identified outcomes and accurate methods of assessment. Classroom RE will be a challenging educational engagement between the pupil, the teacher and the authentic subject material.”
Assessment, Reporting and Recording of Religious Education in RE meets current requirements and we intend to adhere to the new Diocesan guidelines being developed.