Religious Education is central to the curriculum at St Mary’s and is at the heart of the philosophy of Catholic education. It teaches about our faith in the context of a school which proclaims the Gospel, and invites the individual to respond to the message of Christ. As the individual responds to this invitation, growth in faith and knowledge helps the pupil to respond to the call to holiness and understand the fullness of what it is to be human.
Religious Education is concerned not only with intellectual knowledge but also includes emotional and affective learning. Without religious education, pupils would be deprived of an essential element of their formation and personal development, which helps them attain a vital harmony between faith and culture. Moral formation and religious education also foster the development of personal and social responsibility and other civic virtues; they represent, therefore, an important contribution to the Common Good.
For this reason classroom Religious Education is a core subject at St Mary’s, whilst the wider dimensions of learning through liturgy and outreach are integral to the project of Catholic education. The content of Religious Education will help the pupil to make a critique of all other knowledge, leading, for example, to an understanding of the relationship between science and religion or history, and between theology, sport and the human body.
The aims of Religious Education:
- To present engagingly a comprehensive content which is the basis of knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith;
- To enable pupils continually to deepen their religious and theological understanding and be able to communicate this effectively;
- To present an authentic vision of the Church’s moral and social teaching so that pupils can make a critique of the underlying trends in contemporary culture and society;
- To raise pupils’ awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them;
- To develop the critical faculties of pupils so that they can relate their Catholic faith to daily life;
- To stimulate pupils’ imagination and provoke a desire for personal meaning as revealed in the truth of the Catholic faith;
- To enable pupils to relate the knowledge gained through Religious Education to their understanding of other subjects in the curriculum;
- To bring clarity to the relationship between faith and life, and between faith and culture.
The outcome of excellent Religious Education is religiously literate and engaged young people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to reflect spiritually, and think ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life.
(Religious Education Curriculum Directory – 2012)
Religious Literacy Comprises:
- Morality (Christian Life)
- Doctrine (Beliefs)
- Liturgy (Church)
- Scripture (Sacred Texts)
Planning and Assessing in RE:
At St Mary’s we use the Age-Related expectations to plan and assess pupils in RE. These are a description of what is expected of pupils by the time they reach the end of a phase. The phases are:
- 3-5 years
- 5-7 years
- 7-11 years
Within the standards, there are three sections:
AT1: Knowledge and Understanding (learning about Religion)
AT2: Engagement and Response (learning from Religion)
AT3: Analysis and Evaluation