Education in Faith - Religious Education Policy

Rationale

The goals of Religious Education centre around the message of Jesus, and the creation and development of a Christian community. We aim to help the students understand and appreciate the gospel story and the overall Scriptural context in which the story of Jesus is placed. As a Christian community, we need to model what it is like to be faithful to the gospel ideals.

Guidelines

In the planning and teaching of Religious Education we will:

• Respect the person, their family and the appropriate readiness for, and stages of, development in faith.

• See Religious Education as an area in the curriculum which brings together many other disciplines and aspects of life, integrating these in a context of spirituality.

• Highlight the Doctrine of the Catholic Church and issues of social justice as important features.

Implementation

• Develop an awareness of, response to and celebration of the students’ relationship with their God, Jesus and the world they live in.

• Foster a sense of belonging in the church by providing an opportunity for all children to participate in sacramental preparation.

• Whilst our Religious Education program has a hopeful and joyous message, we aim to remain conscious of the pain and suffering that is present in so many people’s lives.

• An integration of various sources in the Religious Education program - Scripture, Liturgy, Tradition and the world’s social and cultural realities.

• The Learning and Teaching process as used throughout the To Know, Worship and Love texts, is a basis for our planning of Religious Education units.

• The dignity of each individual, the community, the sacramental nature of life and justice issues are emphasised.

• Children will be encouraged to participate regularly in various forms of prayer and to plan and celebrate class liturgies and Masses.

• Special whole school liturgies will highlight a season in the liturgical year, a special event, a special day or a particular study in the curriculum.

• Our practice are sensitive to the differences in religious attitudes and practices that exist among families. It will also be sensitive to the various shapes and realities of families that exist in our school community.

• Professional development will be planned to offer support and further education where necessary.

• Prayer, liturgy and the celebration of sacraments are an integral part of our spiritual awareness and growth.

Prayer and Liturgy

Prayer and Liturgy is an expression of a child’s growing relationship with God both as an individual and as a member of the faith community. For that relationship to develop fully and harmoniously the child’s experience of prayer and Liturgy needs to be varied and meaningful. Some suggestions for the education of children in prayer:

• Be aware of the children’s personal development.

• Use a variety of styles and formats for prayer, e.g.

  • spontaneous, formal, traditional, personal and communal;
  • imaginative (meditation);
  • through movement and song; o vocal and silent.

• Read from Scripture regularly.

• Relate life experiences to those of Jesus.

• Pray often.

• Be aware of the teacher’s contribution as a person who prays.

• Create an atmosphere conducive to prayer.

• Provide an opportunity for children to actively participate in class, school and Parish Liturgical celebrations.

Sacraments

Our sacramental program is essentially parish-based but operates in partnership with the school, under the guidance of the parish. Families are invited to enrol their children in the sacramental programs offered. These include Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation. Preparation involves attending parent information nights and family nights. In conjunction with this, the school enhances the program by providing simultaneous units of work on sacramental themes across all year levels in the school. This is a Prep-Year 6 program and therefore the decision as to when a child is ready to receive each of these sacraments is entirely the parents’.

The sacraments are then celebrated within the context of the parish community.